Irish Players Happy to Put Some Pads On

Irish Eyes spoke with three players who should play important roles in 2004 after practice to get their thoughts on spring so far. How is quarterback Brady Quinn progressing? How is Ryan Harris adjusting to left tackle? Is Carlyle Holiday enjoying his new position?

Quarterback Brady Quinn looks to have added a few pounds so we thought we'd ask. "I'm a little bit heavier," said Quinn. "I'm about 222-223."

The Irish had some pads on today and Quinn said that got the team excited. "I think today we put the shoulder pads on for the first time and there was a lot more activity with hitting today. We definitely saw a lot more enthusiasm and excitement."

Quinn said he's been throwing well, but the extra pads were an adjustment today. "I've been throwing pretty well. It's been a little adjustment putting the shoulder pads back on. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow."

The Dublin, Ohio native says he believes this team has the talent and experience to make a run in 2004. "This is our year to come out here and do something and try to go for the National Championship. I think we've got a lot of young guys that now have experience. I think we're ready to put this together and to make a run."

Two players Quinn will count on are wide receivers Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall. Quinn says both players are set to have outstanding seasons for the Irish. "They worked their butts off this off-season. They're really getting their hands on the ball making some great catches. They're showing what they're capable of doing this spring. I'm sure there will be a lot more big plays from both of them as spring goes on."

Freshman Ryan Harris says he's doing just fine at left tackle so far. "I returning home," said Harris of moving back to the left side. "I'm back to where I originally started. It's difficult to get used to how everything looks and the steps. It's just a matter of time."

Harris said the practice on Thursday was spirited. "At the beginning we kind of tiptoed around, but at the end it was real intense and really how we want every practice to go. It was really good."

Responsibility is the theme for this season for the offensive line according to Harris. "This year we understand the responsibility that this team places on us as an offensive line and we're really trying to own up to the team as much as we can as a unit."

As for Harris, he just wants to put some people on their butts. "I just want to dominate. I want to become comfortable and dominate at the left side. As a unit as a whole, start to come together as a whole and execute better."

The Minnesota native has also added a few pounds. "I'm about 284 now so I'm getting a little bit bigger in my britches."

Is 284 a good weight for Harris? "I think I have a couple of pounds I don't need. This summer I'll get into more of a fitness shape. Next season I'll probably weigh around 286-290 and just maintain speed."

Former quarterback Carlyle Holiday says he's adjusting well to wide receiver. "It's going fine," said Holiday. "I played a little bit towards the end of last season so I think everything is going smooth. It's something that I want to do so that helps out a lot."

Holiday says the running has been the hardest adjustment for him so far. "It's different, but the most difficult thing is getting into the condition they get in. They run like horses—it's crazy right now. It's exciting, I think we're going to be a great unit overall."

Playing quarterback in this system is a big plus for Holiday so far. "I'm not out there just running around with me head cut off. I know what I'm doing for the most part. Sometimes guys ask me what to do so being quarterback in this system has really helped out so far." Top Stories