Abdel Banda says he's focused on getting better. "I've been here for three weeks working out," Banda said of his stay in South Bend. "I plan on staying here all summer."
Banda says the work he's doing this summer should benefit him in the future. "I feel like I stack up pretty good," said Banda when asked how he feels he's competiting with the other linebackers. "They've obviously been in the program longer and I'm learning, but I think this should help me. It should help me pick up things sooner. I think I'll be more advanced because the things I'm learning now, I won't have to learn in fall camp. Hopefully that will allow me to play a little more instead of learning on the field."
We asked Banda what has been the biggest adjustment so far going from high school to college football. "I'd say just the things that are asked of you," he said. "There's so much more to learn. So much more learning. So much more conditioning. Just getting used to the more."
The Irish players have also helped Banda along in the learning process. "They are a great group of guys," Banda said of his linebacker group. "They've really taken the time to help me. Brandon (Hoyte) has gone out of his way. All of them have, (Mike) Goolsby, Derek Curry. Everyone has accepted me and have tried to help me get better."
Banda has also had a chance to meet up with many of his classmates in the freshman class this summer. "We all get along really well," Banda said. "Everyone that showed up came to work which is good to see. Across the board, they're all good guys. I've already become good friends with Ronald Talley on my official visit. We've kept in contact and have become good friends. I really liked everyone I've met so far. They're all a good bunch of guys."
We asked Banda is the step from high school to college has been a big step for him. "It's a huge step," Banda said. "It's very different from high school. The intesity, speed and workouts are definitely up a notch. It wasn't like I wasn't expecting it though. I knew it would be a big jump and that was a big reason I came out here this summer."
Banda said the workouts have already made an impact on his body. "Coach Mick puts you through the workouts," he said. "I feel faster, stronger and more focused. He puts you through a very intense workout. I feel like a lot better player already. I'm 6-2, 208 right now so I've lost a little bit of weight. It's a good 208 though."
Banda says he doesn't do a lot when he's not working out. "I knew that it would be like this--not much to do," Banda said. "I kept hearing there wouldn't be much to do so it wasn't like I came in with high hopes of having this great time here this summer. But, I will say I hope it does get a lot better when school is in session," Banda said laughingly.