In case nobody has noticed, Steve Rehring is one large young man. Just a freshman that has come in early from high school, he has the frame and size to be one tough hombre for defenses to go over, through, or around. After Thursday's practice, Steve came out and spoke with the media.
What has been the biggest challenge?
"The biggest challenge has been just getting used to the speed of the game, going against – you have guys out there that could go NFL next year, and you have to do everything right or you are going to get beat. I was taught that lesson a couple of times."
What do you do – how do you personally react to that?
"You just have to get up and do it better the next time. You can't look at the past – learn from your mistakes, but you can't dwell on it. You just have to do better the next time you go out there."
What is the attitude of the line right now? There are a lot of folks out there who think this is possibly the weak link on the team. How does the line respond to that?
"I just think it is high energy. Everybody is trying to learn out there. Try to get it done as a group, as a unit. The first teamers are doing real well, they are looking good."
Is there a play in your scrimmages so far that was a "welcome to the NFL" type moment?
"No. It is just the big speed. They're fast. You can't do like you did in high school where you could just overpower people. You have to do it right, the way the coaches want it, or there is no chance for you."
Have any of the older players taken you under their wing a bit?
"Everybody is trying to help out. Rob Sims helps out the most because he plays the same position I do. He just keeps telling me to get lower and lower. He tells me the right steps and everything."
Getting lower has to be tough for a guy your size…
"It's tough, but you have to do it because if you don't get low enough, I just get beat."
How are the coaches? Do they chew on you – how are they treating this whole situation?
"Right now it is more of a teaching thing for me because I am a new guy still and trying to learn the system. I try to get on myself for not doing it right."
When you look back, how glad are you to come in during the winter?
"It is good because I know a lot of guys from winter conditioning, and now I can get a head start on terminology and all that stuff – teach them how Coach Bollman does things."
Do you allow yourself to see the possibility of playing time this fall?
"You always dream about that. That is every kid's dream that is coming in, but that is not the big picture right now. It is more of a team thing. We are trying to win, to see what we can do."
So do you want to play? Do you want to redshirt?
"I think it all matters on how I develop in the next two weeks, and I have all summer to get stronger. Right now, I am not strong enough."
What about hands – keeping guys off of you?
"That is a big adjustment for me because we blocked a little differently in high school. I am just starting to get my hands – you have to get your hands or defensive linemen just grab you and rip you down."
What is your current playing weight?
"I'm at 335, I came in about 342."
What in particular are you working on – anything aside from ‘everything?'
"Well, right now I have to improve everything because it is a big adjustment from six months ago when I was still in high school and could just dominate, and now if I don't do it right, I am going to get beat every time. So, I just have to do it right."
What is college life like for you?
"It's good. I did real well the first quarter, and I'm hoping to well again this spring and just get used to it. It's not bad at all."
Any classes you have liked better than others so far?
"No. There's not been a class I liked too much here (laughing)."
Any thoughts on a major right now?
"Well, right now I am looking at business, but with Fisher being as tough as it is to get in – that is the school Fisher is – the competition to get in for [is tough, but] we'll see what happens."