Those who were in attendance at yesterday's special teams scrimmage are still talking about the bone-crushing hit Branden Joe made on Ashton Youboty. Joe discussed that hit and other topics after the scrimmage.
Talk about that hit.
"It is just that special teams are hustle plays. They're one play series, and it's the guy who is hustling the hardest, and I had made a mistake the previous play so I said, ‘I gotta make up for it.' I just hustled down and – those are the hits football players live for, those big hits like that in the ‘Shoe. It's kind of like hitting a home run in baseball. You live for it, take it when it comes, and get ready for the next play."
You looked like you were trying out for the team!
"(laughing) That's what it is. Special teams are a tryout – guys getting on the bus. Special teams are going to travel when we go to away games, and that is what these kicking scrimmages are for. That's what is in the back of our minds. It just encourages us to hustle that much more."
You are on the bus already so is this just a pride issue for you?
"Being a senior, you have to lead in every aspect of the game, and if these young guys see me down there hustling, I guess you could say I've been here five years, I'm on the bus, but I still take pride in special teams. It is a one play series, and to be successful in the game you have to win the series."
What about the taunting call?
"Ahh… I think that was by committee. Coach Tressel encouraged these guys, but you have to turn around and find your other ten guys that helped a play get done. I may have let that slip my mind a little bit – first time in the ‘Shoe you get a little bit excited, but we will clean that up."
What did you see from guys in their returns – Ashton looked shifty.
"Ashton is an explosive player, not only in special teams but also on defense, and he has a bright future. He has made some plays this spring, and he bounces right back up when you lay those big loads on him. That is not the only time he has been hit like that, and he just keeps responding. He is doing a real good job back there."