Q&A: Cornerback Demontre Hurst

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated met up with cornerback Demontre Hurst this week to get his thoughts on some of the receivers on the other side of the ball, plus him potentially being named a captain and the youngsters at the DB position.

Q. What's been your impression of the receiving crew? Just a couple weeks ago, everybody thought they were going to be maybe a weakness and now they're looking like a real strength?

A. Well, there's so many of them they shouldn't be a weakness. There's a lot of them, but they're really coming along. You know, they got the guy from Penn State, Justin Brown. He's been real good. I've been going against him a lot. We've been getting better in one-on-ones and things in that nature, but, you know, our receiving crew's always gonna be good, especially with quarterback like Landry [Jones]. You know, to get them guys right and with Kenny [Stills] being back there, too, also gets the young guys right. So, you know, a lot of athleticism, a lot of guys can catch out there, young guys ready to step up and make plays, too, if a guy goes down. But overall, they're pretty good. I'm pretty excited to go against them every day, so it's gonna be a good thing for us. It's gonna be a good thing for our offense, a good thing for our whole team.

Q. How's Kenny looked moving more into the slot?

A. He's doing real good. He's pretty much just loosening up, going from outside to inside, inside to outside. He can do it all. That's what makes him dangerous and he's fast and he can catch. But overall he's been doing good, been getting good work from the outside, been getting good work from the inside with Gabe and I and Aaron. So, we're just all getting better no matter where he's at.

Q. What were your impressions of Justin, going against him?

A. You know, I knew he was a pretty good player. I didn't know what his tendencies were or what he liked to do best, but overall just working with him this whole camp, he's been here two weeks now, just we've all been getting better. We're getting better. Me going against him a lot, that's really going to help me out seeing another receiver instead of seeing Kenny and Trey and all them. So, he's been real good, real productive, learning the plays slowly but surely. But he's coming along and he's made some big catches this fall camp. So, he's put a lot of smiles on my face. I put a lot of smiles on his face, but, you know, we're just going out there communicating, having fun. We're just really building a relationship with each other.

Q. Is it almost hard standing here? Camp's over and you guys got the weekend off. It's party time, isn't it?

A. Oh yeah, it's party time.

Q. Double cheeseburger with Big Mac sauce?

A. Yeah, you must have seen that. Kenny owes me that. We made a bet. Kenny owes me that, but we had a great camp. It's finally over. We're about to all go out and celebrate, have fun and really step back up on Monday, get ready for UTEP.

Q. Did you get the big speech about ‘Don't show up in the newspapers this weekend?'

A. Oh yeah. We know better than [that]. We know not to do anything dumb that would hurt ourselves or the team. Just go out there and be smart. You know, we're gonna have fun, like I said. Have fun, be safe, you know, take care of one another. Come back Monday and get back to business.

Q. Bob said on Monday he'll decide captains. What would that mean to you?

A. For me to be a captain is one of the most prestigious things for me for this team. You know, it's an honor. It's a blessing, you know, just to be a captain for the defense and to the whole team. And, you know, it's something that I can establish as myself as being a real captain and being a real leader. So, you know, for them guys to even vote for me for captain is kind of a big thing for me just to see that I have good leadership skills, you know, that I'm capable of doing the right things at any time. So, it's gonna be a big thing for me. Hopefully I can be captain. I can represent this team.

Q. You seem pretty sure of it?

A. Well, I mean, you know being a leader you want to be captain and you know you put yourself in that driver's seat to feel that you are the captain whether you are or not. So, if I'm not [then OK].

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about Gary Simon and Zack Sanchez, two young guys that Bob said, told us earlier that he'd like to play them if he can?

A. When those two guys came in, Zack came in during the summer and he's been with us all summer. So, he has a little edge over Gary. And Zack's been real productive this whole fall camp and summer. So, we've been getting on him, joking around. We've been building a relationship with him, so he's opened up to us and kind of like just being our friends and just being a real teammate. So, out there on the field, we're coaching him up. He's taking it in, especially from the other guys like Tony [Jefferson] and Javon [Harris] and me. And then Gary came in the start of fall camp and he's pretty much matured a lot since the first day. You know, him just being here two weeks, he's had a lot thrown at him. He's just had to calm down. He was nervous a little bit, but he's sinking in. He's getting comfortable. He's getting a feel for what we like to do and me being a leader back there and him being a corner, me being a corner, I'm just back there just coaching him up, just trying to help him with all the little things. He has the athletic ability, so it's gonna be a good thing for those guys to get out there on the field. You know, we hope they can go out there and make big plays like they did this whole fall camp. So, it's gonna be exciting. You know I'm excited for them to play.

Q. It was interesting when we heard that Julian Wilson is in line for possibly a starting spot. Can you talk about him and kind of where he's come from? We saw in one special teams a little bit last year.

A. Well, he's been patient. You know, he's waited for his opportunity. He's stepped in this fall camp and really impressed the coaches. So, there it is. He's out there making big plays. He's out there--he's coachable. He's doing his technique. You know, he's really out there just trying to get a feel for our defense, too. So, for him to come along, you know, be patient and you know, just wait for him turn, he's doing a real good job. He's really stepping up. He's doing what he has to do. If he's out there being a starter, I know I can trust him. I can respect him. [He'll] go out there and make big plays for us, you know, just have fun with those whole defense.

Q. Why does everybody smile when I ask them to tell me about Eric Striker?

A. Eric Striker is probably one of the--he'll big mouth. He'll big mouth, too. He's loud. He's uptempo every minute. He reminds you of Travis [Lewis] a little bit, yeah. He reminds you of Travis. He's uptempo, a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and just a fun guy to be around. You know, a lot of respect, great personality and he's a baller. He's a baller out there on the field, too, so that's much respect to me. And, you know, just saying Eric Striker, the striker, the name's kinda catchy, too. So, for him to have that name, it's a pretty tight thing.

Q. Has he lived up to it so far in camp?

A. Yeah, he's lived up to it. Like I said, the young guys they coming in over the summer, kinda got the basics but now we threw a lot at them during the fall camp. And, you know, it's kinda settled in, kinda that nature. So, it's a little nerveracking, but he's settling down. He's catching on slowly but surely and like I said, the coaches have a lot of trust in him, have a lot of trust in him. So, he could be a guy that could be a backup and really come out there and make plays on the second team.

Q. You been keeping up with [Jamell] Fleming at all?

A. Seen him a few tweets. Seen him play against Kansas City. Him and Donald when they went a few times. I seen them. Yeah, hopefully he's doing good. I know he's up there balling like always, running his mouth, too. So, it's a good thing to see him out there still playing and I can't wait to see him play in a real game.

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