An Interview With Noah Whiteside

Gamecock Insider ran into Noah Whiteside and he was willing to talk to us about his philosophy as a wide receiver and punt returner. One thing was clear. He wants the football. For our premium subscribers only ...

Noah Whiteside

About already being designated the number one punt return man.

"I felt comfortable out there. After all of this time in the system I feel right at home now. Punt returning is my thing. When I was being recruited I asked Coach Holtz if he would give me a chance to be the team's punter returner and he has ... that's all I can ask. So I want to make the most of the chance. I like being back there and all. It's my thing."

About Skip's comments about building the offense around his and several other players' speed this year.

"Yeah, I like that. That's exactly how it was kind of in high school for me and some of the other guys ... where we focus on using our speed. At this level there are guys on defense that are fast too but there will not be as many as we can put out there so that is bound to leave one of us getting open and having a chance to do something with our speed. I mean like, when me and Gonzie Gray, Matthew Thomas and Troy Williamson are on the field at the same time that is four of us that can run pretty good and all. So we can use the speed against our enemies and all. I don't see how any defense can have four guys on the defense that can match up man to man with all four of us at the same time."

You call opposing defenses "enemies?"

"Well, yeah. That's what they are out there in college. They are out there to stop you from doing what you gotta do. They want to make you look bad. They want to hit you so hard they knock you out. They want to take your football away from you and not let you play with it anymore. That is what an enemy does so you have to look at them that way and all."

About them not throwing the ball a lot in the first scrimmage.

"When I do get the chance ... just make the play. Gotta do what I gotta do when I do get the ball and just make plays happen. I knew coming into the scrimmage they were going to work on the run more than anything. Next scrimmage they will work on the pass more. We are sort of taking it in stages this spring. I know that Dondrial (Pinkins) and the other quarterbacks can get us the ball when our time comes. I'm not worried about that. I just gotta make plays when our time does come you know. Every time I catch the ball in my mind I am thinking to make a play. I don't wanna just catch the ball and go down. All I need is a little room and I can make something happen ... that's the way I am thinking."

About his reputation for being fearless as a punt returner and patch catcher.

:::::::: laughs :::::::: "I kinda hear that. I mean I just go with the flow you know. I mean good receivers that I have always seen growing up just go with the flow I mean you can't be overprotective and worry about anything too much as a wide receiver or punt returner. The thing to do is catch the ball first but then you have to instantly do something with it. I have to have the ball is the way I am thinking. I want it. Once I have the ball then it's up to me to do something with it you know what I mean? I mean a whole offense is made to get somebody the ball. We might do all of this blocking and fake handoffs and then the quarterback has to escape all this pressure. There might be four people running routes to get open and we are doing all of this to get someone the ball. I just figure that if we go to all that trouble to get me the ball I am going to do something with it you know what I mean?

On being settled in the starting wide receiver spot already and whether he is strictly a deep ball threat or does he like getting the ball across the middle in traffic as well.

"It really doesn't matter to me, I can do both. I am going to use my speed across the middle just like if I was going deep. I have no problem with going across the middle. People are going to expect me to fly deep a lot and that's fine because it confuses them that way when I cut across the middle ... they are not expecting that. I know there are more hits across the middle but I like the contact just fine. I don't care where I have to go to get the ball I just want the ball ... I'll go wherever they want me to go as long as they will consider giving me the ball."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories