Marvin Sapp: It's All About Unity

Coach Steve Spurrier recently predicted that Marvin Sapp would be the Gamecocks leading tackler in the 2006 season. In this interview with GamecockAnthem, Sapp shares his expectations for himself and the defense this season, as well as what the biggest difference is between this year and last. Check inside for the full interview.

Question: What are your expectations for yourself heading into this season?

Answer: Well, Coach Spurrier has already said that he expects me to be the leading tackler. I want that for myself, and I'm going to try my best to do that. I also want to encourage my teammates to play alongside me. I think they're all ready for that. I just want to be an overall better player, and I want to improve on everything.

Question: How did the voluntary workouts go for you this offseason?

Answer: Our offseason workouts, they were intense. We were just trying to stay in shape. We were doing runs, weight lifting, and stuff like that. As far as my teammates go and the whole dedication issue, yes we had a few drop offs, but I think that we really got something out of these workouts this year. I think the guys that faltered, they now realize what we're trying to do here, and they're going to step it up.

Question: What are your thoughts on some of the new linebackers?

Answer: There are some new linebackers in. I really like Rodney Paulk. He's a real good kid, and he looks like he's a pretty good linebacker. I'm going to help him in whatever he needs help in. The best players are going to play regardless.

Question: How would you describe yourself as a player?

Answer: I'm aggressive. I love being around the ball, and sometimes that gets in the way of me doing my assignments, because sometimes I look at the ball. But I'm aggressive, I can find the ball, I'm a great tackler, and I love playing football.

Question: What area have you improved in the most since last season?

Answer: Not to be so nervous. Last year I was kind of pushed in. This year I feel more comfortable in everything, and I think that's the area I've improved the most in.

Question: What is the biggest difference between this year's defense and the 2005 unit?

Answer: We've really improved. We've improved as much as we can. We were really disappointed in our performance last year, because we didn't play up to par at all. I think that had something to do with us coming together, but this year we've been coming together as a team. Cory Boyd talks about unity, and I think we're really developing it, so I think we're going to do a lot better this year.

Question: What game are you looking forward to the most this season?

Answer: I'm looking forward to the Florida game, because I'm from Jacksonville, Florida. A lot of my folks are going to be there. It's going to be a big game. We're going to Gainesville (FL), and I've always wanted to play them there. That's for me personally, but as a team, Georgia is what we're looking at, because that's the game we didn't win (last year) that kept us out of the SEC Championship Game.

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