USF '07 Spring Practice: Nick Capogna Q&A

The second week of USF's spring practice is now underway, and USFNation.com got a chance to talk with center Nick Capogna after practice. Capogna talks about being a senior leader, his thoughts on the O-line, what he wants to accomplish this spring, and more. Only on USFNation.com. Get it First Get it fast!

How does it feel to be back out here for spring practice?
"Well it's a unique feeling. This is my last one, so it's a lot different from all the previous ones. You don't want to miss a day, because I know this is my last spring practice ever. So you have to focus on every drill, every rep, one-on-ones, everything. It's weird because it's getting towards the end and my reps are numbered now. I couldn't see that when I was a freshmen, and most definitely it's a different experience."

Do you feel that you are taking on a leadership role this year?
"I have to, I'm one of the oldest guys on the offensive line, and I'm one of the older guys on the team actually. From my signing class, there's not too many of us left. So I really wanted to pick it up in the off-season."

"You can't lead if you don't have any credibility under your belt. Like last year, I had to get my games in. If I weren't playing and starting like that, how are guys going to listen to me, and how am I going to tell them what to do. So it was key that I had to get some credibility under my belt first last year. I started 13 games or whatever with the bowl game. I just have to keep that up. I can't be out hurt or nothing like that. You can't let your teammates see you sweat or anything like that."

How your health this spring?
"You don't play this game healthy no more, everybody gets nicked up, but I'm as good as I can be right now under the circumstances. I was weighing in at 270 before spring but it's melting off me and I was at 268 today."

How do you think the O-line is looking this spring?
"I'm real excited about the young guys. I'm talking about last year's class. This is their first spring, and I think this is the most advanced group I've ever seen technique wise. We got tackles out there and freshmen guards that are looking good on the line. Zach Herrman for one, he's real impressive. Just pass settings and stuff like that. .O-line is one of the hardest positions to learn, and what there doing out there impresses me. I've never seen anything like it. It took me four years to get it."

How about the spring enrollee's Jeremiah Warren and Kevin McCaskill?
"Well this is Jeremiahs first spring and his first time in pads. He's a strong guy and shows a lot of potential, and has a bright future ahead of him. He just has to work on his technique. They're both big strong guys and they just have to keep working."

Is it hard with all the guys missing time on the line?
"We're offensive lineman. We just line up and go. We don't have time to think about who is hurt."

Are you getting acclimated to coach Simmonds?
"Absolutely, he was here last year, so we're familiar with him already. I'm real excited to have coach us. I played four years under Coach Frey and I remember it's just like they say, there is more then one way to skin a cat. Coach Simmonds played in the NFL and he's teaching us techniques and it's pretty cool, they're the same techniques but it's a different way of teaching. Something's I didn't get then I get now, and vice versa. I'm fortunate two have been taught by two coaches instead of one."

What do you want to accomplish the rest of spring?
"I want to get better every day. I'm not playing at the level where I want to be at. If I'm going to be a senior leader out here I have to step it up even more to take a leadership role. I'm real fortunate to be going against the D-line that we got. Richard Clebert and those guys are tough group to block. Everyone offers something different, Allen Cray is lightning fast. I always accuse him of being off-sides because as soon as I snap the ball he's by you. Richard Clebert is as strong as it gets, and he's quick so if he gets his hands on you then you got trouble. Going against those guys is definitely preparing me for the season. I'm very fortunate."

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