Q: Going into the spring, I know you had some high expectations. Were you happy with the progress during the spring, how it went from day 1 til the end?
A: No, not really. I got in there and saw that we really had to start from scratch. A lot of us were seeing that, that we really needed to start with the basics. We started out trying to do a few complex drills, but by the third or fourth day we kind of returned to the basics a little bit. But now that we've gone through that, we can hopefully start to build on some of the auxiliary things a little bit more and work on building our repertoire.
Q: So you'd say you kind of laid the ground work to build on?
A: Well, we laid it down, and now we'll see if we can build on it. We laid it down. I'm trying to be optimistic, but we'll have to see how much they've retained when we get out there in camp. Whether guys can pick up right where the left off, that sort of thing. And with the returners and new guys, it's going to be important that they understand what my expectations are, and more importantly, what Coach Mora's expectations are. But going into fall, there shouldn't be any surprises on either end. We had all of spring and the offseason to show our expectations and see how they play, so there shouldn't be any questions about somebody. If they don't do certain things, then they won't be playing on the field.
Q: Going into fall, I know you have a few freshmen you were excited about in Carl Hulick and Simon Goines. What expectations do you have for them coming in?
A: I'm excited about all the freshmen. I think Carl is probably the most physically fit of the freshmen. And he looks like he's been in college for a year or two already. I mean, he's just a damn work horse. And then with Simon, it's all about conditioning and getting himself in college shape. He's probably at about 300 now, so that's good. Colby Cyburt is coming along well. He's made some tremendous gains. And then there's Alexandru Ceachir, who's reduced his body fat quite a bit. His big thing is still the language barrier. When he knows what he's doing, he's fine and does a great job. But in the heat of things, something still gets lost a little. He just needs to let things slow down a little bit more for him. As it is, when things speed up, it just gets a little harder for him to keep up with exactly what he's supposed to be doing.
Q: In spring, there were basically two guys in Jeff Baca and Xavier Su'a-Filo who were penciled in as starters. Has anyone been added to that list for the fall?
A: The only ones I know for sure that are going to be in there are Baca, X, and Jake Brendel. Baca and X are the only for sure, I should say, and Brendel I'd like to be in there. That's a spot I'm just not too sure about. And then Carl, even though he's a center, we'll probably start him off at guard, because he's probably our next best lineman. You're always a little nervous about throwing a freshman in there, and you never really know when they're ready. But he's a mature kid, and he's physical. We're in a position where we don't really have that much depth at all, so any kid who comes in with talent has the potential to play early.
Q: I know you talked about Simon coming in and potentially having him compete for the right tackle job. Are you thinking that he and Torian White will be competing there?
A: I think there's actually a lot of guys who will compete on the right side. You have Simon and Torian, but there's also Michael Padovese, Cheech, Brett Downey. And if none of those guys step up, we always have Baca who can just slide over. That's why I have him on the right, so it'll be easier for him to just slide over if it comes down to it that we need him over there.
Q: Greg Capella, where do you see him fitting in on the line?
A: He'll be in the mix at left guard and at the center spot. He's a great kid, and he plays really hard.
Q: Obviously, you want to settle on a starting line pretty early to build some continuity. When do you want to have that finalized?
A: I don't really want to put a time table on it. Gelling can happen at different rates, and it's really just a matter of how long that takes. Sometimes, it can take a while, other times it just clicks. I think we've got a few guys who are probably going to start, and then we have to figure out another one or two, and that may take a while.
Fall Preview: Klemm Interview
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