VIDEO: Duarte on Adjusting to Y

Freshman Thomas Duarte talks about making the transition from primarily an outside receiver in high school to an inside receiver in college...

Thomas Duarte talks about transitioning to the Y:


On being slowed by injury early in camp:
It was just tightness and cramps in my hamstring. I'd experienced cramping but nothing more than that.

On how he was used as a tight end/receiver in high school:
They actually used me outside in high school. Definitely just running the X and Zs. Here it's more inside, where I've got to battle the linebackers and the safeties over the top. I don't see any big difference other than the speed of the game.

On the biggest difference from high school:
You have the speedy quick guys on the outside, and more the physical guy on the inside. It's nice to get to play against someone my size a little big. I kind of miss the outside but the things I learned on the outside really transition well to the inside. Being physical, knowing how to position your body, to coming back to the ball and getting open and being in those windows that the quarterback can find you in.

On if he'll move back outside:
Maybe in the future, but right now I'm trying to focus on the Y position.

On the difference in body sizes at the Y position:
The coaches give us a lot of leeway on our routes, just to find the grass and get open. And really I think it's going to help us out against different teams, because they don't have to just prepare for one guys they have to prepare for three guys.

On adjusting to the speed of the game:
I think the tempo of the offense, the practices out here, you see we're running a whole bunch and close to 100 plays a practice. Really the speed of this offense has been the biggest change. But I feel I've got that down. Now I need to perfect my routes and get the mental side of the offense down.

On if the tempo contributed to the hamstring issue:
Maybe and then this weather out here, but that's no excuse. But I'm back on the field now and we're rolling.

On the heat in San Bernardino:
This is way too hot out here, especially from where I'm from. Where I'm from, in the summer time, it gets to the high 90's and that's about it. We came out here yesterday and it broke 100. That's the beauty of camp, you come out to practice, and the whole team has to go through it and that's what brings you guys together.

On expecting to play this year:
I feel like I've competed very well this camp and I feel that if I keep it up, I'll get a tremendous amount of playing time and get to contribute to this team.

On if the usage of the Y had a big impact on his decision:
Definitely. The Y position really to, focus on the inside part, instead of the outside, and the coaching staff, Coach Yarber, the things I can learn from them, that was a big things as well.

On if working with Yarber has helped him improve.
Definitely, yes. The coaching tips he gives, you really put them to work and do them yourself as you run your routes. You do the things he says, it's amazing because you actually get the results he told you you'd get. Yarbs is a funny guy and that's what makes it fun out here. It's not always business. We have fun while we're competing. The coaches make it fun to compete with each other. We're going to be a great team this year.


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