VIDEO: Duarte on his Maturity

AUG. 21 -- Receiver Thomas Duarte talked about returning from injury and how now being a sophomore he thinks of himself as a veteran...

Thomas Duarte answered questions after practice.


On being back:
I feel good, real good, and back to normal. I'm around 100%, working my way back. I've been every day in the film room getting mental reps, the only thing is getting in to shape with the tempo offense, but I can only imagine what the defense has to do.

On if losing reps hurts him:
Not really because in this offense the ball spreads around, there is no fighting with each other, because we all want each other to succeed. The ball spreads around.

On the end of the season growth:
Everyone on the team is a different player and has a different mindset and we became closer as a team. I felt that was the biggest difference.

On if there was a moment where it all clicked:
Definitely, I think it was the bigger games, like the Arizona State's, the Oregons. The coaches put more responsibility on me and gave me the call. Things started clicking. Then again, I had Darius and Grayson there to help me.

On being more of a vet:
I'm helping Mossi a lot and Tyler Scott has come inside and I'm trying to help him. It's different, I saw what Darius saw and what Grayson saw so it's a different outtake on this position.

On how different he feels compared to last year:
You just have a better mental side of the game, you know what to expect. Being a freshman, you didn't know what to expect going on the road, you were nervous and you just didn't want to make mistakes. Now I've matured more, and if you make a mistake, you fix it in the film room.

On if there were things he worked on:
Definitely my patience and my routes. Not panicking. Brett is still making his reads so patience really.

On his confidence as a freshman:
I never wanted to be the one who panicked and messed everything up so I stayed cool and Darius taught me to be patient and not worry. Trust technique and know the playbook. Coach Yarbs was telling me that too. Just having the trust of the coach, Coach Mazzone, Coach Yarbs, and then just having the trust of Brett and he trusts me and knows when I'm supposed to be there.

On advice from Darius Bell:
Have fun. At the end of the day, have fun, this is the sport we love. The sport we wake up early in the morning for and go to bed late at night.

On if he's recruiting his brother:
Not really, but I'll wait it out with him, but see what his options are and hope for the best.

On if he feels he has to be the guy:
Coach Yarbs got me early as a freshman and said you did what you did in high school, but guys will look at you as a freshman. You're the new guy on the team and you have to make plays so that's what I try to do.

On if he'll showcase what he did in high school:
Definitely and I'll grasp the whole different concept of the game. I felt like I satrted to put it together in spring and put it on display then had the setback, but this is definitely the year.


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