In your third year in the program, do you feel like you're finally breaking out and does it feel good?
"It feels good, but that's what's expected of me, you know. The games are in the past and I just have to focus on next week. Keep it going. Because I know I can do it week in and week out."
Have you always believed you were going to break out in the very next game?
"Every game since I was a freshman I've believed I could have a game like I've had recently. I knew every week that I could do it."
Are there any adjustments you've made that you think have contributed to your recent success?
"Not really. I've been working really hard. I've been working really hard for three years. You work hard and it will eventually pay off. I think I have confidence now and I think the team and the coaches have confidence in me now."
Has there been an improvement in Cory Paus's performance that has affected yours?
"Cory has always been on point. I think it's just what I said, and that my confidence level just rose."
Why do you think it's happening now?
"I don't know. It could be psychological. Since before the beginning of the season I was looking toward the Oregon State game, since they have some of the best defensive backs in the nation. It wasn't that I was looking past the other games. But I knew that Oregon State had good DBs. I was figuring, if I can get with them I can get with any other DB. Maybe that had some kind of an effect."
After the injuries last season, you slimmed down. Has that helped your performance?
"Definitely. I've been able to contribute a lot more, on special teams and things, and stay on the field a lot more. I feel a lot faster, a lot lighter, a lot more agile. I lost that I think last season. It's kind of hard being a bulky receiver."
How did you change physically?
"First I lost 10 pounds, but then I gained it all back in two weeks. I don't know how I could gain so much weight back so fast. I don't know what it is. I lost a lot of body fat. I'm back to 220 now, but I feel a lot quicker. I'm definitely leaner. During the summer I lost a lot of body fat, but I've gained the weight all back. It must be in my legs."
It seems like you're catching the ball better. What do you attribute that to?
"Preparation. I stay out here after practice with John Sciarra. He's always looking to work to get himself better. I'm eager to get myself better. So I stay after practice, run a lot of routes. I told myself now's the time. I've had opportunities before, but basically before it was like, one shot. I don't catch it, then that's it. But now I'm getting the shot and catching it and keeping on with it."
With so many weapons on this team, do you think that every week the opposing defense might shut down one of you and the rest will have a good game?
"We won't get shut down. I don't think our receivers will ever totally get shut down. Even when someone didn't have a huge game, they still have a few catches and made an impact. And it was mostly because he wasn't really getting the ball thrown his way. It's not that the other team is shutting us down, it's just that the game plan is going somewhere else. It's also a matter of who's hot. When you're hot, you put the ball in the hands of the person who's hot."
Have you seen a difference in Cory this season compared to last?
"He's playing well, with a lot more confidence compared to last year. Even before he came out with the whole DUI stuff you could tell he was affected. Now it's night and day. He has confidence about him. He's ready to be a leader. Before, he was playing, he was doing well, but he didn't have the same confidence he does now. He has it in his eye."
Do you think he's had more time to throw this season?
"Definitely. He hasn't been hit that many times this year."
When you catch the ball and then get some room to turn up field, with your size, are you really looking to run someone over?
"I'm always just saying, ‘Be calm.' Instead of always trying to be a big receiver and run over everybody sometimes I want to try to run around people. Be a little agile."
You want to be a small, elusive guy?
"What it comes down to it and I have to do it, I'm going to run someone over. I'll never just run out of bounds. My size is on my side. But I want to make people miss and get some more yards."
After the pretty severe injuries last season, do you still think about them, say, during a game?
"Not during the game, no. But I think about it a little bit before the game or after the game. I was never scared. But it's in the back of my mind. I think that any play it could happen again. But then in the game I don't think about it. I'm just so much in the present time."
Being from Northern California, is the Cal game a special game for you?
"I always look forward to the Bay Area game. It's an opportunity to play in front of my home crowd. And I like Cal. I was pretty close to going there. If the receiver coach didn't leave, it would have been really close. I had a lot of contacts because every year my high school does a Cal full-contact camp. I had been going since my sophomore year. I liked it there a lot. But things didn't turn out that way. But I came here for a reason."