Freshman wide receiver Randall Carroll talked to after practice this week.
I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I was expecting to see more of you this year, if nothing else just to blow the top off coverages … Just wondering what your take on that is, what you feel is holding you back at this point?
‘'Game planning, sometimes I'm not in the game plan, and then I'm a freshman, I'm young … I don't understand everything, the full playbook like the rest of the receivers do, that have been here already. That's probably holding me back, too. But, you know, I'm still out here working hard and trying to get in there when I can and hopefully next year I can do what people expect me to do this year, when I understand and can do everything well.''
Where do you feel you are with the playbook? Talking to other receivers here, that first year, the transition from high school, is really difficult …
‘'When I first got in here, the playbook is so complex, there are so many plays, and then we put in a lot of plays and then he takes then out and then he'll add some a new day and take them out. It was like, I have to learn all the plays first so when they get added and deleted it won't be a big problem to me, because that's how everybody is … when it gets added and deleted, it's nothing to them so they keep playing like usual. But for me, I have to remember a new play and then try to forget about old plays …''
So it's just developing that base of knowledge. Do you feel like you've been gaining ground on that?
‘'Actually, I feel like I'm gaining a lot of ground. But I still have mistakes … reading coverages sometimes, I mess up. That's another problem. It's just watching more film and getting used to that, getting my head really in the game so I can play.''
That's the hardest part isn't it, making the right read and adjusting off it?
‘'Yeah, that was the hardest thing when I came in here – reading the coverages. But now I'm starting to do that a little better, I understand the playbook more now, so everything is coming together. Next year, I should do really well.''
The defenses don't help you out much there, either …
‘'Oh, no … not really. The scout teams, they get yelled at and it's supposed to be perfect. I just need to watch more film.''
In that vein, I'm assuming you're going to run track in the spring, where do you fit spring football into that equation?
‘'I haven't really even thought about that yet right now. I'm just trying to focus on the rest of the season and then I guess I'll talk to Coach Neuheisel about it. I guess if I'm doing really well then I'll participate in spring ball, but not as much, if I'm doing really well in track. But if not, I'll go into spring ball no problem.''
If you come out of this season with a pretty good feel within the offense, you probably could miss a little of that …
‘'Yeah, right. Just work really hard in the summer and study all summer and get it down.''
Has it been hard? You came in there with such huge expectations …
‘'It's been really hard to deal with. A lot of people are asking me, everybody thinks that I'd be at least thrown one bomb a game or something just with the speed. But it hasn't been going that way. It's difficult hearing people talk about it, because you're not playing. Your family is mad, everybody is frustrated and you're frustrated yourself because you're not playing, not doing what you thought you'd be doing. It just humbles you to come back week in and week out to come back and work.''
That's the thing … it's hard to play fast when you're thinking about so much …
‘'Yeah, that's the problem. But right now, where I stand right now, I'm pretty well into the playbook. I can do things well right now, I'll play fast now, but at first it was kind if rough.''
You're looking a lot smoother out there … feeling like you're where you need to be?
‘'I feel like I'm ready to play. If my coaches decide to put me in I'm just going to make the most of my opportunity.'' Y
ou were ready last week ...
‘'Yeah, I was ready last week, but it's the coach's decision and I have to respect that.''
Coach Neuheisel mentioned the packages they had for you last week. Are there more of them this week?
‘'I'm not really sure. You never know until game day starts. We can go through all of this stuff in practice and get reps in practice, but ultimately in the game it changes. Game-time decisions override practice decisions, so whatever happens in the game is going to happen and if I get the opportunity I'm just going to go out there and give it my all for my team.''
Do you feel healthier coming back this time, as opposed to coming back three weeks ago?
‘'You know what, I do. I feel healthier coming back now than I did when I came back for the Arizona game. I feel good and I feel fast. I feel like I'm running, I'm quick with my movements. My eyes are good. I'm ready to play, I'm just waiting for my opportunity to get back in there.''
This would be a good offense to get in against …
‘'It would. This would be a good offense to get in against. I mean, this is a big game right here. If we clinch this one, we'll be bowl eligible and then we've got ‘SC next week. This would be a good game to get in there and get my game experience back.''