With all the media bashing of the USC defense. I asked Derek if that added any undue pressure on him or the other incoming freshmen.
"Not really. No more pressure then is expected just by being at SC. The tradition and expectations are something everyone is well aware of going in."
What would his goals be as a freshman? "I'd like to start a couple games."
One thing I was very curious about was the idea of a certain type of individual being able to play in the competitive atmosphere that is expected under Coach Carroll.
Simmons," I'm looking forward to it. You have to earn your spot everyday down there and that is one of the things that really attracted me to USC. Practices are so intense. You have to give all of yourself. 100%. Which is what I like."
I wanted to know at what point did Derek know he was going to be a Trojan. " Well I committed early, last summer at camp. It was between SC and Oregon. I just felt USC was a better fit for me. Coach Ruel recruited me, and I got along great with him. Coach Franklin is cool to. I love all the staff here."
Derek was selected to play in the CaliFlorida Game in 2005. What experiences did he think would help prepare him for USC? "The speed of play was much higher, as was the competition as a whole. We had excellent coaching as well like Coach Rollinson from Meter Dei so that helped."
Finally I asked Derek about spending his summer with Coach Carlisle getting ready for 2006. " I look forward to the challenge. I'm enrolling in the second summer school session so I will be reporting on June 28th."