VIDEO: UW DL Elijah Qualls on Day 13

Elijah Qualls, a 6-foot-1, 311-pound sophomore from Petaluma, California, spoke Thursday to Dawgman.com after Day 13 of Washington’s Fall Camp, held at Husky Stadium. 

On what is new with the defense this year “It’s a change in the defense. We were kind of, especially after losing (Marcus) Peters and some guys and I think a lot of young guys started in our secondary last year, we weren’t as solid in our backfield, and our front seven was kind of the focus, especially our defensive line. This year I fell like our entire defense is a bunch of young guys, but with depth. There are some people who are going to play that played last year in the rotation, 1’s and 2’s, and there are some guys that didn’t play but are stepping into their roles nicely. I feel like its not going to be just about the defensive linemen or linebackers or the DB’s, and it’s not even gonna be just about the one d-lineman or the one backer or the one DB. It’s going to be our defense as a whole, because we are all just a bunch of young hungry kids just trying to prove ourselves because we have something to prove. None of us have been those people being focused on on the field, so we are all trying to prove ourselves and be the person that our defense depends on. Everybody stepping into their roles and having that ambition like that is going to make our defense that much better. We’re all aggressive, everybody is aggressive so being physical isn’t something to worry about at all.”

On something that Husky fans might not know about him “I love playing chess. I think chess is absolutely fun. I like the strategy and things like that. Actually, when I was younger, I used to write plays, defense and offense, just like strategic things. Have you ever heard of Stratego? Old game, loved it. I thought it was the greatest game ever. I would bug my brothers and my dad always to play with me. So it was just like working on schemes and big patriot things and everything is just all these different parts coming together and then accomplishing this one goal is something I love, and that’s why I play football, because that’s exactly what it is. So, I love playing chess. Oh, I’m ranked 109th in Madden overall. Like I said, I like video games, so there’s that.”

On what it means to be ranked 109th in Madden “It would mean that I basically, as far as video games, I control a team as far as play calling, and things like that, and what schemes we run. And out of the world of kids that play Madden, which is like the NFL of video games, I am overall the 109th best player in the world.”

On what team he uses in Madden “In some parts of Madden you can make up your own team, and what I do is I usually select the team and then I apply my defensive and offensive playbook to their team and use them in my scheme. So if I was a coach coming from somewhere and implementing my scheme into that team, that’s basically what that is.”

On if he using the plays he used to make up in Madden  “In the old Maddens you were able to create plays and I would sit there for hours and create playbooks. I loved it. You can’t in the new one. You can pick the plays that are already there in Madden and create your own playbook but you can’t actually make the plays anymore.”

On how his Madden helps him “Honestly it’s a better understanding of how offenses work. One thing that I really, really appreciate, I played offense in high school. I’ve always been an offensive player, because growing up my dad was a running back, my grandfather was a running back, my step father was a running back, so I grew up playing running back and playing offense, and knowing the offensive mindset helps me so much more on defense. When I’m playing Madden I pay attention to tendencies and what things are so I know what it might look like whenever I come out here. So it actually does translate a lot.”

On if he ever recognizes plays in real games that he uses in Madden “Like bunch sets and things like that and small stuff that can give away what the play might be or where the play might be going actually shows up on the field a lot. Learn how to translate things from one part of your life to the other and it helps so much.


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