VIDEO: Coleman Shelton on Spring Ball Day 13

Dawgman.com's Kim Grinolds spoke Monday with junior center Coleman Shelton about his transition to the middle of the offensive line, his chemistry with Jake Browning, and more.

Are you making more calls at center? “Yeah, you pretty much set the scheme for every play.”

 

Do you have to learn everything new scheme wise? “Coach Strausser is big on knowing every position. I knew center like the plays and schemes and stuff like that. I just had to learn the techniques and the different kinds of blocking.”

 

Is your offseason different at center? “Yeah, that’s pretty much the main thing, just getting the snaps down where its second nature and not worrying about hiking the ball and shooting your hands up. That’s the biggest thing moving from guard to center, just learning how to snap.”

 

Is there any trick to learning how to snap? “Repetition. Reps. It’s different from when there is nobody in front of you and you’re practicing by yourself to 300-pound guys right in your face snapping the ball and trying to get accurate.”

 

Do you come out with Jake and the receivers or do you do stuff separately? “Pre-practice I snap with the quarterbacks and when we didn’t have spring ball I was snapping with the other centers.”

 

Is it different quarterback to quarterback? “It’s not that different. It’s mostly shotgun so there’s not normally under center. I don’t notice any difference.”

 

Does the group have a different feel this year? “It’s still early in spring. We still have to learn a lot. We have a long way to go, but we definitely feel more comfortable going into the season than we did last year. We still have a long way. We have to focus each and every day.”

 

What do you want to do better? “I can do everything better. As an offensive line I just know we need to be more dominant, be unified, cohesive, and better with each other. Just be a unit.”

 

Have you guys improved in that way? “Yeah, we’ve made some strides, but we still have a long way to go. No o-line is perfect. You just have to make the right steps each and every day and focus on the next rep.”

 

What was you reaction when you were told you were playing center? “I wasn’t too shocked. Me and coach Strausser talked about it before, just learning how to snap just in case. It kind of came about and I was ready to do it for spring ball and I was excited.”

 

What happened to the hair? “I chopped it off before the Apple Cup.”

 

Was there a reason for it? “The o-line was doing it, so I decided to do it with them. Trey (Adams) didn’t, but everybody else did.”

 

How comfortable would you be switching positions again if needed? “Obviously I would need to learn it again, but if the team needs it I would be able to go over there without hesitation.”

 

Does the line prefer the warm weather? “I’m from southern California, but the rainy days we don’t really mind because we’re a little heavier. We like the cooler air.”

 

Is there a chemistry issue now that you’ve moved positions or is it not a big deal? “I don’t think there’s really been a problem with it. We lost Sifa (Tufunga), so we needed someone to step in and I think I kind of took the role. I don’t think it’s changed the chemistry at all. We’re all good friends and work well as a unit.”

Do you still talk to Sifa Tufunga? “I do. He comes around the stadium every once in a while and I see him around.”

 

What can you learn from him? “Pretty much all the technique stuff. It’s completely new for me. I need to learn a bunch of new stuff and Sifa played so he’s really good at mentoring. He helps me out a lot.”

 

Was snapping awkward initially for you? “Originally, but the more reps you get the more it becomes second nature. You don’t really need to worry about it. It’s just a part of your routine. Snapping the ball and getting off.”

 

Do you have good chemistry with Jake Browning? “I feel like we work well together. We both have the same goals in mind and want the team to go in the same direction.”

 

Can you hear the hand clap? “Yeah. You can hear it in the loudest settings.”

 

Was your injury last spring part of the reason they decided to not transition you to center earlier? “Well I missed last spring so I wasn’t able to get the reps I needed during fall camp. And just kind of the way everything shook down. They needed me at a different position, so I played there.”

 

Do you think you can adapt to any change along the line now? “I mean, that’s a big thing for an offensive line: being versatilte. Anybody can play any position. That’s the biggest thing for us, to learn all of the positions so you’re ready if you need to step in.”

 

On Trey Adams “He’s till kind of young, but he’s got a year of experience under his belt. He’s a nasty player. He likes to play hard. Spring ball, that’s all you want right now. Play as hard as you can and learn for fall camp so you can get better each day during fall. He’s doing real well and we’re excited to see how he does.”

 

Is it hard to hold back without full contact? “Today is day 13, so we’re all getting pretty sore and tired. But we do like getting off the ball and going to attack play. It’s hard at times, especially on run plays or something like that. But it is just practice.”


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