Fall Camp Day One: Qualls holds court

Washington Defensive Lineman Elijah Qualls spoke Monday afternoon to the press after the Huskies' first day of fall camp, held Monday at the east field next to Husky Stadium.

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On the first day of fall camp and the offseason “First day was good. I’m not going to lie, I was a little tired just because football is so much different than what we do. This has actually been one of the best conditioning summers I’ve had yet. Running gassers, stadiums, everything like that. I’m actually weighing I weighed in today at 320. It’s interesting, I always pick up weight during the offseason. I like to pick up weight and put on a natural weight vest. That way I’m training with it and I always cut down the last few months before the season. That way when I cut down I’m lighter, I’m not running around with the extra 10-20 pounds anymore. I got up to 320. I’ve been fluctuating in between. I leaned out, which wasn’t my intention, but I did. And like I said it’s been one of my best conditioning summers yet. It’s kind of interesting how it ended up developing. I didn’t anticipate, but having a little more muscle is never a problem.”

Are endurance and cardio something you’re working on? “Yeah, I was just saying this is actually one of the best conditioning summers I’ve ever had. My coaches were extremely impressed, even with he fact I gained weight. Last summers conditioning I was weighing 308. This summers condition Iw as weighing anywhere between 320 and 325 and I ran better this year than I did last year. I like to play; obviously I like staying in the game as much as I possibly can. But our system is rotating. We have younger guys that can play and hold there own just as much as anybody. I’m going to stay in - once I start hurting the team more than I am making it better as far as being on the field I’m getting out because I trust the guys behind me.”
What position are you most comfortable at? “I like them all. All of them have their little perks to it. THere’s more versatility at end and tackle as far as our three-down and everything like that, while it’s straight power at nose for the most part. But I can still kind of be finesse about it and athletic about it. I don’t really prefer any one of them. I like the fact that all of us play all positions; every single one one of us on the defensive line plays at least two of the positions. I like that we rotate and actually play those positions. It’s not like ‘oh, we’re going to tell you that you’ll play that but you’re really not.’ We’ve full on rotated. I want to say we had four different ‘one’ groups today.”
How do you stay hungry and motivated with all they hype? “Obviously with the help of our coaches always reminding us, it’s kind of just the way we are. I said before I’m never satisfied with where we are. Everyone can say we’re number one in the PAC-12, but there are plenty of other conferences, especially the SEC, that always say is such a dominant conference. Until we’re number one in the country, even then, still not satisfied with it.”
How different will the defensive line be this year? “Not. The only person we really lost was Tani (Tupuo). While he was, as I stated last season, that dude was the leader of honestly the defense and one of the leaders of the team. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I was at. But we’re not going to let that loss stop us from going to where we want to be or being where we want to be. People have picked up roles. Vita (Vea) is becoming more of a local leader. Greg (Gaines) is becoming more of a vocal leader. I try to do what I can while not over doing it because I’m just not that type of person, but I understand I need to be because I’m in the position I am. We’re not letting losses be like ‘this is our loss, I guess it’s our weakness now.’ No, that’s where we’re going to pick it up the most. I was telling somebody that outside linebacker is a worry for us because we lost Cory (Littleton) and Travis (Feeney). Those dudes are great, and I even said it last year, I’m some of their biggest fans. Those are some of the most athletic dudes I’ve seen in my life. But we have young guys that are going to replace them and do a hell of a job. I have extreme faith in those guys. They work, they’re hungry, they come up to me and ask questions because they know I know the defense and everything like that. They come up to me and ask questions all the time and if I ever say something to them or I’m asking them about something they’re very responsive and they intake any criticism you give them. I have faith in every aspect of this defense.” 

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