Post Game Video - Elijah Qualls

Here's what DL Elijah Qualls had to say following Washington's loss to Alabama in the Chic-fil-A Peach Bowl...

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Initial impression after playing the #1 team in the country “It was good. I actually felt like I did pretty well against them. I don’t think I had my best pass rush game against them initially because, obviously, it’s a run predominant offense. We’re expecting the run the majority of the time, so I wasn’t able to get in a lot of obvious third down situations where I could just go after the quarterback. Even then, sometimes we were expecting QB draw, so I had to not just jet off the edge or had to change my pass rush and not just be able to straight get after the quarterback. That being said, (Cam Robinson) was a good player. It’s not like he wouldn’t have - not saying he would have been able to block me - but I felt like I definitely could have done better in the passing. Run game, I definitely felt like I held my own. Obviously some plays I wasn’t perfect on, and I’m definitely going to try to get better on those. I felt like I did pretty good. Got a couple tackles, made a couple moves, at least forced a couple plays. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or anything, but I felt like they started running to the boundary a lot away from me, so I mean I felt like I was at least doing something right.”

On the environment of the game “It was kind of a mix of a road game, but then like a whole other beast. It was exciting for me personally. Big stages like that are what I truly do get excited for. Big games, the hype, people looking down on us or looking down on me or whatever. That stuff I look forward to. The first half was a boxing match. Honestly I find the whole game more fun than a blowout  our anything like that. I liked it honestly. Unfortunately we lost, but I enjoyed the experience.”

Do you think this offseason could take the program to the next level? “Absolutely. I mean, we see what we can do coming off a 7-6 season, no one really knowing what we’re working with or expecting, having a lot of young guys. Jake (Browning) is a sophomore, Nick Harris, a lot of young people on the offense, a lot of receivers, everything like that. We got them some more experience and we rotated a lot of defensive players this year. We have something to build on and coming back with that much more experience. We have depth, we just had to get them some playing time and get them in these types of environments. Hopefully be able to get here next year and it’s not a shock to anybody. We’ve been throw it.”

What are your plans for declaring for the NFL draft of staying for a final year? “I’m not sure yet.”

What does the process of deciding look like? “I guess see what the word is about what my projection is. Talking to my mentors, things like that. Discussing with my coaches, especially my position coach (Ikaika Malloe). He’s definitely somebody I trust. A lot of checking, reassurance, weighing my options. Kind of the same thing I did with recruiting.”

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