"We are getting more discipline, and we need that after the year we had last year," senior linebacker Evan Benjamin told Dawgman.com. "We're not used to it yet, and Coach Willingham is bringing a ‘Team First' attitude. He's trying to get us to be more together and to do more things as a group. I think that's important."
Benjamin will be one of the leaders from his linebacker position, along with fellow senior Joe Lobendahn. He hopes to get off on the right foot. "You have to make sure that you are giving the right impression with a new coach," he said of new defensive coordinator Kent Baer. "You have to make sure you get to those meetings 15 minutes early, to get into your work out gear early, and to make sure you make all of your classes and be on time. That discipline is the only way to go, though.
"I think away from the field discipline is the big message Coach Willingham is sending. Football can be a life lesson if you approach it that way."
Benjamin put in long hours over the winter and hopes that it will lead to a strong spring showing. "I thought that I had a really good off-season," he said. "Coach (Chris) Tormey and I went over film to see where I could improve, and I went over a lot of Notre Dame film so I could get used to Coach Baer's system. For me it will be a little bit easier because of that. I'm used to playing next to Joe (Lobendahn) and Scott (White) now, so I think we'll really pick it up fast.'
Lobendahn looks very different with his newly cropped hair. Benjamin laughs. "When he first walked in after his cut, I asked everyone, "Hey! Who's the short guy with the huge neck?" He looks really good though," Evan said. "It's going to show everyone that discipline, Joe putting the team first. Wait ‘til you see Mike Mapu (Mapuolesega). His hair was about a foot and a half long, and now it's all gone. We're looking good now, all clean shaven and we look like a team now." Benjamin shaved his goatee to make sure that he sets the proper example.
Now Spring football has finally begun. "I'm ready for it," said Benjamin. "I'm ready to show these new coaches what I can do and I think they are excited to see what I can do."
His good friend Ty Eriks has moved back to offense - fullback to be exact. Benjamin believes it will be a good move for both team and player. "I'm excited for Ty's move," said Benjamin. "He's really pumped about it. I'm ready for a big collision with him during practice. We've been talking about that. It's going to be fun when he comes through the hole and I'm closing it."
The right impression
Dawgman.com Top Stories
Spring Review - QuarterbackNow that Spring Football is done at Montlake, it's time to take stock of what took place and what it means as the program heads into the doldrums - aka, the summer. We'll do it…
Dawgman.comYesterday at 1:00 PM
Recruiting Blog - 4/25Today's Dawgman Recruiting Blog has news and notes on several of the top prospects and some new names to add to the recruiting board...
Dawgman.comYesterday at 8:15 AM
Dawgman.com Post-Spring AwardsSpring Football is over at Washington, so it's time to hand out some hardware. Who improved the most at each position? Who had the best overall spring on offense and defense? And…
Dawgman.comMonday at 6:33 AM
Post-Spring Depth ChartNow that Washington's Spring Football campaign is complete, it's time to figure out where the players found themselves in the pecking order after 15 practices. Here's a depth chart…
Dawgman.comMonday at 6:05 AM