Spring Practice: Player Quotes Day 1

It was a cold and somewhat rainy day that greeted the Dawgs for their first practice of spring football, but that didn't dampen their moods. The coaches and players were fired up and some commented that there was more hitting during the non-pads workout than they've seen in the past four years. The players talked about things after practice and here's what several of them had to say...

QB Jake Locker

General thoughts: "It was exciting to be back out here. It was fun to be able to get back out and be a part of it again instead of being a spectator so I enjoyed it. It was uptempo and it was fun. Everybody was moving and always doing something, always being coached so it was a good atmosphere today."

On being 100%: "I'm pretty close. The cold weather doesn't help a whole lot, so I keep it warm when I can, but it felt pretty good today."

On the new coaching staff: "They're a little younger, so there's a little more energy and stuff, but it's just a different style that's new to all of us I think and it's exciting to all of us."

On the tempo: "The whole tempo of the practice was upbeat. I personally didn't have a time when I was really standing around not doing a whole lot. We're always doing something and being coached on something."

On his focus this spring: "I had a tendancy again today to throw the ball a little bit high, so I'm just hoping to figure out and control that. The coaches had a couple of things they had me work on today and I was able to do a little bit better towards the end of practice -- just working on my accuracy, making every throw right where I need it be and not just being happy with a completion, but putting it where it needs to be."

On the new playbook: "Obviously it's new terminology with a new staff coming in, being under center a little bit more, but a lot of it's just 'wait and see' right now. Today you're thinking a lot, it's not as comfortable as the last offense, obviously I spent two years in that and I got pretty comfortable with it, but at the end of spring ball we'll get to that point where it's second-nature and be able to call the play and know what you're doing and not having to think about it and that's when you're really able to perform your best on the field."

On his new responsibilities: "I think the offensive style is a little different, so that requires new things out of me at the quarterback position, but ultimately the goal is to put points on the board and I don't think that's changed."

DT Alameda Ta'amu

On his size now: "I weight 340 now and I feel a whole lot better than last year when I played at 350."

On the new practice tempo and having experience from 2007: "This practice is all about speed and technique football all the time. There aren't guys sitting around waiting to do things, we're always doing something. Last year coming in as a freshman and trying to get things down and understand things, now I'm a lot more comfortable."

On the new coaches: "It's weird not having coach (Randy) Hart around. I'm glad there was a change, but he was one of our best coaches and he was like a father to us, but the new guys are great with coach (Johnny) Nansen and coach (Nick) Holt. They're both grinding on us all the time and coach Nansen is on my all the time and I think he's a great replacement."
LB Trenton Tuiasosopo

On the difference in the new Husky football: "The tempo, the attitude and the demands and everything from the coaches to the whole support staff you see the entire change and the attitude is 'expect to win'. Whether it's competition on the field or in the classroom, we have competition everywhere. It's fun to go to practice and go to film and learn and do whatever these coaches want us to do."

On the Husky linebacker corps: "I feel really good out here, especially with guys like E.J. Savannah who came back and Donald Butler is in the mix and then Mason Foster too and the other guys so it's really good."

On him physically: "I've been trying to lose weight to get quicker. Last year in spring ball I was about 245 and now I'm at about 235 and I'm just trying to be as quick as I can out there. I just want to go out and play and be as quick as I can and to learn what I need to learn."

On being glad to be back: "I'm very happy that I had this opportunity open and it's a blessing and another opportunity to get back out here and have fun and be a football player.'

WR Jermaine Kearse

On the new focus of the Huskies: "We're focused and we're putting last year behind us because we know we shouldn't have had the record we did. We know we're better than that and with this new staff it's given us a lot of energy and it was a pretty fast tempo out there."

On how he's added weight this offseason: "The workouts by this new staff have been tough. I mean, it was hard last year, but this year it's at a whole new level and I'm actually up to about 202 pounds. I played at 189 or 190 last year so I feel stronger and I think I'm faster than I was last year, but as long as I can go out and do the things they ask me to do, I'll be happy.'

On his focus this spring: "Some people have told me I had a good freshman year, but honestly I expected more out of myself so this spring is about getting the finer points down and just being the best receiver I can be. With the group of guys we have at receiver it will be a battle every day to hold your spot and I think that will make all of us better."

TE Chris Izbicki

On spring ball this year: "It's like night and day for us. The tempo is much more intense and we never sat around or anything. It was one thing to another and it really helped me stay focused on things instead of how your mind can wander if you're just sitting."

On this being a new begining for him: "Yeah it's a new beginning for me so I just need to stay focused on things and keep doing what they tell me to do. It's really cool because we will be in two-tight (end) sets a lot and me and Kavario (Middleton) are really good friends and we have a friendly competition and stuff, but when it comes down to it we're both going to play and so I'm working hard to be in the best shape I can be in and just show the coaches I've turned a corner.'

On his offseason: "I've lost 6% of my body fat and my nutrition is better and I just really like getting up and working now. Last year was so tough on me, but it's over and I'm focused on this year. I'm at 247 still, but I'm leaner and I'm a lot stronger and that should help me out a lot.'

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