Bret talked on Monday that you are one of the few freshmen that are probably going to see some time on Saturday. When you hear that, what's your reaction that in your first year here that you are going to be seeing action in your first game?
That's actually the first time I've heard that so it's really exciting. I am pretty nervous now but I'll be coming out ready to play.
What have you done in this fall camp that has caught the coach's eye that is going to make them use you on Saturday?
I say that learning the offense and coming in during spring really gave me a jump on learning the offense. You are coming into fall ball ahead and having the basics down. Now I can get down to the little ‘what ifs' and things like that. I think my pass protection has gotten a lot better along with my technique.
What was the biggest thing that you took away from spring and really applied to yourself over the summer, knowing that you needed to get better at this in order to see action on the field?
Just learning the offense and what the heck to do, specific plays. This summer I watched a lot of film. I'd come in a couple times of week and watch a couple hours of film a day and try to get it down and learn exactly what's going on with different defenses and blitz pick up.
Talking to a lot of freshman they usual watch film of themselves, watch film of the upper classmen or watch film of their opponents. Do you do one more than the other or did you do more of a combination of everything?
I'd say I watched myself more to see what I need to improve, just picking things up and the way I sat and everything. I also watched the upperclassmen, watched Andy Kemp a lot and tried to take little tidbits of what he does and try to take different things that help me out a little bit.
When you watch Andy Kemp, what strikes you about him?
I think he holds his ground very well in pass protection. He gets guys at the line and sits down and gets that extension. Just how advanced his technique is with reach blocks and outside zones, how he can open up and get across the defender's face. That's something I am trying to do: take his technique and apply it to me a little bit.
Do you enjoy film study? Has it become tedious? Are you more of a person that would prefer to do stuff on the field instead of sit in the film room for hours or is it a combination?
It's kind of a combination. I like to sit down and watch; knowing I have to do this, this, and this from these plays. Then I like to go out and apply it and say ‘OK, I just watched this. It's kind of the same thing coming at me.' I'd say I'm visual first and then apply.
What have you learned from Akron's defense in preparation for this week? Is there something you've seen them do that gives you confidence? What have you learned about them and how they attack?
They have that 3-3-5 defense and that's a little different. That just means we have to get on the linebackers a lot quicker because there are only three down linemen. We'll have to get our feet moving a lot more and get out to guys that are maybe a ways out there.
Are you someone that tends to get nervous?
Yeah. Before games I'll get some butterflies but usually after the first snap, I'll lose it and then I am focused. I was always like that before high school. Before a game, I had pre game rituals and real superstitious. I am always real nervous getting ready out there but after the first snap, I am usually ready to go.
What are some of the superstitions that you do?
Like, I like to do the exact same thing every week. Back home on Friday after school, I'd go home, take a nap, get up, go get some pasta or something and eat that. I'd always get to the stadium two, three hours before the game and just sit there, relax, try to chill out. I always have to pee a lot before the game and I'd always have to use the same urinal. It has to be the same one. Just weird things like that.
Do you have any new superstitions you are going to try?
I don't know. Whatever happens, I am going to have to stick with it I guess.
Have the butterflies already started for Saturday?
A little bit. Obviously, it would be pretty cool to be out there in front of 88,000 people, rooting me on and everything. If you mess up in front of all them, that's not going to be very good. I am nervous but I think that I have got everything down well enough that I should do pretty well.