MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Select members of the West Virginia University football team met with the media on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, at the Milan Puskar Center Team Room.
On overall feel of camp
I’m around the same weight area I have been. I want to play around 195. Experience has been the biggest difference. Everyone knows the plays and instead of overthinking it, we can go out there and have fun.
His arm has gotten a lot better. His overall game is better. If he sees something wrong, he’ll redo the play, and I like that. HE’s just made it a lot better atmosphere this camp.
On the slot position
Wendell and Buie are doing a pretty good job, but then again, I can’t really tell yet. Being a slot veteran, the hardest thing about the position is that you have to get back into position after a play. Getting behind the linebackers and facing the safeties is hard, too.
On camp so far
This time of year I’m used to going against two or three guys, but I’m still competitive. I care so much about it that it literally ate me up inside last year. My celiac and stuff really kept me away from focusing, but this year it’s different. Four practices in, I can see that we’re doing a really good job with everything.
On getting back in shape
I’m a lean guy. I’m not the biggest guy there is. To not have to worry at the end of the night about that is really nice. I’m eating better and I’m overall healthier. It progressively got better, along with my shoulder.
I started out doing nothing, then walking, jogging, putting my arm over my head, and so forth. It’s mainly been doing a lot on the left and not a lot on the right, but now it’s even. I’ve been lifting, and I’m finally doing the same weight on both arms, so that can only help me.
On shoulder strength
I’m completely fine. Last year, I took a lot of stuff to mask my pain. This year, it’s fine. It was a long offseason, thinking that I might not be normal again. To go out there and it actually be okay and to get positive results is a huge relief.
On number of throws
Last year it caught me off guard how much West Virginia throws. However, I’m used to it now so I’m fine. The coaches are extremely cautious with me. Sometimes they have me slow it down. When I’m doing individual drills for quarterback, I’m not lobbing them in the net 100 percent. If I can maintain 60 percent and save my arm, then I’m good.
On second year on team
I’m going to definitely use my physicality this year. Transitioning from junior college was frustrating. Everything was frustrating last year. The receivers were really good, but we didn’t put up numbers like we should have. We’re a little quicker, a little smarter and us junior college players are used to it now.
On improving this season
I’m going to work on my game and not focus on the corners. I’m going to be aggressive and just do what I have to do to succeed out there.
On being a go-to
Everyone wants to be the go-to guy. It’s always good if the quarterback says that you’re the go to guy, that’s really good. You want them to trust you to get the job done. We just have to come together and win games next year.
He has been doing a great job for us. He did a great job stepping up when we had injuries, so he is just going to keep working and getting better every day.
He has improved tremendously. He was a freshman last year and I kind of took him under my wing and he has definitely improved a lot. You can definitely tell on the field that he is more mature and he knows his responsibilities, that he is ready to be a leader on this team.
On leadership role
The biggest thing for me is that I do not need to try as hard because we got so many more guys this year ready to step up and be leaders. We are a much more mature group, so I do not have to try as hard to get everybody on the same page. I think we are all on the same page this year.
On implementing the leadership role
I think it’s everything. It’s the coaching staff being together for a longer period of time and the guys that were younger, my class, are all juniors now. So everybody knows what they are supposed to do. Everybody should know their role.
On coach Joe DeForest
He’s a great coach. He is very hands on and takes his time to teach the right techniques and everything. He is going to be great for us and it’s going to be a fun year.
On Oklahoma drill
It was fun. I definitely always try to go with the best competitor. That’s definitely (senior wide receiver) Kevin White
. He is the biggest receiver, so I always try to step up to the challenge.
On having pads on
It felt pretty good. Defense was still moving a little slow compared to other days.
On Oklahoma drill
It definitely feels good. We been anxious to put the pads on and actually get after each other legally, so it felt good.
On competition during Oklahoma drill
It’s all a part of the game. Tempers fly and we just do what we do. It’s all love. It is a lot of egos out there and no one wants to lose whether its offense or defense, so talking just comes with the game.
On how practice has been going
I feel like as far as our defensive back field goes, it is going a lot better. We are working on our techniques and trying to be a lot more sound.
He just showed it. He is proving me more right every day. He just keeps working and asks questions when he needs too. He keeps going out there and making plays.
We are never going to be content until the rankings come out and we are the number one defense in the nation.
He’s been a great player for us. It is something great. He wants to compete with the best guys every time and when he gets his opportunities he really takes advantage of it. We are all proud of him for obtaining a scholarship.
It is more about just getting faster, that’s what I would say. If I’m running down the field and everyone is blowing by me, I am never going to get there. So it is even more about getting to the position to make the tackle.
On becoming a long snapper at WVU
I went to a couple camps with Chris Rubio, he’s the big long snapping specialist out of high school and I went there a couple times. I ended up being ranked sixth in the nation and coach DeForest called me up and this was where I wanted to go.
On challenges in this position
Dealing with never really getting praised. No one really cares if you do five of the best snaps you ever snapped. No one will even notice, so just being able to pat yourself on the back when you know you did the best you could.
On Coach DeForest helping with consistency
He just brings a little more wisdom. Every time I snap he gives me a critique here or there. He tells me either I have to go further through my legs or bring my butt down. Just little things like that to really just hone in my skill.