MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Select members of the West Virginia University football team met with the media today in the Milan Puskar Center team room.
On understanding the offense
From this time at camp last year to now, I understand the offense a lot better. It’s more like just another practice instead of going out and worrying about what I’m doing. It’s more like just going out and getting it done now.
On offensive line coach Ron Crook
I love coach Crook. He’s probably my favorite offensive line coach that I’ve ever had. He’s a great guy, he cares about us, and he really shows it.
He was able to give me the perspective on it. I was worried about redshirting last year. He talked to me about how far he’s come. It’s really given me an idea of how to work and get through it. He taught me how to get better. It was the best thing for me.
On last fall
I stayed in the weight room and the training room. I made my body better all-around. I’ve always had to deal with different injuries. I’m a lot stronger now, and I’m proud of it. I’ve always had to stay about the same weight, but during the offseason I changed where the weight was. I changed my fat content, but I’ve constantly stayed at the same weight. I’ve gotten a lot better at my flexibility. I always thought I was flexible, but our strength coaches have really helped us and everyone has gotten better.
On development at camp
I just want to be consistent throughout every day of camp. It’s not just the last few days of camp that you have to show your best, it’s every day. You have to be at your best all the time, and that’s what I’m trying to do. They’re not going to play you on the field if they don’t trust you.
I’d rather have the competition, because the people who are at the front are going to work harder if they know their position is up for grabs. Competition is great. Every day, all of the receivers progress. Everyone is working on their own technique. We watched film and saw our mistakes. Now we know what we can work on. We can progress. Everyone is buying into what we want to accomplish.
On program progression
I’ve seen the program progress a lot. We have a balance of both big receivers and small receivers who are quick shifters. We have (sophomore wide receiver) Daikiel Shorts
who is real good and big. He has “for-sure” hands. Then we have (junior wide receiver) Jordan Thompson
. He’s real quick and fast, too. We’ve got good balance. It’s better than what we had in the past.
I’m fighting to get a spot and be in the rotation. I’m here to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever I have to do, whether it’s play or stand on the sidelines, I will do.
On being successful in his first year
One thing is consistency. You have to be the same every day. You have to stay professional and do your best. Going out and doing it is the hardest thing. In my mind, I knew what I had to do, but going out and accomplishing that was a lot harder than I expected.
On understanding of the game
I feel like there are situations when I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I don’t even have to sit back and think about it anymore. I can just make a move. I’m definitely a lot more comfortable. We have guys out there making great plays. When you have guys out there that understand, you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or worried. You are anticipating that everyone will be in the right spot. Last season, it wasn’t like that.
On the Alabama game
I haven’t even thought about the first game. If anything, I’m just trying to get through camp and stay healthy. We’re getting stronger and stronger every day. Alabama preparation will be full throttle.
On cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell
He’s actually very similar to a coach I had back at home. He just wants you to stay very consistent and do everything repeatedly right. With that being said, if you do everything right, you can’t do anything wrong.
On the completion of installing offensive packages
Every week, we are going to add something or do something different. For the most part the basics of our offense is in. We are still tweaking some things that we might do for a couple teams. We are still going to add and subtract things, but for the most part the basis of our offense is in.
On his shoulder
We been in camp now a couple more weeks, and I feel more comfortable. The arm is getting more conditioned. We are not worried about it at all.
On greatest strength as a quarterback
Right now, we really do have continuity as an offense. Coaches have preached on it, and we really are tight. We are so tight.
On comfort level
I feel that I’m comfortable now, but also because I’m older and more mature. My freshman year, I was a little wide eye and didn’t really understand the system that much. Now that I have a full grasp of the system, it just makes things a lot easier.
On the system differences from last year
Just different scheme wise. Different tweaks here and there, but it’s basically the same thing.
It slowed me down for like a week or two. A little rust, but it’s nothing a few practices won’t take care of. I couldn’t really participate and now that I am back, I just want to leave that in the past. I need to keep on treating it and work on getting better at playing football.
On the young defensive backs
I feel as though the younger guys are going to fit in. Nobody has a spot, and everyone has to come in and compete for their position. If you want to play on the field, whether you are a senior or a freshman you have to do your thing.
On fan day
You have to have fun with what you are doing. We work 24/7 so when we are here from sun up to sun down, you have to have some fun or you’re going to fall out of love with the game.
The big thing is being coachable. It’s brand new to everyone that comes in. The speed is different. The strength is different. The weight is different. It’s just a matter of taking in what all your coaches and upperclassmen are telling you to let you be more successful in that role.
On patience playing Division I football
Definitely. Everybody that plays Division I football is typically that man in high school, but coming in you have to realize that it is a learning process. If you understand that coming in and understand that you are just not going to be able to start out as that man then it creates a lot of time for you to learn and get better.
On last year’s speed of play
Everybody gets tired, and when you’re tired the first thing that goes is your mind. As long as everybody stays focus. Pre-snap and knowing what you have to do is very key. When you’re tired, make sure you get that break because if that effects your play it is going to affect everyone else.