Through the O-Kam
How did Saturday's practice go? I felt like today's practice was very physical. We started out with just a little team blitz, and then after that, went to scrimmaging. I thought the offense came a long, long way. Earlier on, the defense was kind of dominating them, especially on pass plays and pass rush, and I thought the offensive line started blocking as a unit better.
How has spring been so far, especially for the defensive tackles? With Rod (Wright) and Larry (Dibbles), we lost a lot of leadership, a lot of senior leadership. They played for four years, but guys like Thomas Marshall and Roy Miller are just getting 10 times better and are starting to step up more. Then we've got Tully Janszen switching positions to nose tackle, and a lot of guys have come a long way. Derek (Lokey) and I are just trying to uphold that DT standard that's been set here. Since Coach Tolley (Mike Tolleson) has been here coaching, he's coached the great UT legends, so Derek and I are trying to get to that point where we have national prominence level for defensive tackles, and I feel like we're doing a great job and heading in the right direction.
How is the leadership being replaced? Leadership basically comes from people who have put in a lot of hard work. You can't say you're a leader, you have to earn respect from your teammates. Right now, everyone who's put in that work, it's showing up on the field, so that you can separate yourself and be called a leader.
Describe what it was like to watch Pro Timing Day for an underclassman. Just being able to see that, seeing some of the guys like Larry and Rod, especially at the position drills and all the things you have to do there, it gives you a chance to mentally prepare. It's two years ahead of time for me, so it lets you see how hard you need to work and what kind of work you need to put in to get the things done you want to get done if the NFL is your goal and in your future.
What has Rod told you so far about his experiences since he left? He's talked about a lot of hard work. When he went to Arizona to train, he was 321 (pounds), and he came back 298. He's showing a lot of hard work, losing weight, getting quicker, getting stronger and getting faster. He was telling me that it's never over, because it's a business deal. Your body is your business, so take care of it, so when you're ready to go to the next level, you're ready to step up and produce right away, because that's what it's all about.
Who's going to take over bowling night now that Rod's gone? I think me, and Rashad Bobino, we're going to try to take over that and lead it. Now that Rod's gone, we won't have to worry about the games being as close as when I went at it with him, but me and Rashad, we're definitely going to try to take it over, keep it going and make it a tradition here.
How as spring gone for you as a whole? I think it's gone well. With the class schedule, you can handle your workload better in the spring than in the fall, just because it's not a season. As far as spring football, you get to work on a lot of things you're trying to get better at and you can focus on those things and your grades. Overall, it's been a good spring. It hasn't been hard or stressful.
How has the effort been for the team? I think it's gotten even better. When you when a National Title, you want to defend it, and to defend it, everyone knows you have that '1' on you're chest, and they're going to try to take it off, so you have to work even harder. I think guys have taken that challenge upon themselves to try to work very hard and get things done that we need to get done, so that can go back to the Fiesta Bowl this year.