March 26, 2012
LB Jordan Hicks
On how the defense is doing: We have made some really good strides the past couple weeks. The second half of the spring we have to keep going. This is our last week so we are just trying to get better and get some momentum for the summer.
On LB Demarco Cobbs: He is doing real well. It is always good to have somebody like that. He knows the defense. He is fast, and he is physical. He is somebody you can trust out there so it is always good to have somebody like that back.
On getting ready for the Spring Game: Spring Game is always fun. Even though I wasn’t able to participate last year, I am really excited about this year.
On how the defense shapes up: You can always continue to get better. We are trying to do that every day. Every day is another hurdle we have to jump. That is just what we are just trying to do. We are going out there every day and getting better. Hopefully by season time we will be exactly where we want to be.
WR Jaxon Shipley
On it feeling like a game week: We are just looking up to this Sunday. We are treating it like game week and getting ready to play.
On possible matchups for Sunday: I think it is all going to be really competitive all around. I think from every position it is going to be a real competitive scrimmage.
On the difference from the last Spring Game: I think there is going to be a lot more excitement and passion out there. This spring has been one where everyone is really excited to be out there, and we have everything in place. We have got our schemes in, the offense down, and everyone just has a better understanding of what is going on.
On D.J. Monroe at wide receiver: He is looking good. Of course he is really quick and fast. There isn’t anyone who can cover him, and he is working on his hands right and getting used to this new position.
On the scrimmage's focus: We established our running game mostly last year, so I feel like it is really big for us receivers this year. We are trying to prove that we can pass the ball and have an evenly split offense between running and passing. So I think it is definitely going to be important for the running backs but especially for us wide receivers.
OL Trey Hopkins On finding the right mix for the offensive line:
Right now we have pretty much the same starting five from last year except for Donald Hawkins
. For center we still have Dom Espinosa and we still have Mason Walters
playing. He has played center in high school so he’s there to add more depth. Plus, he has already been in the game and knows the game speed plus all the calls. On focusing only on guard and not four positions:
Yes, but I still have to know them just in case we get into a game situation and we need to rotate the line a little bit. However it is great to be focused on one position.On the depth and closeness of the offensive line:
We are extremely close. The first and second groups haven’t been as close as they have been as far as skill and strength. Second group is always pushing us because of the high level of competition. They are letting us know that if we slip up, they will be ready to take our spots. On OL Sedrick Flowers: Sedrick Flowers
is doing great. He got some time off last year to learn the system and learn all the plays. Now he is coming back and playing physical.
CB Carrington Byndom
On LB Demarco Cobbs returning from injury: Demarco [Cobbs] is a versatile linebacker for us. With him being back, it is adding an older guy who has already been in this system. He is a pretty fast guy. Having him healthy is a good thing for our defense.
On how the defense can improve from last season: Don’t be complacent. We need to continue to strive to be better than last year. We have a way to go, but I think we are taking strides and we will be ready for it.
On what he sees from the receiving corps: The receiving group is a good one. They are working everyday, like us, to try and get better and to create depth. We are going to need them to step up, as well as our DB’s [defensive backs]. They are working hard, and I know we are.
On S Kenny Vaccaro’s leadership role changing now that he is a senior: I don’t think so at all. Kenny has always been that leader for us. Maybe not vocal, but he leads by example on the field. He is more of that role model for us now to look up to.
On how important spring practice is for the young defensive backs: I think when you go through a fall where you are not playing as much, you do not get as many reps as a regular starter. Now in the spring is a time where everyone gets rep and everyone is getting their chance to step in and prove themselves. They can show the coaches what they got and what they can bring to the table. Getting more reps is only helping them to get better.
WR John Harris
On how it feels to get back onto the field: It feels really good. It has been awhile since I have been out there. I am trying to get back into shape and catch up with the team. I feel like a part of the team again.
On what needs to happen in the relationship between the receiving corps and the quarterbacks: We just need to build some chemistry. Our season was kind of up and down. I was hurt, Ship [sophomore WR Jaxon Shipley] was hurt, and we were up and down with the wide receiving group. We feel like we need to take it to another level and take it upon ourselves to do better to help the quarterbacks out.
On how he can help the team: Maybe I come in and help on third downs and add some more depth that we were missing during the season.
On how his return to the field has transpired: They brought me back gradually and slowly. Now I am doing pretty much everything the other receivers are doing. With every step I am just trying to get back into the rotation, get back on track with the plays and with all the stuff I missed during the season.