Sept. 11, 2012
QB David Ash
On playing Ole Miss this weekend: Well, it’s going to be an interesting game. It’s our first road game. It’s supposed to be a great atmosphere up in Oxford. It’s just going to be exciting to play up in that sort of atmosphere. We’ve been working hard this week trying to prepare and get ready. Going to get ready to go and play on Saturday.
On Ole Miss’s defense: They play hard. They’re well-coached. They have a lot of good ball players. It will be a fun game. It will just be a fun game to play. We respect them. And we’re going to go give them our best.
On what the team will learn on Saturday: On the road you have to come together as a team. You’re all you’ve got out there. We’ll be able to see how we handle ourselves on the road. There’s a lot of things that are a little bit different. Those things are just things you have to deal with. And I think we can do that.
On the distribution of plays and carries: Well, you know, it’s amazing what a team can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit. [Sophomore RB] Malcolm [Brown], he hasn’t complained or anything. He’s just been working. That says a lot about him and his character in that he will just do his job. Give everything he has for his team. And if everybody on this team can do that, we’ll be in great shape.
On preparing for Saturday night: We’ve just got to come out next week ready to play. We’re going to prepare this week, and it’s going to be on national TV, away, on the road, in a great environment. I just think we’re going to come out with a lot of energy. Ready to play. Because it’s going to be a lot of fun.
LB Dalton Santos
On having a reputation as one of the hardest hitters on the team: I don’t know if you can exactly say that. I just do my job and run down the field. And just try to make plays. Try to make big plays. Try to get the defense excited.
On his mentality: I guess it was from starting at a young age, playing pee-wee football. My dad was always like that. It was just that mentality of being the nastiest dude you can be out there. The mentality of being, “I’m going to be the best player. But not only am I going to be the best player, but I’m going to be the nastiest guy out there.” And you want people to know that. You want to have that presence with you. So when you step out on the field – is this guy about to come hit me? That’s the presence you want to carry out there.
On his role on the team: Just coming in, every freshman has to play his role. It takes time to get to where you want to be. And to come to make the linebacker spot mine, everything takes time. That all comes with taking your time in the film room. Taking your reps on special teams. Everything comes in time. And my time will come, sooner or later. But right now, with my job, I’m going to play my role. The role of special teams, or whatever they want me to do. If they want me to go kick the ball, that will be my role. I will go kick the ball, and hit somebody. If that’s what I’ve got to do.
On how much pride he has in the special teams units: Tremendous pride. Tremendous pride. I mean that bunch there, the “Wild Bunch” – we call it the “Wild Bunch” – I mean those are the guys. Those are the guys that want to run down hill, and just hit people. And make big plays. And get everybody excited. Because we set the tone. Most of the time we’re either on the field first, or on the field the next series. But we set the tone. We come down there and lock somebody up, and [senior S] Kenny Vaccaro is going to go crazy. [Senior DE Alex] “AO” [Okafor] is going to go crazy. Those guys are going to feed off of that. The fans go crazy. And when the fans go crazy, we feed off of it. So just that alone is really neat. We take tremendous pride in it.
On why he came to Texas: Let me tell you something, those guys in the locker room – [freshman DT] Malcom Brown, [freshman RB] Johnathan Gray, [freshman LB] Peter Jinkens – guys I met down at [an all-star] game, those are really the guys that brought me here. Being out there, and playing with those guys, being able to call the defense and them listening. Just the way we bonded from being on the airplane together. Just from meeting each other. We just clicked. And it was something I didn’t feel at other places. And I knew at that point, if it came knocking here, [Texas] is where I wanted to be. With them dudes. And I wanted to know that I could step out on that field and shed blood, sweat, and tears with them.
LB Tevin Jackson
On how much pride the kickoff coverage unit takes in their job: We are called the “Wild Bunch” for a reason. We run down there like a bunch of wild men just ready to tackle the ball carrier. We take real pride in that because half the team is the back-up for the second-team defense, so it is a way for us to get on the field to perform and attack.
On keeping the wild bunch mentality while also showing discipline:
Once again it is a pride thing. We are out there being wild men, but we have our keys and our assignments that we have to keep.
On being the first line of defense for the team: We take real pride in that. Personally, I like starting the game off like that. That is the first defensive play for our defense. The whole “Wild Bunch” unit takes real pride on having the first play of the game.
On his first impression of freshman LB Dalton Santos: I knew he was going to be part of the “Wild Bunch” as soon as he stepped foot. I knew that for a fact, because that has him written all over it. His presence and just [the way he] goes down there and [tackles.] He feeds off that.
On freshman PK Nick Rose’s kicks: He has a strong leg and he keeps it up there for us to get down there and make good coverage. We have a bunch of good kickers, but the way he puts it up there with the hang time. We have fast guys on the “Wild Bunch,” but I really appreciate that leg.
LB Kendall Thompson
On what it means to be a member of the “Wild Bunch”: It means you can run fast and that you really don’t care about your body; you just lay your body out. It is the people on defense, running down and [making tackles.]
On what freshman LB Dalton Santos means to the “Wild Bunch”: He fires up the group. He is 260-265 [lbs] and can run the way he does. It helps a lot and fires us up. He is from East Texas, and I am from East Texas, too. I almost played him in high school my senior year, so I have known about him for awhile.
On their kick-off coverage goals: Don’t let them get past the 15 [yard line]. If we can keep them inside the 10 [yard line], that is good.
On how important special teams is: Special teams comes before defense and before offense. We set them up for their touchdown or [their positioning].