August 2, 2011
MAC Media Day: CMU
On his goals going into the season
First and foremost, everything that we accomplish, we want to do it together. Then the MAC Championship, MAC West and the Michigan MAC. Those are the goals going into the season. I have individual goals, but if we accomplish those team goals, then I don't really care what I do on the field. So first and foremost, those are the goals going in to the season.
On what being in the offense for another year
It brings a lot. Last summer when we were working out on our own, we didn't really grasp what the offense was doing and now we grasp that. But now we have added a lot of new stuff, so that will really help just from a playbook standpoint, which helps a lot. Also, we're a lot more comfortable and confident within the system. Even knowing the coaches and having a better relationship with them will help a lot going forward.
On which players he sees breaking out this season
Jerry Harris is going to be a guy that will step up and will have a great year. Now if we are talking young guys, I think Deon Butler could have a good year as a younger guy. And even with some of the freshman receivers, it's hard to say because we haven't gone to camp, but some of them are looking pretty good, like Titus Davis or Jason Wilson. Really, all the guys are looking good. So I think some of them could play this year, it's just a matter of how fast they catch on to everything. I think going forward that quite a few guys will step up, but I think Jerry Harris will be starting for us this year, so I think he will have a really good year.
On seeing himself as more of a leader
I would say definitely that I do see myself as more of a leader. I think Kito was kind of in charge of our receiver group last year and I feel like I have kind of taken on that role this year. So it's a way different role and I do feel like I have taken it on. Even just leading more vocally and becoming older and being put in that spot. Honestly, it has been very different and it's been a real good experience.
On off-season workouts
I feel like they have been going really good. I think guys are really focused and ready for this year to get going. I think they were going good all summer, but even this last 4-6 weeks as were getting closer, guys are turning it up just a little more as they are getting excited for the season. We really want to win again and we are doing everything we can to make sure that happens.
On if he is ready for fall camp
Yeah I am. Camp is always a grind, but I miss playing football. It's good to get the pads back on and get the season rolling, so I am excited.
On being on the Biletnikoff watch list
I haven't really thought about it too much. I'm more worried about what I am doing and that stuff will take care of itself. I'm just trying to do everything I can do individually to help the team.
On the defense this year
The defense is going to be a tough group that creates turnovers and will just make a lot more improvements. Last year we didn't cause create many turnovers at all, but this year we will because we have improved. We are going to make plays and that's what I expect of the defense.
On his role this year
My role personally is just to be more vocal because there are tons of plays in a football game. A lot of the game is mental as opposed to physical because one play can have an effect on a player the rest of the game which can lead to even worse plays. I need to be there and let guys know if they mess up that it's just one play. Get your head back into the game. I got Mike Petrucci alongside of me as well, who has played a lot of football games. I actually look to him for leadership myself sometimes."
On the younger players and freshman
The freshman are finally on campus and working out a little bit. They're doing well, but it's hard to tell until the pads are on. Right now, I have just seen them from a skill standpoint and just running around. So far some young linebackers, like Tim Hamilton, Cody Lopez and Ryan Petro are three young linebackers I have seen that are doing fine. But one guy that impressed me and has made strides is Avery Cunningham. He started as a true freshman last year, but he has made tremendous improvements. We have some young defensive linemen who have made strides to get better. Our younger guys on the teams have made great strides to get better. Leterrius Walton is young defensive linemen looking to have a big year this year.
On their team goals
Our goal is like any other team here and that is to just win a championship. So that's our goal, the MAC Championship, the one and only goal."
On his thoughts about going back to Michigan State
I feel we have a good chance to win. It is possible to win in any game, but I like our chances at MSU because we have played there before and we won. I feel that experience from the senior class is going to carry over to this year, but first off we have to win game one.
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