Dec. 16, 2008
What made you choose to come to the University of Houston?
"I had a really good relationship with the coaches that were here at the time and liked the direction that the program was headed. Once I got here and had a chance to get to know some of the guys; I really enjoyed them and we developed a good relationship and that is why I'm here today."
Have you had had any moments this year that stood out in your mind as really memorable?
"I'd say Tyron's (Carrier) kickoff return during the Tulsa game was of the most intense moments in one of the most fun football games I've ever played in during my whole life."
Have you ever reflected on the statistical numbers you have put up this season?
"As a kid growing up, you see guys that are really successful and put up a ton of numbers from programs like Texas Tech and other offensive based teams. I grew up around that area and watched them so you would like to be able to do something like that and you have dreams about it, but to actually do it is another story."
Did growing up in West Texas have a little of the "Friday Night Lights" feel to it?
"Growing up out there football is a big deal and it is awesome. For us, it was a rivalry week just about every week because we had been successful for a long time so a lot of teams really wanted to play us and have a chance to beat us. It was really fun to come out every Friday and play and it was a big part of my life. It's a cool atmosphere out there and I try to catch some games every time I go back."
Has anybody on this year's team really jumped out and stepped up to surprise you?
"Bryce (Beall) has really stepped up and made some plays that have amazed me and made me think this kid can really play. He did a heck of a job this year bailing me out a few times. He is just one of a lot of players who have stepped up this year."
Anybody else who has stepped up to surprise you this year?
"L.J. (Castile) really stepped up for us toward the end of the season, and Mark (Hafner) was consistent throughout the year. We knew what we were going to get from him and he produced. There are so many people that really did a good job this year. On the offensive line, there are a lot of people that stepped up this year with people out and wound up being key players or us. (Jordan)Shoemaker and Chris Thompson come to mind as people who weren't expected to play much this season but did a great job of moving around and contributing."
What has Coach Sumlin brought to the program?
"He has brought a lot of discipline in some areas that I think we were lacking before. We have developed some better practice habits and work ethic that we didn't have before. He is trying to get us to that next level and he is instilling that in us and getting players who think the same way. I look forward the future."
What do you remember from the first Air Force game?
"It all kind of seemed surreal. Playing that early in the morning with barely 200 people in the strands and not knowing how things were here in Houston. Many people were really worried about their families and loved ones down here. I remember a lot of guys' minds being out of it and that's not an excuse but it was not the ideal situation for playing a football game in and I look forward to the rematch."
What makes playing in a bowl game exciting and special?
"The build up to it is cool because it's a whole month of talking about and watching film on the same guys. You get tired of watching the film and you really want to get out there and play. It's a cool deal, you get to go spend a week somewhere and you see the other guys around. Pretty soon the time comes and its gone before you know it, but it's a pretty cool deal getting to play in a bowl game on national TV when you know a lot of people that don't normally get to are watching you."
What have been the differences in your game from your freshman to sophomore seasons?
"It was nice to have a little bit more job security coming into the year, knowing that it was my job to keep. It has also given us some confidence to know that some of the same guys are going to be there so we have a better grasp of getting timing down. Blake has done a great job of coming in and doing what we need him to do as far as running the ball and lining up in different spots while continuing to play hard. I give him a lot of credit for pushing and helping me so it has been a good thing."