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Here's our interview:
How is the preparation going for the upcoming season?
The preparation has been great. Since the first summer session everyone has been working extremely hard and has been improving tremendously. Our freshman came in and got right to work, a few guys were struggling the first few days but by the next week they were right on track. I think I speak for the whole team when I say I'm glad camp is starting and the season is around the corner, we're ready to get after Temple!
Temple has a tremendous running game. What are the keys to slowing them down?
I think it all starts with our Defensive Line. If we out-"physical" there offensive line and play hard and fast, I can guarantee that we will be fine. Of course our linebackers and secondary will step up, no doubt about it, but it all starts up front with us.
With a lot of players from last year's team gone, is there a different feel this offseason and during practices?
Maybe a little bit just because you're not seeing those guys' faces and we've been with them for years, but honestly it hasn't affected our team's work ethic and desire to step up. This has been a great summer and everyone has been getting better. That seems to be the main thing everyone talks about. No Szczur, No Ijalana, No Whitney, etc. We still have all the confidence that we had when they were here, nothing has changed.
Who has been the most influential player/coach to you at Villanova thus far?
In my years of being here, I would have to say Coach Galac, our strength and conditioning coach. This man is amazing. He's there whenever you need him: phone, football field, weight room, etc. He pushes everyone to their limits and makes everyone work hard. He encourages us in all aspects of our training, he wants us to be the best that we can. Our relationship with him might be the closest of all the coaches. Great guy!
How do you see your role on the line expanding this season?
I'm putting some pressure on myself actually. I feel like I have to step it up a lot and do what is expected of me by my coaches' standards, my teammates' standards, and my own standards. I'm going to work hard no matter what. Since I'm not really a "vocal" player, I plan on leading by example. I'm willing to do whatever I can to help my team win games.
What do you consider to be the biggest strength as a player?
I believe my biggest strength is my athleticism. I feel like I move very well for my size and am proud of where I am. I plan on using my athleticism to get to those QB's and Running backs in the backfield.
Can you tell us more about Andy Talley's Bone Marrow Program?
The Bone Marrow Program is an incredible thing. We are actually saving lives and are helping people out. We've had a few guys on the team already get calls, so that's very impressive. It's even amazing that Coach Talley has gotten many other colleges to join in which is also a big help. I think what we are doing is a great thing. It's always a good feeling to help someone in need.
To learn more about Andy Talley's Program, visit Talley Bone Marrow