Offensive Media Session Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 04, 2014

Offensive Guard Adam Shead

On going through injuries:
"It is pretty frustrating; you just take the good with the bad. It’s part of the game. I have accepted that it is a part of the game and that it is just going to come and it’s going to happen. I just have to be able to roll with the punches."

On fellow OL Tyler Evans inspiring him to come back from an injury:
"Tyler has been a big inspiration. He’s been here for a long time and has played in a lot of games, and that was before I even got here. Seeing him battle and then come back and he’s looking as good as ever. So I just have to keep going."

On the depth of the offensive line:
"Oh man, I really don’t think we’ve been as deep as we are this year. I think that this line is a great o-line. We have a lot of good people, a lot of good people."

On the freshmen offensive linemen:
"Yeah, they are all really good. Kenyon (Frison) is really good. He’s stepping out and I think he’s going to have a bright future here. I think they all are going to have a bright future here, honestly. They all are great. Seriously, I haven’t seen a class this good since my class.”

On fellow OL Daryl Williams:
"Oh man, he has really stepped it up. He has really been a good leader for all of us to follow behind. He’s a hard worker. He’s a technician. He’s great. He’s a really good guy that you want leading. I want to follow him. He’s a good leader."

Tight End Taylor McNamara

On Blake Bell:
“He’s looking really good. That is a question I get asked often. He’s an NFL-caliber player, I think. He’s got a good chance to be at that level, and it’s been fun learning with him and getting to know him, too. He’s a great guy.”

On having to replace skills players on offense:
“Yeah, we’ve got to replace those guys, but at the same time, this is Oklahoma, and we’ve got tons of athletes. The young guys are doing a great job. We’ve got people who are going to step up and make plays. That’s what these big programs do. They replace kids really quickly.”

On the coaches being committed to using tight ends more in the offense:
“I think we are committing to that, and I think it’s going to be good for us. It’s been a process. It’s really about playing the best 11 players, and I think they think that this is our best chance to move the ball forward and be good on offense, so they are using us a little more than in the past. It’s exciting.”

Center Ty Darlington

On the depth of the offensive line:
“We are deeper than we’ve ever been since I’ve been here, that’s for sure. We have nine or 10 guys who can step on the field and play and be confident in that. You’ve got Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson at tackle, but then you have Derek Farniok and Josiah St. John stepping up and playing well. Tony Feo is coming along and doing a great job. Nila (Kasitati), (Dionte) Savage, (Adam) Shead. There are a lot of guys who can play some ball in there. Everyone is playing hard, playing physical, so that’s a good thing.”

On fellow OL Tyler Evans:
“He’s working his way in to getting back and taking some reps, and in the reps he’s taken, he’s looked great. It’s weird because he was a senior when I was a true freshman. He took me under his wing a little bit. He was that older guy who was working out with me and showing me the ropes. Now, I’m a junior and he’s a senior, so it’s a weird dynamic. But he’s a veteran presence. He knows what he’s doing. He plays hard. He plays physical. He’s what we’re about, so we are happy to have him back.”

On how the offensive line depth changes camp:
“We are not taking quite as many reps, rotating a lot more, which I think in the long run will help us stay fresh. Because we have so many guys who are ‘A’ group guys, we are rotating more than we used to. Normally we only have five, six, maybe seven guys who can play in that 'A' group, so almost everyone was taking almost every rep. Now we’ve got so many guys, we are sort of rolling them a little more.”

On if the depth of the offensive line leads to more competition:
“Absolutely. I could not tell you who is going to start up front right now. There are so many guys who are competing and playing hard and physically. It could be any combination of guys, and that’s going to make us all better. Then those guys across the line from us (on defense), those are the best guys in the Big 12, we believe, and maybe in the nation. There are some next-level quality players on that side of the ball, and we are all competing hard. It’s getting a little chippy sometimes, which I love. Everybody gets to talking a little bit. That makes both of us better. We are playing hard against each other, and I think that’s going to make us better.”

Running Back Keith Ford

On this camp versus last season:
“The difference is before, I really didn’t know what to expect. This year, I just went into it knowing what to expect and how things are done and the structure. I feel more developed as a player and am competing every day. It’s fun out there with those guys.”

On the increased difficulty of ball security in college:
“In high school, everybody is not trying to go for the ball. At this level, everybody is trying to strip it, and everybody is trying to make turnovers. It’s just a transition from high school to college. It’s a big transition.”

On running back Alex Ross:
“He’s had an amazing camp. Every day we are competing, but we are also having fun and cracking jokes, just getting after each other and encouraging each other. I’m really glad he’s my teammate. He’s a nice guy, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world to have anybody else besides him. This is his time. What everybody is saying, I believe it. Just working out next to him and seeing him compete and his hard work and his ethic.”

On being one of the older running backs now:
“Just learning from the group before, they helped me and really taught me the playbook and everything like that. I felt like it was my job to do the same. I know it’s hard first coming in here and learning the structure and Coach (Cale) Gundy’s calls. I’ve just been talking to them and walking them through it. Just being the old guy, you have to take some responsibility.”

Offensive Guard Tyler Evans

On if he wondered if he could ever come back from his injury:
“I think it was after that second ACL tear. I just thought this could be it. But then I just battled back and started winter workouts and everything felt good, so that's when I thought I had a chance.”

On if the comeback took longer than he anticipated:
“Yeah the first tear took about eight months to rehab. This tear took just over a year to get back at 100 percent.”

On how his ACL feels right now:
“It feels 100 percent. I feel great right now; it’s just all about taking everything day to day and taking care of my body and not trying to push it too hard to soon.”

On how long the decision on whether or not to come back took him:
“It took about two months for me to decide if I was up for it again. I had to make sure I still had the same drive to play, trying to stay healthy and a lot of other things. Being around the guys made me realize I don’t want to be done yet. I love these guys too much. I want to help some of the younger guys become great and finish of my legacy here.”

On what the night before your first practice back was like and if it felt like Christmas:
“It was. I couldn’t sleep the night before, I’m married now so I just sat down and talked to my wife. She just told me all I could really do was to just go out here, roll with the punches and leave it all out there on the field this year, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

On what it's like being the oldest guy on the team:
“It’s weird. It’s definitely been a transition over the last few years, for sure, but I’m enjoying it. I think the guys even started calling me 'Grandpa Evans' so that’s fun.”

Wide Receiver Jordan Smallwood

On what camp has been like so far:
“Camp's been going great. Last year I didn’t get the chance to play as much, so this year was like my first time doing two-a-days, so it’s been a blessing. It’s been hard, but it’s been fun.”

On how the youthful wide receivers are growing as a group:
“Were going really strong and with the three seniors leaving last year, it’s now up to us to pick up where they left off. Right now it’s just about getting that bond together as a team.”

On how Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal have helped make him a better wide receiver:
“They’ve helped a lot. Derrick Woods has been helping me, as well, so right now they're our leaders and we're all just trying to help out the best we can as young guys and compete as young guys to make us all better.”

On how how hungry redshirting last season made him this year:
“Very hungry. Last year just sitting out and watching the guys and the success they had and all they accomplished just makes me hungry to get out there and help the team out the best way I can. So I’m ready, you know, let’s do this.”

Wide Receiver Durron Neal

On how he is feeling right now:
“I’m excited about this year. Being in the system now for three years, it went by fast, but knowing more, and getting the chance to step up to more of a leadership role-having learned so much from Jaz (Reynolds), Jalen (Saunders), Kenny (Stills) and Justin (Brown). I’m just trying to apply all that they taught me to this year and also help show some of the younger guys the ropes like those guys did for me.”

On how it feels to be a guy that people are relying on to make plays consistently:
“It feels good. It lets me know my teammates trust me, my quarterback trusts me, and I relish that trust. I want to be that guy they look to make those big plays in big games.”

On the younger wide receivers:
“They come in ready to work. They have big, big bodies and that’s something we didn’t have a few years ago. They're just trying to learn, asking questions every day. They’re doing everything that young guys are supposed to do.”

On the addition of fellow Missouri native WR Dorial Green-Beckham:
“It feels like high school all over again. When I found out he was coming here I called him up and we just talked about how excited we are to be playing on the same team again, and let’s just go out there and compete every day and make our team the best as possible. Right now we're just trying to make him feel at home, and we love him like a brother. This whole process with him has been long, but he comes in ready to work, asks questions, and goes out and makes plays on the practice field. But it is frustrating having to wait on the outcome of all this.”

On what it's like to hear all the questions about this year’s wide receiver group:
“We understand all the questions going around, having Jalen (Saunders), Lacoltan (Bester), and Jaz (Reynolds) all leaving last year, but we like it. We know our coaches believe in us, our teammates believe in us and we believe in ourselves so I think we’re all excited to prove everyone wrong.”

On what’s it been like to not have that instant success some thought he may have here:
“It’s been frustrating. But you know Coach Jay (Norvell) and my parents are always telling me to humble myself. I know God has as plan for everyone and everybody’s path is different. My stepdad always told me to celebrate the slow start because it’s going to be worth it in the end.”

Running Back Alex Ross

On how everything has been going in fall camp:
“It’s been good. Working hard, playing hard every single play; it’s been really good so far.”

On if the competition at running back makes everyone better:
“Of course. We all push each other and are all fighting for that starting job so it definitely makes all of us better”

On what he senses the coaches are looking for from the running backs this season:
“Tough, physical running backs that can make plays.”

On freshman RB Semaje Perine:
“He’s strong. He’s probably the strongest dude I’ve ever been around. Any weights you put on, he’ll do. I don’t know what it is.”

On gaining the trust of coaches to be put in an important spot:
“Just doing everything they ask of me, working hard, play hard. I don’t really think there’s any added pressure not having an established guy right now, we’ll see how it all plays out.”



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