Opening statement… "We are going to start the
way we were expected too. So that is positive. We are really excited to
get going. I know I am. Coming off of a difficult year, I think your
enthusiasm level and the want to get back
at it again is heightened. Our players and staff have worked
tremendously hard. Our players have put so much of their personal time
and effort into their preparation because they are so committed. I am
very pleased with that. I know they are excited about getting
going also. Murray State is a football team with a lot of good players
and good athletes and they are very well coached. We understand the
wealth of the team coming in to compete against. As always, it is going
to be about us and our preparation. We always
get an early start in our first game. We do the same thing every year.
We really start the preparation for the game on Saturday. Pads practice
on Saturday and then we also had Sunday night under the lights. Just so
we will have experience and preparation under
the lights. Keep the punters and kick returners back. Get the balls
kicked up high so they have a comfort zone prepared when it comes to
Saturday night. We have today off except for the media. Some guys came
in and watched video and they can do that different
ways. Tomorrow, we have pass practice. Wednesday - shoulder pads and
Thursday, just like we have done in the past. Tweaked a few things in
practice little bit differently. For the most part what to leave in and
that is a hugely important part of preparation.
Staying healthy allowed us to have a good camp since we stayed healthy
most of the time and allowed us to get the practice in. We cannot
practice as a unit if we have three to four players on each side of the
ball and to get better is very difficult. But we
had a really good camp and are ready to go".
On Henry Josey and where he is with his recovery… "All as he does is
commitment. All our fans have been so uplifting and encouraging for him.
It really is a great story. He looks as good as he did. He always looks
his best when you go tell him to play football
where he can explode and use his running style and how he reads and so
forth. The first time he runs the ball, it will certainly be a moment we
all have been waiting for. Here is a guy that was fifth in the nation
rushing and All-Big 12 as a sophomore with
a tremendous future ahead of him and it is exciting to see him play.
On the offensive line compared to last year… "They have all played.
Connor McGovern, the redshirt sophomore, was the only one that wasn't
ready last year maturity wise. Evan (Boehm) being in the center, I think
has been a good move for us. They are healthy.
You usually get better and better the more you practice."
Senior Quarterback, James Franklin
On staying healthy during practices this year and the changes that were made…
doesn't matter as much for me. Quarterbacks don't necessarily get hit
as much in practice. The only thing that it is better
for is our arms. We have fewer practices. We didn't have any two-a-days
this year. I think that helped out the guys a lot, just not having to go
twice a day, even if the second practice was not in full pads. It gives
them the ability to rest their bodies so
they're not running out there fatigued, leaving that to some injuries. I
think that was a huge factor as to why we didn't have as many injuries
On the wide receiver group…
"We do have a lot of talent in that wide receiver group. We want to get them the ball because they can all do something with the
ball. We are going to try and get the ball to them as much as we can."
Senior Defensive Back, E.J. Gaines
On Andrew Wilson's influence on the defense…
"He inspires the defense. Just the physical presence that he brings to the football game, it is great. He is the captain of our
football team, so that just makes it so much better. We are definitely ready to get out there and see Wilson hit some guys."
On being the de-facto name on the defense…
feels good. I feel like that is because there a lot of young guys that
people don't know about. Like I said, (Harold) Brantley
and Kentrell Brothers at linebacker. There are a lot of guys that are
definitely going to prove people wrong this year. You guys just haven't
seen them yet."
On seeing the potential in the younger players…
"It feels good. After last season, we kind of had a sour taste in our mouths. We definitely still have a chip on our shoulder to
prove people wrong."
Senior Center, Evan Boehm
On the upcoming season…
are ready to hit somebody else. We have been working hard and pushing
each other really hard. At the same time, it is time to
go out and hit somebody else."
On Henry Josey carrying the ball for the first time this season…
Henry out there, when I was getting recruited and seeing him run all
over the field. I am excited to be blocking for him
this year. I am excited to be opening up the holes for him this year and
seeing what he can do with the ball."
472 Craighead Co. 766
Jonesboro, AR 72401