Florida senior defensive end
Q: Have you started thinking about how little time you have left here?
A: Yeah. It kind of clicked, it didn’t really click until last week really. Coach (Chris) Rumph said something after practice just talking about it’s going by fast, we only have this many opportunities left and I started to think about it. I have been here for a little bit, but to think this is the last time I’ll have a LSU week or the last time, in a couple weeks, Georgia, this or that. It’s pretty crazy that it’s the last time I’ll be on that, my days on that field, my days in The Swamp are numbered. That’s why I have to cherish every bit of time I get and put in as much work as I possibly can.
Q: Does it serve as motivation?
A: Oh yeah. Yeah, definitely. That’s why this season’s been tough on me so far not going the way I planned. We just got to get back to the drawing board and a lot of our goals are still attainable. For us to still be successful we have to change a lot of stuff that we do and work harder on the practice field.
Q: After your knee injury last season, did you question your future?
A: If anything it’d be right after it happened I was kind of bummed. I didn’t really know what the future would be before I knew what the injury was. Just during spring was a turning point. I was out here with the team watching them practice. I wasn’t able to practice and it was kind of that deciding factor of, ‘Do I want to come back? Do I want to put myself through this again?’ Without question I wanted to come back. I feel like this might be my best year. I owe it to the guys in that room. The coaching staff, the team, the guys that pushed me to come back and I wanted to come back more than ever to be a part of this family.
Q: Have you surprised yourself with how well you’ve played this season?
A: I always thought I was always that one step away. Whether it was the knee, something didn’t feel like or a health thing. That’s why I was so bummed that last year ended the way it did. I don’t know if I’m surprised. I’m just happy. It’s never too late. I’m glad it’s happening now and we’re going to continue getting better as a group and individually.
Q: Is there one area where you feel you’ve grown the most in your five years at UF?
A: I think it’s kind of knowing the play before it happens, the whole film study thing, understanding the game of football. When you first get here from high school, you think you understand, but you really don’t. Once you’ve been coached by the greatest staff I’ve been blessed to be coached by and be in the same room as these guys, you kind of get an understanding of the play and it all starts to slow down for you. That’s how you make a lot more plays. No matter what team in the SEC you’re going to play against, there’s going to be athletic guys, talented guys on both sides of the ball. It’s the little things that are going to get you to make those big plays.