Aug. 10, 2011
What is the feeling knowing you’re about to start a brand new season?
Brandon Jenkins: Nervous, exciting, a lot of expectations that we’re going to try to live up to.
Talk about the expectations. Top five predictions, ACC champions, going back to a BCS bowl. You can’t hide from those things, so how do you manage them the right way?
When you go on the field, you have to put that aside. Everybody is equal, every team you play. So I think hard work and dedication, and we’re going to try to put those (expectations) aside when we play football.
What are you going out there to focus on right off the bat?
Technique and learning the basics, getting back to the basics.
What have you done specifically this offseason to get ready for this year? You look bigger.
Yeah, that was my main focus, getting bigger and stronger. Also getting more comfortable watching a lot of film.
One of the things that made you great last year was your speed off the edge. Is there any fear you’ve lost some of that since you’ve gotten bigger?
No fear, I feel a lot more comfortable this year. I think that’s a big factor too, feeling more comfortable. I feel great.
Have you guys as a team discussed any of the preseason hype? Or are you guys not really focusing on it?
I haven’t really heard too much about it. I’ve heard some people talk about it, but I’m pretty sure that if the coaches wanted us to know, they would tell us. I’m pretty sure we don’t need to worry about all that and just play football.
You’re on a couple of preseason watch lists, do you take pride in that?
Of course, that’s big for me growing up and watching college football. People who make those, that’s big. But I’m going to try to put that aside and just play football, and have a good season.
Talk about the summer. What was the attitude like in offseason workouts? What does that mean for team chemistry?
It means we’re here to win. Everybody is coming to workouts, a lot of team unity, and everybody is doing everything they need to do.
What do you see in your defensive line unit? Obviously you guys want to get to the quarterback a lot.
There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We have great guys, new incomers, and Tank Carradine is going to be great at getting to the quarterback. Demonte (McAllister), Jacobbi (McDaniel), I think we’re going to do a lot better than last year at getting to the quarterback.
How big of a difference is it starting camp this year versus last year?
We feel more comfortable now, I’m pretty sure the freshmen are still trying to learn, but the rest of starters are pretty much set. We’re just going to try to learn little things and put everything else together.