Football Media Day: Defense
 
 
 
William Gholston answers questions during media day on Monday. (Photo by Robert Hendricks)
 
William Gholston answers questions during media day on Monday. (Photo by Robert Hendricks)
 
 

Aug. 6, 2012

Video Interviews

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State held its annual media day Monday morning in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium.

Several of the key returning players from the Big Ten's top-ranked defense in 2011 talked about the upcoming season at media day and how they can improve in 2012.

Junior linebacker Max Bullough

On knowing your position for the season...
"Coming into this year, there are guys behind me that are great players that are nipping at my heels all the time. It's just about getting better each week and competing with the guys. Given that it is the third year, it lets you put your feet on the ground a little bit and step back and say `all right, this is it.'"

On having veterans on the team...
"It allows us to not worry about the schemes and what they are telling us. It allows us to play fast and quick earlier in the season. That is going to be a positive for us."

On wanting to be the best...
"We want to be the best because that's what we want to do, we don't want to be the best because that's what everyone else says we should do and this and that. We want to be the best because that's the kind of people we are. So that's kind of been our motivating factor ever since we have been here."

On improving...
"The experience and having the retention is a huge advantage, being able to play faster earlier in the season. A lot of guys don't understand that. Other than that, it's about coming together even more than we did last year, playing as a defense with discipline. It's just about making plays. We have guys that have experience making big plays and it's about making more of them."

On preseason camp...
"It's a marathon, not a sprint. It's definitely tough. We haven't been into the thick of it yet, with hitting every day. You have to take it day by day; everyday has a lot of the same. You have to pick one thing each day to get better at or pick a week to get better at something. You really can't worry about when are we going to be done or when's this and when's that. Take it as it is, we are going to be here for two or three weeks, just handle it like that."

On playing with Denicos Allen...
"First of all, he's an extremely emotional player. Before the game, him and I are always getting very excited and getting going. And not only that he's a very explosive player, he might not be the biggest player out there, but he's a lot faster than me, I can tell you that much. Given those abilities that he has, he has the ability to take over a game at any time. And with the experience he had last year and I gained it with him, it's just going to make him a better player. The sky is the limit for a guy like him."

Junior defensive end William Gholston

On finding motivation...
"I feel like we strive for perfection within ourselves and we want to get everything perfect within the scheme so we can make the quick adjustment, where it won't take that long to audible or to read the quarterbacks audible. We are just really trying to become perfect this camp."

On what he wants to improve on in his game...
"My team is pushing me because I know the guys around me and that we rely on one another. I know my team relies on me and I rely on my team. That is really pushing me and motivating me through camp."

On the potential of the defense...
"We were pretty good last year but we can always get better. I'm excited that we can genuinely get better and grow as a team and a unit. I know with this practice and the conditioning we have been through, winter, summer, spring ball, I know we are going to be better and play faster, and faster, and faster and play harder."

Senior defensive tackle Tyler Hoover

On the depth of the team...
"During the game we are going to be playing fresh. It's not going to be the guy trying to force himself through the entire game and getting tired at the end of the fourth quarter. You are going to see guys playing quick the entire game because so many guys can play."

On his diet and conditioning...
"My protein doubled and my carbs doubled. I was eating snacks when I usually don't. I've got to give so much credit to Coach Mannie and our strength and conditioning staff, they pushed me the entire time. They made me move the weights I've never even thought about."

On the transition from defensive end to nose tackle...
"Brand new start, new position, so excited. I've learned some new things. I'm just absolutely excited to hit someone different again. The toughest part is staying low, I learned that quickly in spring ball. If you aren't staying low you are getting blown off the ball. Another one is guards and centers are usually shorter, so again it is reaching out and extension. It's a fun thing to because you get to bang heads in there."

On sitting out last year with an injury...
"I've definitely learned the defensive line like the back of my hand. The young guys at defensive end and tackle I'll be able to help them out. It was fun watching how intense and serious Spartan pride can be. I've been in it, but watching it is pretty cool too. It motivated me and was exciting. Seeing a group of guys do that and you want to be a part of it."

On the feeling within the program since his arrival as a freshman...
"The feeling isn't that different than when I came here. We are pretty humble and we are always hungry. The beginning of camp and spring ball we cut ourselves down and we are nothing, that's the biggest thing. The biggest thing is earn the jersey, we all don't have a jersey right now, or a spot. That's the biggest part of camp to stay humble and hungry."

Senior linebacker Chris Norman

On his last preseason camp...
"I can approach camp from a fun perspective and that's really my goal this preseason to have a lot of fun at camp. It's going to be my last one and I want to make it my best."

On getting better this year...
"I think (defensive coordinator) Pat Narduzzi is doing a really good job with that. He's not going to let us get complacent attitudes just by the way he coaches. From a player's perspective we know we have a lot to prove still because we lost in the Big Ten Championship and didn't go to the Rose Bowl. We haven't accomplished everything we want to, with that being said that's going to motivate us."

On the redshirt freshman...
"They are doing a really good job, not only on what they are doing but also on pushing the older players to do what we can do as well. I think they are really talented, just naturally have a lot of physical talent they can run and hit and do things like that. They are picking up the schemes really well and I think they are going to do some really good things in the future."

Junior safety Isaiah Lewis

On being a leader at camp...
"Everything has slowed down. I have to become more of a leader now. As one of the older guys I have to teach the young guys what to do. When I was a freshman things were hard to catch onto so I have to help them out a little bit. I feel like I'm a natural leader, helping guys out just is natural. I can't see a guy struggle and not tell him what to do. If they are doing something wrong, I'll tell them, if they need something, they can ask something. I'm secure in my position that I will help a guy out, I won't not tell him because I'm scared that he may take my spot."

On working with the defensive line...
"I'm more comfortable back there. The communication part is important, safety and the corners as well as the two safety positions always have to be communicating. It's easier to have guys back there who know what you are going to do, tell them or what call you are going to make."

On motivation during preseason camp...
"My motivation is the Big Ten Championship game. We didn't make it to where we wanted to make it to. That was my hometown, Indianapolis. I want to get back there and get that win. I hated that loss, it killed me. I want to get back to Indianapolis and win that Big Ten Championship and go to the Rose Bowl or possibly National Championship, that's what I'm looking at."

Sophomore defensive end Marcus Rush

On preseason camp...
"It's comforting for me to come out and not have to worry about knowing the plays or where to be at the right time. It's kind of an instinct thing now and is definitely a positive."

On motivation during preseason camp...
"Knowing that we could be better than we were last year really. Having the confidence that we got from last year and knowing that we need to build on that. It's going to be really exciting."

On the defensive line...
"I think those guys are going to do a great job. They are all talented and they all know what to do because they all have played. They will fill the spots just fine (on the position left open by All-American Jerel Worthy."

On playing for defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi...
"It's fun to play for him. The love of the game that he has is incredible and the love of his job and defense. Knowing that he really enjoys it gives us that satisfaction as well."

Junior cornerback Darqueze Dennard

On playing behind this front seven...
"They all have talent just like we all have talent. The front seven is very good, and we have backups in the front seven that are very good. I'm just happy to have those guys in front of me and I know they are going to do what they have to do. And we will just call it more opportunities for us to make plays."

On the opportunities from them pressuring the quarterback...
"It gives us a lot of opportunities because with them giving pressure it just gives us less time to guard the receiver. And everyone knows how hard it is to guard the receiver. It just makes life better and makes it easier when they apply pressure."