Sean Clifford | QB | R-Mr.+
Q: Can you speak to the value of this game for young players? James [Franklin] was just talking about how important it is for kids to get a chance to get out there in front of 60,000, especially for quarterbacks.
A: Yeah, it’s just different. When you play in front of people, are you going to have that edge or are you going to fade away from the spotlight? I think both of them [Drew Allar and Beau Pribula] are ready for it. I’m excited to keep coaching them, keep helping them grow and do my part in their development.
Q: James [Franklin] said this was your best spring. Would you agree with that? What do you feel like you’re doing better?
A: I feel so confident. It was my best spring. I’m not going to harp on myself that long, but I feel great. My mind is clear, I’m having a blast. This is a great team and a really great group of people. I think that we’re talented, I think they’re always listening to the leaders – there’s no fight back, there’s no egos in the room or throughout the whole team. It’s fun to lead this team.
Q: Last year, you said you were the most confident quarterback in college football. What’s the difference between this confidence and the one from last year?
A: It’s the second year in the system confidence. I feel like I’ve seen every look in this offense specifically, I know the terminology like it’s the back of my hand, I know what plays we want to be in for certain looks and when we get a look that I don’t like , I know the checks to get us out of those looks. We did that today, a lot of communication. You’re going to see me at the line talking to the offensive linemen a lot more, making sure that we’re in the right play 100% of the time. I can make sure that we’re always in the right play on the field and make those checks. Coach Franklin and Coach Yurcich have both given me a lot of freedom and responsibility, and I’m up for the challenge every single time.
Keyvon Lee | RB | SW.
Q: How do you feel about the young quarterbacks?
A: In the future, we’re going to be amazing. The young quarterbacks – they’re coming in, they’re developing and learning and we’re going to be amazing.
Q: There was a point at one of the open practices where Coach Seider was edging you guys saying ‘You guys finished last in the country in yards after contact.’ How does that motivate you?
A: It just makes you mad and drives you really hard. We got to be the first, we can’t be the last. We always try to be the best. I hate being last.
Q: What was the mindset running the ball today? It seems like there was a little bit more determination.
A: Yeah, we’re just trying to work on the run game. We build it up and today was the day they showed us we’re going to run the ball no matter what. 3dr and long, 3dr and short, 4th and 1, 4th and 5, we’re going to run the ball.
Q: How is the run game this year different than last year?
A: Last year, we didn’t really move the ball that much so it’s a lot different because this spring we’re coming in and, as you can see, we’re running the ball all day. I like it.
Curtis Jacobs | LB | SW.
Q: How are you feeling after today?
A: I feel good. It was nice to get out there in Beaver Stadium, there’s nothing like playing in Beaver Stadium. It’s great to be out there having fun with the guys. That’s part of it.
Q: What were the challenges that came with the format today? Did you find it any different than playing in a real game?
A: It wasn’t really any different with the format because that’s pretty much how we format our practices. Besides the pre-practice stuff, we changed that up, it’s pretty much what we’ve been doing all spring and I feel like that worked out for us because we had a lot of great pieces to play in this game. I felt like we were aggressive as a defense and I liked how we played today.
Q: What’s it like playing with a little bit of different personnel than maybe what you guys have been used to in the past couple years?
A: I feel like it’s been good. It gives us a certain type of speed on the field that we didn’t have in the past. And with this group of linebackers, I feel like we have nine linebackers that can all run sideline to sideline. I feel like we’ve never really had this athleticism before so it’s great to be able to show it.
Jake Pinegar | K | R-Mr.
Q: There’s a portal, everybody’s probably out, are you proud that you pushed your way through that?
A: Yeah. I had some things personally going on that made it difficult too, I wasn’t as healthy as I wanted to be or needed to be. But I played here three years. One year doesn’t go your way you don’t leave; you stay here and you finish what you built. So that was my own mindset.
Q: Did it help you that he (jordan stout) emerged as the prospect as he has?
A: Competing against him is one thing, but that makes you grow as a player as well. Just being able to sit back and learn – last year was a big learning experience, a big growing experience for me to put things into a different perspective and that’s helped me as a person and as a player. So, him being as successful as he has been, it’s no surprise.
Q: Kicking is something that everyone thinks they can do until they try it. Any thoughts on that?
A: Kicking looks easy, obviously. And it’s just kicking a ball, as simple as it sounds, but there’s other factors that come into play when you’re out there kicking and that can be not easy. Especially when you’ve got a bunch of people expecting things and weather. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Malick Meiga | WR | SW.
Q: How did the younger quarterbacks look today?
A: I feel that they look good coming in. It is not high school anymore, but I feel that they are doing a pretty good job. I love what they are doing and it’s going to be great in the future.
Q: What are you and the team trying to show in the Spring Game?
A: It’s all about working with the right mentality. Adapt well and put in the work. I feel like they just came out with a great mentality, and everything is looking great right now.
Q: How would you describe today and what was your highlight of the day?
A: Just go out there and put on a spring game. Have some fun with the fans, with my teammates, with my family, and just enjoy the moment. My favorite moment that I had today was with Harrison Wallace. That touchdown he had, he proved he can jump.
Tyler Warren | YOU | SW.
Q: How has the team improved this spring?
A: Something we wanted to focus on was in the run game and all of us really put the effort in. It showed up for spring game, it is something we as a group are proud of and we did a good job with.
Q: How does it improve the offense to play with multiple tight ends?
A: We are close as a group. We’ve been doing this for almost two and a half years. What’s working with the offense right now is multiple tight end sets. We’ll keep working at that. That’s what we want as a tight
Q: What was it like being back in Beaver Stadium?
A: Obviously being back in Beaver with fans in the stadium, that’s really fun. It was cool to see the young guys do it for the first time and it’s good to be back. You have to just practice and practice. The highlight of the day was probably just being out there with the guys and playing then getting to high five everybody.
Ji’Ayir Brown | S | Mr+
Q: How did the safety group do as a position?
A: I’ve seen a lot of improvement from all our young guys. Even our older guys are seeking to improve coming into the spring, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from them. Overall, they exceed the standard of their own expectations of themselves. They came to play, and they showed it to all throughout the spring.
Q: How did you feel to be the leader of a group and being in that position??
A: It is amazing. They come to me for answers and come to me for advice. I’m just blessed to be in this position that I’m able to give them advice and some insight on what I see out there. The best part about it is that the guys take the advice and they apply it, every day in practice.
Q: How has this spring been under Manny Diazwhat have you gained from him this spring?
A: I love his leadership. He has a tremendous leader coming from being a head coach. He bought into his room from him as the defensive coordinator here. He was able to lead and show us by example every day his passion for us. You can’t ask for anything more from the defensive coordinator with so much passion for the game. I’ve said this before, I think if coach Manny Diaz had some years left, he would go out there and play with us.
barney love | P | R-Mr.+
Q: On the young quarterbacks-what did you see from today but throughout spring training?
A: I think all the quarterbacks in general do a great job and being in kind of a different position than them gives you a good insight, but from what I have seen, I think everyone has improved, and they always make great strides. And I am excited for them, I am excited for us.
Q: How was the spring for you?
A: It was good, and I think for me, everyone was just trying to build confidence in the coaches’ competency. Going on doing what you can do consistently. It is a huge part of wanting to be a part of special teams. I think in every single position it is better to make huge strides.
Q: How was last year for you?
A: It was kind of planned. I knew coming in I had two years. I knew Stout was good, and that was kind of the plan. Coming from a small school I was taken back a little bit, but I kind of embraced my role from him and learned as much as I could from him and enjoyed the journey along the way. Being able to go to every single game and embracing it and embracing what you can do, just embracing the walk, and that is where I was last year. Now it’s time to embrace a new one.
adisa isaac | DE| R-Jr.
Q: What was the most difficult part of last year?
A: Just to start. I have never been injured or had a major injury, so getting accustomed to this new lifestyle and having to rehab and having to just use more mental than physical. Once I got adjusted it made me stronger in the end.
Q: Why were you in practice gear last year, and can you explain the importance of still being around the team at practice?
A: It is important to be around a team because you do not want to feel left out, and I was just there for my brothers to show them support and help them with their plays because now that I am not in there somebody else has to take my role, so just give them tips on how to take on the role.
Q: What did you do last year and how did you do it? Coach told us it was not a football thing.
A: I was just getting extra work. I was getting extra work over the summer, and it was a freak accident and random, an uncontrollable, but we are back and better.
Olumuyiwa Fashanu| OL | SW.
Q: From an offensive line’s perspective, how is the spring game?
A: I thought today was a great opportunity for us to go out there and get better and show what we can do and show what we have doing all spring. Again, it was just really fun and a nice experience.
Q: What was it like working with Adisa Issac?
A: It was great. Obviously last season I spent a lot of time going against AK, but with Idisa, it is almost like the same person. He is really fast, electric, really twitch. He has definitely gotten me a lot better this year.
Q: What are some of the things you personally want to accomplish as a person?
A: Proving myself and trying to stack on from my start at the Outback Bowl. I am trying to prove myself and trying to get better every day. Just trying to do more with the team.