September 5, 2016

Ohio State Player Quotes – 9/5/2016

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Sept. 5, 2016

Malik Hooker, Safety
Talk about how Saturday went against Bowling Green:
“I was just going out there and trusting my technique and fundamentals and all the training I’ve put in. Just going out there and playing as hard as I can and trying to make plays. I was just reacting off the calls that were made and the coaches put me in a lot of positions to make plays. I also give a lot of credit to the defensive line, because without them putting pressure on the quarterback, I wouldn’t have been able to make the plays I did.

How much were you just roaming Saturday against Bowling Green compared to actually being in man coverage:
It was about 50/50. There were a lot of calls where Bowling Green was in a three by one set. When that happens, I was pretty much just playing the middle of the field. It just depends on whatever coverage we are in and relying on our techniques. I feel like I can do man to man or just roaming around. When you are in the middle of the field, you really don’t have an exact job, so you are just trying to do whatever you can to make plays and help out.

When the ball is in the air, you look like you think you are the receiver:
When the ball is in the air, I kind of get a shock through my body. I know I’m very athletic and fast. The coaches put me in positions to make plays, so when that happens, it’s just about me coming down with the ball.

On his late arrival to football:
“I only played two years of football in high school, so it was more of a catching up process to where all the other guys were mentally. That’s all it was for me, just catching up and learning more about how football is played.

Larry Johnson, Defensive Line Coach
Played numerous defensive ends on Saturday on third downs, talk about that:
“We were just trying to play guys. We have a nickel package that we use with four defensive ends. We bring our fast guys and try to get the ball out faster by collapsing the pocket. We will continue to do it as we move forward; it’s part of what we do.

On the loss of Tracy Sprinkle:
“Hard to put into words. He is more than just a football player for us. He is a great leader. Every player has so much respect for him. He’s handled adversity very well and he has been tough. It’s tough. He is going to be missed as a leader, as a unit player, but he will be around us as much as he can.

Do the guys see why depth is needed now:
No question. If you look at the numbers of guy who played Saturday. They see exactly where we are. Every guy knows that the next guy up has to be ready to go.

How did you think Dre’Mont (Jones) played on Saturday:
For the first time playing, I thought he did pretty good. There are some things for him to work on and some things he hasn’t seen because he hasn’t played a lot of football. I like where he is at right now.

Thoughts on Nick Bosa on Saturday:
Very poised. Not surprised. We talked about him not chasing anything. Not chasing a sack or a tackle. Just go in the game and play fast. When you do that, great things will happen and we will continue to grow him as a player.

Gareon Conley, Defensive Back
You think Tulsa is a more experienced opponent:
I just know personnel wise, they have receivers returning and a quarterback that has been there. And I believe there tempo is faster.

Things to improve upon Saturday:
For me, my man coverage. We gave up a couple inside routes. We have to tighten up our inside leverage. Other than that, we just have to sharpen up our technique to get better.

Talk about what impressed you most playing as a unit for first time on Saturday:
The confidence from every young player out there. None of them were scared or frightened at all. They went out there real confident.

What do you expect from Tulsa:
I feel like they are going to try and run the ball at first. Just like Bowling Green, I feel like they are just going to throw the ball everywhere once they see that they can’t run.

Nine true freshmen played Saturday, do you notice a vibe about them:
It’s just their mentality and the standard we have set for them is high. They have to meet that and they are all confident that they can play at that level.

Billy Price, Offensive Lineman
On how much better the offense can be in the coming weeks:
“A lot better. We all have things to improve on. We didn’t grade out as well; we still have the fundamental technique errors. Maybe we missed a block here, or missed a route there, but those are things that we can clean up over the next couple weeks.”

On the offense and its 776 yards:
“It was an incredible opportunity to be able to do something like that, and I credit the coaches for putting us in a position to win. There were great play calls all across the board and everybody took care of their job. When you have 776 yards of total offense it shows that everyone is doing their job.”

On striving for perfection:
“We’re always chasing perfection. I think happens in all facets of life. It’s not just a football thing. Being a business student we talk about always wanting to improve a process and getting rid of waste. If I had a bad step I need to improve on that to improve the process and, in the grand scheme of things, improve the offense.”

On left tackle Jamarco Jones:
“He’s very assertive, he’s really taken ahold of the responsibility of playing left tackle. I mean playing left tackle here isn’t something we take lightly. He really seems confident in his abilities.”

Tyler Durbin, Kicker
On how he found himself at Ohio State:
“I started college at James Madison where I played soccer for two years. I committed my junior year not really knowing what I wanted to study. I eventually decided I wanted to study civil engineering, but they only had general engineering, not any of the specific disciplines. I’ve always wanted to try kicking so I figured why not give it a shot. My dad recorded me kicking field goals and kickoffs. I sent the video to a few schools, and I was looking mainly for good engineering programs and a really good football program, which I obviously got here.”

On bursting onto the scene:
“It’s been an incredible experience. Just being there kicking and hearing the crowd roar is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.”

On how he was able to make a tackle despite never playing football before:
“I played defender in college, and I had to read angles and predict where the ball is going to go, where the player is going to go, so I learned that way how to read the field and I think that helped me a lot. It just came naturally to me; he was coming at me and I knew I had to stop him.”

On his chances once he got to Ohio State:
“I knew I’d have to work hard, but I knew I had a lot of talent coming in. I didn’t really expect anything when I got here, but I knew that if I worked hard things might go my way.”