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Aug. 16, 2005

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Q: You made the tackle on the first kickoff of your first collegiate game. That had to be a thrill.
A: It was a funny thing because I had talked to Robert Reynolds earlier in the week and he said he made the tackle on his first kickoff, and then I did it. I just ran down there and didn’t get blocked.

Q: And you have been a mainstay on the kickoff team ever since?
A: My freshman and sophomore seasons I was but you can get pretty tired running down there so last year I was just on the emergency kickoff team with A.J. when we really needed to pin them down deep. We were called out to do that eight or nine times so it was great to get back out and do that.

Q: Some players might look at the kickoff team as a chore. What chore did you hate the most growing up?
A: Folding laundry, especially socks. And I had three younger brothers so there was a ton of socks to try to match up. I hated that.

Q: What was the first “real” job you were paid for?
A: I have been a lifeguard since I was 15 years old so that would have to be it. My mom has been the swim coach at Valley View Swim Club in Lancaster for almost 25 years so I lifeguarded at the pool. I would work 30 hours a week in high school but now it’s just mainly on the weekends.

Q: What is your favorite part about playing strongside outside linebacker?
A: Getting to blitz and rush the passer. I really enjoy that.

Q: And your least favorite thing?
A: Having to take on the tight end every play. That gets really old.

Q: Getting banged up a little is something you got used to early on in high school. Weren’t you the quarterback on the junior varsity team when you were a freshman?
A: Yeah. My freshman year I started out at linebacker, but then I moved to safety to play on varsity and also played special teams. Then on Saturday morning I would play quarterback for the JV team and a little linebacker and safety. And I was only 6-1 and 160 pounds so I would spend a lot of time in the hot tub by Saturday night.

Q: Did you enjoy playing for your dad in high school?
A: Yes, and he was my Jr. High coach, too. When I was a freshman the varsity job came open and he moved up, too. I liked knowing what was going on and it really helped my football knowledge and understanding offense and defense. He expected more out of me than anyone else so I took that as a challenge.

Q: You have said you wouldn’t mind coaching back at Lancaster someday, right?
A: I like coaching and I like seeing people get better so I think it would be fun. I don’t know about college coaching, though, there’s too much non-football stuff you have to do. Ohio high school football is special, so that would be fun to be a part of. And it would be neat to go back and coach at Lancaster.

Q: What kind of offense and defense would you run?
A: Well, at the high school level you can’t recruit so you have to work with what you have. On defense, I would probably go with a 4-3 like we run here but without all the zone blitzes. We would try to mix it up a little, though, and be as aggressive as possible. On offense, I hate the wing-T but Lancaster has had success with it and it’s tough to defend so I would probably stick with that.

Q: The wing-T is kind of a lost art anymore, isn’t it?
A: Yeah, and Lancaster didn’t run it when I was in school there, but they have had big, athletic linemen recently so my dad put it in. My brother broke my dad’s rushing record running the wing-T so I guess you can’t complain.

Q: What is your favorite stadium to play in besides Ohio Stadium?
A: I would have to say Camp Randall in Madison. It seems like every time we play there it’s freezing and raining, but their fans are crazy and don’t seem to care. They’re jumping around and screaming the whole time and they play great music during the game.

Q: Where is the most interesting place you have been?
A: Probably Kiawah Island in South Carolina. It’s off the coast near Charleston. I went there a couple years ago with some friends and got to see the giant sea turtles come in. It’s very secluded and just really nice.

Q: Where is the place you would most like to visit?
A: Rome. They say the Mediterranean is really pretty and Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world.

Q: What is your favorite activity with the football team off the field?
A: In the winter it’s bowling. In the summer it’s golfing.