April 24, 2010
QB Nathan Scheelhaase:
On playing "live" for the first time:
"It was good. It was unfortunately far from live compared to our last scrimmage, having the white jersey on and everything. It was good to get out there in front of some fans and try to show what we have been working on all spring. This is the culmination of the 14 practices before. Everybody asks about the spring game and if I'm nervous, but really you have to look at it as how we've been trying to get better every day. The spring game is kind of a fun fan fest to get everybody out there. It's fun being out there, this was actually the first time I was out there in my jersey, throwing the ball on the field."
On his performance:
"I felt as an offensive player that we started off struggling, myself included. We just stalled on some plays and had some things go wrong at wrong times and those are things you can't do, regardless of whether it's the spring game or the Missouri game. You can't make mistakes like that in critical positions like we were on the field. Besides that, I felt good about the reads I was making. The receivers and I all felt like we were on the same page. We've come a long way this spring and I've been enjoying it. We're just trying to get better."
On preparation as the team enters the summer and fall:
"Every day I just try to go out there and get better. Whether I'm starting, second, or third, I just try to go out and do my best every day, at all 15 spring practices we've had, just go out there and show what I got. Hopefully I can get out there this season. I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to being around the guys we have and the coaches we have. We have a good squad going in and if I could be the guy out there, it would be a blessing."
RB Mikel LeShoure:
On having a run-first offense this year:
"Coach Petrino said when he first got here that our running game is what is going to get us going. He looks for the running game. He tries to get that going regardless if it's me or Jason (Ford). I think the running game is the base of our offense. It starts us off."
On having a friendly competition with Jason Ford:
"Oh yes, that's my man, we've been real competitive, and off the field we're really good friends. I think with that type of relationship it only makes us better as people and players. Having a competitive mindset just brings the best out of you."
On Nathan Scheelhaase's performance:
"Nathan looks good. He's looked good to me all spring. He's getting a little better with his decision-making and he's going through his progressions like he needs to. I think we can look forward to good things out of Nathan this season."
LB Aaron Gress
On the team this upcoming season:
"We're getting stronger and better everyday and are getting the best of ourselves at practice. We have a lot of guys that have been stepping up and taking responsibility for their actions. They are making themselves accountable for what goes on, and I think we'll be ready next season."
On the defensive line:
"Corey Liuget has really been stepping up and there's a lot of guys on the defensive line that are stepping up. I'm really proud of those guys and they are going to be good for us in the fall."
On what the defensive line needs to focus on this summer:
"We have to keep our foot on the accelerator and never be content with where we are at. We need to push forward as a defense, and we are going to need to be accountable for what we do. Keep the pedal to the floor and never let up. We just need to have a good summer and finish hard."
DT Corey Liuget
On the defensive play today:
"I think that the team did a great job on both sides of the ball. The defense did a good job going after the ball out on the field, but we'll never know until we come in Monday to watch film. Then we can see what adjustments and improvements we need to make."
On improving on picking up turnovers:
"We've really been focusing on trying to increase our turnover ratio this fall and finding a quicker and faster route to get to the ball. We just need to focus on being the best defensive line we can be in the country."
On wrapping things up with spring football:
"With finals coming up, we have guys coming in an hour a day, everyday, to have study hour and help everybody study, so we can keep our grades up and boost the team GPA. We are changing gears a little, but we still have lifting to keep it going. We just need to finish up our school work and then we'll get ready for summer workouts to start."
Coach Ron Zook
"That was the end of spring obviously and as you can see we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. I think there were an awful lot of good things as well. When you split the team up like that sometimes it turns out like that. In the first half people expected the Orange offense to play a little bit better but I think the Blue defense came out and got after it. We had a little talk at halftime, and the Orange offense came out and knew what they had to do. I think overall it has been a very productive spring. I think it will be very important for these guys to continue over the summer to get better. We should be a better football team when we reconvene in August than we are right now."
On Nathan Scheelhaase's performance today...
"Other than the turnovers, I thought he did very well today. You can see the competitiveness in him. Whenever he completes a pass, the first thing out of his mouth is 'great catch' or if he does something that is not correct he will go right to the receiver or running back and take the blame. I think that is admirable of him, but that is just the way he is."
On the starting quarterback for Fall, 2010...
"It is going to be important this summer that all three of those guys improve. I was impressed with Chandler Whitmer today. I thought he did an awfully nice job. He really settled down today and did a nice job compared to a couple scrimmages ago when he had a wide-eyed look. He will continue to improve. I think that this football team has enough confidence that we will get the right guy out there and the right guy will lead us."
On leadership overall...
"I think that Jeff Allen has stepped up into a leadership role. Nathan has really stepped up as well believe it or not. We say it from the beginning that it doesn't matter if you are a freshman, redshirt freshman, or a senior, the leadership is going to come. A.J. Jenkins has shown some leadership. The receivers are pulling for each other. Eddie is a fiery guy and is going to do whatever he can to help this football team. It is going to be important that the leadership shows up this summer because we have to continue to improve, work, and get better as a team."
On A.J. Jenkins...
"He has matured. He is tougher and blocking. If things go wrong he doesn't hang his head. If I get on him, he takes the criticism well. He has had a great spring and that is why he won the Bresee Award today. I always tell them how you live your life off the field is how you live your life on the field. When you doing the things you are supposed to off the field and working hard, it correlates to how you are on the field. A.J. has done a good job off the field. He also is doing a good job in the classroom and with study hall."