Redshirt freshman linebacker Aaron Gresham is one of many players who has seen many gains in the summer workout program. Warchant.com caught up with the middle linebacker to talk about several things including his health, Coach Amato, and the freshmen linebackers.
What is your weight at right now?
"I weighed in today at my physical at 230."
Talk about the line backer corps for this upcoming year, what do you see?
"We're packed at linebacker this year, we got a lot of good, talented guys. Our goal is to go be the leaders on the team, and to make our linebacker corps the center of the defense you know, and get things done. "
Who is really stepping up to the plate among the linebackers in terms of leadership?
How are workouts going for you? Where have your biggest gains been?
"Probably bench press right now because I messed up my back a little bit. Just strained that muscle in there or something, trying to strengthen my back up because my back has been a little weak. So, that's a big improvement that I have made. My upper body strength has gotten a lot stronger. Now I'm just trying to get myself healthy as far as my ankles and stuff, get my legs back strong."
Where are you at health wise, are you not 100%?
"No, I'm still working on that. I mean, I can go, I'll be going full out, but I'm not 100 percent. I'm at about 80 percent if I had to guess."
What have the freshman linebackers shown you so far?
"They definitely are showing promise. You know, they are young, they got a lot to learn and stuff. They are strong, their fast, they are going to be a big help. Physically everybody out here is ready. "
Are you guys comfortable with Coach Stroud and his routine now?
"Yeah, everybody is stepping in, they pretty much know what to expect, every day we come out here busting out butts, you know, there is no surprises, but at the same time we come out here to work. So we're all getting stronger, bigger, faster."
How much playing time do you expect in the first couple games?
" I should be on some special teams and stuff, but I don't know how linebacker is going to work. I'm sitting behind Derek and Recardo Wright and me and Vince Williams are probably fighting for number three so we'll see."
Talk about the mentality of a Middle Linebacker.
"A linebacker is a linebacker. We're looking for contact, looking to stop the ball any way we can. As far as outside and middle, in the middle you don't have to worry about outside contain as much as you do on the outside. Basically you are plugging holes in the middle or dropping back into pass coverage , there is not a whole lot of differences. I mean, we got guys that are jumping around from outside to outside, a couple of guys going from middle to outside. I played Sam, Recardo plays Sam or Will, Vince I'm sure before it's over will learn how to play another position. You know everybody pretty much bounces around and plays, you know, they aren't as good as where they are comfortable at of course."
Is that something that Amato really likes to do, cross training in case of injury or something like that?
"Well not so much in case of injury, but so you know what your guy next to you is doing, what his responsibilities are. That way you know or have a feel for where everybody is at. You don't have to ask or get in his way or what not, it just helps out the whole defense."
Talk about playing for coach Amato.
"Yeah he's definitely a good coach, that is for sure. Extremely football smart, he knows the players, he knows the game."
Does coach Amato keep on top of you during the summer, in terms of going to class etc…?
"Oh yeah, we don't get away with nothing. Even though we don't see him that much, we'll pass him in the hallway and it seems like he's been right behind you the whole way."
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