Warchant.com and other members of the media caught up with offenive lineman Rodney Hudson recently. Here is a transcript of that interview:
Talk about the freshman offensive lineman?
"They are coming a long a lot faster. They are looking good right now."
What do you think it is that is speeding up the process for them?
"The older guys are trying to help them out a bit. I try to help them out a little bit to bring them a long a little faster than a normal freshman would. I try to tell them a little bit more everyday."
Do you find yourself doing more than you thought you would or less than you thought you would?
"I don't really know. If I see them do something wrong I try to correct them before it becomes a bad habit, because if it becomes a habit you will have a problem. You try to correct it when it first happens."
These freshman, they are smart guys getting it pretty quick?
"Yeah, they are pretty smart."
What else do you like about them?
"Everyday at practice they are stepping up to the challenge, they aren't backing away from anybody."
What is your role being the leader of this group?
"It isn't easy, you know, it's just a part of playing football."
What do you think of the offense as a whole?
"We have some improving to do, it's early, we got a little time, but we just are working hard everyday trying to get better and better."
Talk about your improvements from this summer's off season?
"I've gotten a lot stronger. I've added about 70 pounds to my bench press from last year."
Are you trying to maintain the same weight?
"Yeah, I'm trying to maintain a little bit, trying to gain a little bit, but not too much."
How comfortable is it to be next to Ryan McMahon on the line for the second year now?
"Yeah, we're coming a long real good. I can read that defense, sometimes he doesn't even have to make the call and I already know what I am supposed to do, like double team or something. We are really able to tell what the defense is going to do when we step up to the line."
Talk about being moved back to guard from tackle.
"It really doesn't matter to me. I feel a little more comfortable at guard because I played it all year last year. Tackle is a little different. It really doesn't matter to me. It's football."
How much of that comfort comes from knowing that your next to McMahon who you have played with for a whole year now?
"Well, we are trying to feel like that with everybody now. But yeah, it's a lot more comfortable next to him because he knows what to do and I know what to do, but we are trying to make everybody like that."
How fortunate is it that Joe Tonga was able to be brought in?
"He's doing pretty good right now. He is going to help us out a lot."
Are you surprised how much he has been able to grasp quickly?
"Yeah, him along with all the other freshman because when I got here last year it was kind of hard to pick up everything. They are picking it up real good. Joe and all the other freshman are coming along real good."
Do you see any difference in coach Rick Trickett this year? Does he seem a little more comfortable and confident now that he has all of his kind of guys?
"Yeah a little bit, but he is still the same old coach Trickett. It's better for all of us, we go through practice or a game and don't even really get tired. So it makes it easier for all of us."
Last year you had issues at quarterback, how important is it for the offensive line to know who they are blocking for or having just one guy back there?
"I don't really get into all of that you know. We just try to block for whoever is back there. If we block for them, they can do it. Coach has the right plays for them."
How are you guys preparing this pre season to get ready to block?
"We are all working together. We have to help the freshmen get ready. We let them know before the play that they are doing pretty good and stuff like that."
Is there more talent along the offensive line this year?
"Kind of. Yeah I would say so."
Is there more athleticism?
"Everyone is a lot smarter right now. We are all playing a lot smarter."
Talk about D'Vontrey Richardson as a quarterback.
"He's good. He is fast, got a good arm, he is real good."
Does it get aggravating or frustrating with these 7-6 seasons?
"Yeah, we have to improve this year. We really have to work hard this year and improve."
Talk about the team motto this year.
"It's just the motto we came up with, just to take everything one day at a time. We don't need to worry about what's going to happen in the future or what happened in the past. We have to take it one day at a time."
What does it feel like to receive a compliment from coach Trickett?
"Yeah sometimes. He will let you know when you do good as well as with the bad. You just can't hear that good job and slack off. You got to keep doing it. You have to be consistent. You can't do it good this time, then bad the next time. You have to keep on consistently."
Is consistency a focal point of coach Trickett?
"Yeah, that is big. That is the biggest thing for players that play for him. If you try hard, it will lead you in the right direction. But consistency, definitely, be consistent."
Coach Bowden made the comment that this recruiting class reminds him of some of the recruiting classes from the 90's. Do you tend to agree with that?
"They have a lot of talent. A lot of talent. Especially at the skill positions, and we are working hard on the offensive line. I feel like if we can block for the quarterback and give him the time, this offense is going to click."
Is there more talent incoming on the offensive or defensive side of the ball?
Is it strange to you that you and Ryan (McMahon) are considered the veterans of the group?
"Yeah a little bit. It's kind of strange being a leader as a sophomore, but we're just coming out and playing football and helping everyone else out along the way."
What are your first impressions of Joe Tonga?
"He's doing pretty good, you know. He just got here less than a week ago, and he has come in and learned a lot faster than what a normal freshman probably would. He has picked things up pretty good. Like I said, he and the other freshmen are working hard and they are all picking it up pretty good."
Since he just got here, is the most important thing he has to learn is the scheme?
"Yeah. I try to help him sometimes, but he is still playing pretty good out there because he knows the concepts of the plays. He knows the technique pretty well."
What gives you the best indication that this team is going to be better than 7-6?
"Well, we are out there working really hard. We are working a lot harder than last year, especially this summer."
Is there a different vibe in camp?
"Well, we haven't really gotten to deep into camp yet. Like I said, there has been a lot of competing out there so far. That's the main thing. You have to compete like you do in a game. So in practice, we are competing. We have been competing a lot with one another."
Transcribed by Corey Dowlar
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