First impressions from the freshmen who gave their first interviews of preseason this morning – is that this is a confident and level headed group of guys.
Considering Dana Holgorsen and his staff have made it quite clear there are opportunities to be had, that bodes well.
Freshman safety K.J. Dillon was refreshingly honest about being nervous about the season - excited, he made sure to make clear, but a little nervous.
Dillon repped with the ones on Monday night for the first time filling in for the injured Darwin Cook (groin).“I’m more excited than scared. I always dreamed of playing against the big guys, Oklahoma, Texas,” he said. “Nervous, yes. But excited.”
He said that lining up against his own team’s offense has to be the best way to prepare for the Big 12, noting the skill he sees daily.
“There’s no more Tavon Austin’s out there. No more Stedman Bailey’s. No more Geno (Smith’s) picking you off. I’m going against the best every day,” said Dillon. “It’s just that I’m with the big boys now. I’m playing with the big dogs. Every day I’m playing against top guys in the nation, just blessed.”
Some highlights from interviews with some other true freshmen.
O-Lineman Tyler Orlosky on what led he and teammate Adam Pankey to earn spots on the second team so early in camp:
“I don’t know. Just coachability I guess,” he said. “Being able to have the coach tell you what to do and try to mimic what he wants you to do.”
Pankey on the same question:
“Yeah, but I was just doing my position, working, trying my best,” said Pankey. “(Coach Bedenbaugh) just threw me in there. I just went with it and didn’t give it too much thought.”And why the position is so difficult to transition into the college game without a redshirt year:
“Guys are faster, bigger, more agile. For O-linemen to come from high school to college – you guard against 22, 23 year old men instead of 18 year old boys,” said Orlosky. “It’s much different, definitely a difficult position on the field.”
WR Devonte Mathis, on watching West Virginia last season:
“It was exciting to watch them. It kind of made my decision,” he said.
He was also at the Orange Bowl which he reports was "pretty fun watching" but admits "it got a little boring. Touchdown, touchdown. But it was pretty exciting.”