Aug. 10, 2010
Safety Donovan Fletcher
On being named a captain for 2010
It's a pleasure and honor to be elected by your teammates. As big of a surprise it was, that just adds more pressure. When you're named a captain, you have to go out there and prove it every day.
On the pressure that comes along with being a captain
I have to. People look at me to make those plays, to step up. In those types of situations where it's third-and-short, I have to find a way to make a play and get our guys off the field. That's life on the defensive side of the ball, that's how it is.
On the defense having four captains
Well, on both sides of the ball there is leadership. Depending on the circumstance, there's a different leader. Sometimes it comes from the receiver position, sometimes it comes from us. But going back to us having four captains of the defensive side, it doesn't mean that much to us. We know there are offensive captains and special teams captains. This year they just happened to pick four of us on defense to serve as captains.
Defensive lineman Stafford Gatling
On the team in terms of conditioning
Well, summer was a long process. We had to gain weight but also stay in shape for the season. In the past, we focused on getting bigger and then running and that led to fluctuations in weight. So this summer we tried to gain weight but the conditioning/running aspect slowed down a little. We worked on the key areas where we needed it and came through even stronger. Now we're getting our conditioning in during the end of summer workouts.
On this year's motivation
Our whole motto this year is 'Unfinished Business'. We've been in this situation before after making the MAC Championship in 2006. Last year we had motivation and almost won a championship and a bowl game, but we came up short. We've used that motivation for this year so we can be better late in games, late in drives and finish stronger.
On translating the off-field work onto the field
Our work in the weight room has translated over to our play on the field. Practice is usually really long to start since we go 24 periods. Then we got a little break with the sun not being out as much today, but the conditioning has helped us come a long way.