Day 2 of media days is swiftly drawing to a close, and I thought I would leave you with a few quick comments before I head off to dinner. Look for more posts later this evening after I get a chance to sift through my hours and hours of audio material!
Marc Verica prefers to let his performance on the field do the talking.
Don’t get me wrong; Verica is a very well spoken young man who always has an intelligent answer at the ready. However, he seems more at ease leading his team than answering the same questions six times in a row. I don’t blame him in the slightest. From speaking with Marc both during interviews and before dinner last evening, I get the sense that he is anxious to give people something new to talk about. There has been enough conversation about his play during the past couple of seasons. He has new coach, new offensive coordinator, and, for the first time, he goes into camp knowing that he is our guy. It’s a whole new ballgame this season, and Marc Verica is ready to play.
On the other hand, Ras-I Dowling enjoys playing to the crowd.
Dowling’s electrifying style of play on the football field translates to a sparkling personality in the interview room. He was quick to strike up a casual conversation about our shared “757” roots. Ras-I, like his teammate Verica, is ready to start the season. He was quick to point out that it’s impossible to name a champion before the season has even begun, and it’s clear that he has his own lofty goals. His most important goal: graduating this December. Dowling made it clear that getting his degree takes precedence over his NFL prospects. His academically minded attitude made him a model spokesman for Coach London’s program.
For the second year in a row, Boston College sent two of the best interviewees.
Last year, I was more than impressed by BC’s Matt Tennant and Jim Ramella. This time around, listening to Mark Herzlich made me want to cry tears of joy, and then do something really intense and amazing like run through a brick wall. Although head coach Frank Spaziani is “cautiously optimistic” about Mark’s return to the field. Herzlich himself was rather emphatic about the absolute reality of his return to football. The last time I saw Herzlich, he was bald from chemotherapy at Scott Stadium last November. He looks like a different person now that his curls have grown back and he’s been out practicing in the sun. I’ll post a picture later after I upload my photos to my laptop. His cohort Anthony Costanzo joked about having to take a backseat to Herzlich. He certainly took it in stride, and gladly answered questions about Mark in addition to queries about the Eagles’ offense and QB David Shinskie.
Don’t Tweet that!
The prevalence of social media at this year’s football kickoff meant that “Don’t Tweet that” is the new incarnation of “off the record.” My fellow interns and I interacted with the players more casually after interviews were over, and a common theme while sharing stories was the omnipresence of Twitter and Facebook. Florida State QB Christian Ponder got a lot of grief for not accepting friend requests in a timely manner, and Anthony Costanzo jokingly mused about creating a Twitter account purely for inventing rumors.
Coach London was quite the crowd-pleaser.
I made sure to get to Mike London’s interview session early to get a good seat, and it was a good thing I did. Throughout the 1:15 interview session, London’s table was consistently full and surrounded by media anxious to hear Virginia’s new head coach discuss recruiting, running backs, and his new 4-3 defense. London answered every question clearly and completely, giving plenty of good sound-bites and food for thought. I can’t wait to catch up with him again next week at Virginia’s own media luncheon. Hopefully I can get more of my questions answered!
Coach Fisher has the personality to fill Bobby Bowden’s place.
We will have to wait and see how Jimbo Fisher’s coaching ability compares to Bowden’s, but Fisher has a lot of the same sparkle that made Bowden such a great interview. Fisher had a quip for every question, and his rapid-fire answers kept our pens moving as we struggled to keep up. He was nothing but complimentary of Coach Bowden, but it’s easy to see that Fisher can’t wait to leave his own mark on Seminole Football.