If you’re used to blowing people out of the water every week or losing by 30 points, you’re not used to battle. That’s been a big word that’s been thrown around a lot this offseason. Cocahes want us to fight. They want us to be able to push whenever things get tough. Being in those situations last year, it helps out a lot. There were a few challenges where we got up and had to hold on for dear life at the end, like in the Tennessee and Florida games. Then there were games where we were down by a lot and had to come back, like the Georgia Tech game. We were exposed to all kinds of situations, so you know how to prepare for when those things happen again.
Q: How did you spend your spring break?
I spent my spring break about like how Zac Brown said in that song, “Toes” – ‘I got my toes in the water, but in the sand; Not a worry in the world with a cold beer in my hand.’ But minus the cold beer. I went down to the beach in Panama [City], hung out with some teammates, went to a couple concerts and that’s about it. We saw Luke Bryan; he’s a good friend of mine [and] a real cool guy. He came to the Vandy game last year and was off the charts hot when I got ejected [for targeting]. He was about to blow a gasket. I had to tell him to calm down.
Q: Speaking of the Vandy game, what changes do you foresee in the controversial targeting penalty in college football?
I think they’ve already made some changes to that. This year coming up, everything will be the same except for if you get a targeting penalty and it’s overturned, the 15-yard penalty won’t hold up. That would be very helpful in a lot of situations because there were a few teams this past year that maybe made it down to a 3rd down getting ready to get off the field, then the other team gets an automatic first down because of a targeting call. ... My goodness, I hated that [Vanderbilt] game so much.