Senior offensive lineman DeOn'Tae Pannell hasn't exactly seen his career go to plan after playing as a true freshman four years ago. Now in line to start one season at guard, Pannell talks about the adjustments that he has made leading up to 2011.
Here are the paraphrased notes from his Wednesday teleconference.
- I think the offensive line has made a lot of improvements since spring ball. There's definitely room for room to improve. It's going to be a whole different speed when we get into games and we have to pick it up.
- I don't have a for sure indication that I'm starting, but that's where I've been practicing. I'm looking to make the most of that and not lose that job. One of my goals is to start 12 games this season.
- We're not sure what Indiana State is going to do. We know they're going to move a lot, so we're preparing for everything and a lot of blitzes.
- We've all been moving around and played all the different positions on the inside. Dick Anderson preaches being able to play all the positions. They've been experimenting with those things and that helps us in the long run when you run into injuries.
- Curtis Drake is out there practicing with us, he's not full go yet. He's being held back so that he doesn't get hurt and loses another season.
- I think the only difference between the guys we have now at center and right guard is that Wiz had all that experience and Doug Klopacz brought his style of leadership. John Urschel and Matt Stankiewitch have gotten some experience under their belts and have gotten better.
- I think we have the opportunity to be a very special team. I want to be a big part of it and make the most out of it. I want to do as much as possible to win.
- We're really excited to get to Saturday because it's the first game of the year and we can actually hit someone else. There's nothing sleepy about it whatsoever.
- As far as toughness goes, it's about running the ball and having the attitude to stay on a block until the whistle. Those are the types of things that Joe has preached this preseason. You have to have an attitude about you. You have to bring it until they don't want any part of it.
- It was all about consistency when I was younger. That's one thing that I had to work on coming into my senior year. It's about giving it my all and keeping that technique.
- I started off preseason at left guard, but I've seen probably equal reps at both position. They needed to get a good feeling to see where guys are most comfortable about.
- There's always in the back of your head, you wish you maybe could have redshirted. I got some valuable game experience when I was a freshman, so that was mostly positive. For me, I'm happy to be a fourth-year senior.
- I've lost about 25 pounds, at the beginning of the winter I was probably about 330 pounds. Right now I'm right around 308. I've stayed away from 'cookies, cakes and pies' to get down to this stuff.