Coming off an injury-shortened season, senior defensive end Eric Latimore is determined to make more of an impact this year and help re-vamp the Penn State defensive line. Latimore spoke to the media via conference call on Wednesday morning.
Here are the paraphrased notes from the conference.
- Seeing Jordan Hill lose a lot of weight, from a teammate standpoint you feed off that. To see him going through all that, you want to be on the same level. He has been watching what he’s been eating and hitting the weight room, and we all want to keep up with him.
- Coach Johnson has lost some weight too, and we see him coming in, working out, it has affected everyone positively.
- I’m perfectly fine now after the injury, rehab was good but it was a bit longer of a process, but right now I’m ready to go.
- Stopping the run, we are known to stop the run since I’ve been here. We just want to re-focus on stopping up the gaps, controlling the gaps and pushing the line of scrimmage back. We have to come off ours blocks and swarm to the ball carrier.
-C.J. Olaniyan has improved all spring, he has been working out a lot in the winter and summer workouts, getting better technique, and I am excited to see him play.
- Coach Johnson has basically challenged our manhood, and this is probably the toughest line I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here.
-Last year affected me because I could only use one hand, and I had that cast on my wrist. After being healed it has made me appreciate being able to use both of my hands.
-We have all the tools to bounce back on to the national scene. I have high expectations for us, the sky is the limit for this team, we just have to go out there and perform.
- I wasn’t able to make the meeting at Joe’s house because I had class, we voted on captains but we don’t know who they are yet.
- Definitely, the tradition of a D-line here is pretty high. Those were probably the worst stats we had as a defensive line in a long time, we are just looking to improve from that and bounce back from a down year.
-Coming off of camp you get little nicks, but when you see Coach Paterno get a big injury and come right back to practice and keep on ticking, it makes you think like ‘man this is nothing,’ and makes you work a little bit harder.
-You still get some jitters right before the first game, it is that time of year, but its weird because this is the last go around. It feels like the last season just ended, but I am excited to get back out there.
-We played teams like that used short passes against us a lot last year, I think that had something to do with our sack totals. They try to game plan, and teams know when they play us they have to use short passes so we can’t rush the passer.
-Whichever of the Indiana State quarterbacks plays, I don’t think we are going to miss a beat.
-Last year the offensive line were trying to find themselves, there were a lot of changes last year. This year they are more aggressive as a unit.
-We definitely have a chance to do some things this year, but right now we are just focused on Indiana State. We know what we have to do, our goal is a Big Ten title and National Championship. Last year we worried about too many things, so this year we are more focused. It was a lot of things, worried about our schedule, worried about Alabama. We had a disappointing season last year and we want to bounce back from that.