UAB Football Previews Season At Annual Media Day

UABSPORTS.COM
UABSPORTS.COM

UABSPORTS.COM

Aug 17, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB head football coach Garrick McGee, along with junior running back Darrin Reaves, junior wide receiver J.J. Nelson, senior linebacker Patrick Bastien and senior defensive tackle Deric Scott previewed the 2013 football season at the team's annual Media Day on Saturday.

The Blazers discussed various topics, including the changing culture at UAB, McGee's second season at the helm, improvements on the defensive side of the ball and the quarterback situation, at Saturday's event. 

UAB will conclude the day with a 7 p.m. CT scrimmage at Legion Field and will officially kick off the 2013 season on Aug. 31 at Troy, with that game slated to begin at 6 p.m. CT. 

Ticket information for 2013 home games can be found on www.uabsports.com or by calling the UAB ticket office at 205-975-8221. For the latest news on the UAB football team, as well as all Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics.

Below are quotes from Saturday's Media Day:

Head Coach Garrick McGee

On changing the culture at UAB…
“Change is hard in any organization, especially when you’re changing a culture. You have to change how a whole program thinks. It’s hard to get people to change how they have been doing things. It’s safe to stay the same. Change requires risk. Change requires you to trust someone. We still don’t have it all figured out, but I like where our team is in regards to change.”

On position changes...
“Darius Powell moved from corner to receiver. He was recruited as a receiver. We moved him to corner when we got here because we needed depth at corner. We have done really well in recruiting at that position so it gives Darius the opportunity to move back to receiver. He wants the ball in his hands and that is when he is at his best.”

On the quarterbacks…
“They (Austin Brown and Jonathan Perry) are both doing a good job learning and understanding what we’re doing. They are doing a good job of leading. Jonathan Perry has been impressive to me as an unselfish leader. His personality and the way he goes about his business on a daily basis has impressed me. He has emerged as a team leader and stood out to me.”

On his experience managing quarterbacks…
“Any time you have done something for most of your life, you are confident in yourself and your ability to manage certain situations. When I came in, I didn’t know how to be a head coach, but I knew how to handle quarterbacks. That’s not going to be our issue.”

On sophomore linebacker Jake Ganus…
“He’s bigger and he’s very intelligent. He can play both outside linebacker spots. He’s very committed to our program. Jake is one of my favorite guys because he’s so committed.”

On any newcomers who are stepping up in fall camp…
“(Jamari) Staples will be out there for sure. Jordan Howard will be our third running back as of today. Our recruiting class from last year has added depth so that we don’t have to play 18 freshmen again this year.”

On junior wide receiver Maudrecus Humphrey...
“He came to me and said that the tempo we practice at is different from when we were at Arkansas. He’s fine (on Humphrey missing a couple of days at practice last week). He caught body cramps and we gave him some time off to let his body settle in.”

Junior Running Back Darrin Reaves

On Saturday’s scrimmage at Legion Field…
“We’re pretty excited to see what we can do against each other in a real scrimmage and see what type of players we have and what kind of plays we can make.”

On UAB’s goals this season… 
“We really understand the task at hand and we all have a common goal of winning the conference championship, so everyday we just work towards that goal and that keeps us motivated. “

On the quarterbacks… 
“Experience and depth are always two great things to have and to have two quarterbacks who are able to make plays for out team is a great relief for everybody out on the field.”

On his grasp of head coach Garrick McGee’s offensive system… 
“I feel like we are a lot more comfortable with his system. I also feel like the coaches have gotten a lot more comfortable with the players and really know how things fit and how things are supposed to be done.” 

Senior Linebacker Patrick Bastien

On how the defense has progressed in the offseason… 
“I think we’ve made a lot of strides, kind of picked up from where we left off in the spring. We’ve been focused on enthusiasm and getting turnovers and I think we’ve made a lot of strides.”

On the second season under head coach Garrick McGee… 
“We understand that the new culture works and we all have the same common goal to win. We are all really excited and we know that this season it will work so we are just ready for everything to come together.”

Senior Defensive Tackle Deric Scott

On how the defensive line has progressed… 
“We’ve come a long way. Coach (Kevin) Peoples has taught us a lot about hands and where our eyes need to be. Instead of just getting vertical we need to know how to read blocks and read plays.”

On new defensive line coach Kevin Peoples… 
“He challenges everybody, everyday to step up and make a play whether it is a freshman or a senior. He gives everybody an equal amount of play and he feels that everybody can do anything.”

On changing the culture at UAB…
“The culture has been a real big change around here. Guys will walk around together, talk more and go out more as a group. It’s more of a family bond.” 

Junior Wide Receiver J.J. Nelson

On the quarterbacks…
“We are pretty confident in both our quarterbacks. They are both experienced guys. Austin (Brown) and JP (Jonathan Perry) are both doing a good job, and once we get timing down everything will be fine.” 

On quarterback Austin Brown…
“Austin is a lot more comfortable than last year. He has learned the protections and seeing what way the blitz is coming and how to change to protection.” 

On improvements on the offensive side of the ball…
“As an offensive unit, I have seen big improvements. Austin (Brown) has progressed and JP (Jonathan Perry) has become a leader. The offensive line has come together. We have young receivers and experience at receiver, and I’m kind of a leader for the receivers. We also have an all-conference running back in Darrin Reaves.”


 

 

 
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