On Tuesday evening, Coach Drink and a few players spoke to reporters for the first time since school began session.
The main thing on the agenda for today’s zoom was how everyone felt about the start of classes and the influx of students on campus. Drink was first up to talk, and he gave a pretty honest answer, “We gotta see what happens in two weeks.” He followed that up by saying, “Just cause you feel good today, doesn’t mean the virus isn’t out there,” and he’s very right. It was announced today that there are currently over 150 active cases on campus, but everything depends on these next two weeks. The virus could spread rapidly, or the students at the university could handle this smoothly and greatly increase our chances of going forward with this season. When similar questions were posed to players like Barrett Banister and Brandon Scales, they expressed their gratefulness for online classes, and that they were trying to limit their social life to members of the team. Overall, it seems like the athletic department and the football program are handling this pretty well, but the rest of the campus is still to be determined.
The main highlight from the football side of the questions was the emphasis on versatility that Coach Drink wants in his offense. This versatility was addressed in terms of the offensive line and the receiving corps. Drink first highlighted that he wants every receiver to be able to play in the slot or on the outside. This is in an effort to make it harder to cover one particular receiver. He then spoke of Jalen Knox specifically, saying that he needs more touches in space in the offense this year so that his speed can be used as more of a weapon. The versatility on the offensive line was really played up as well. Both Drink and and OL Coach Marcus Johnson have been emphasizing the importance of knowing all 5 positions to the guys. They mentioned the possibility of unexpected injuries, and it is likely that with the unpredictability of COVID having guys who can slide into any spot will make it a lot easier to keep the O-Line playing up to its potential.
The last thing I will leave you with from this zoom was Ennis Rakestraw got another shoutout from a receiver. Barrett Banister talked about his understanding of what offenses are trying to do and his maturity for a freshman. I know I have mentioned Rake a lot, but I just can’t help it when he’s getting praise like this.