Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Oct. 15, 2012
Senior, Wide Receiver/Returns
"The doctor cleared me and I start full contact practice today. I'm cleared to go Saturday."
On what quarter he got hurt in on the opening game
"The first quarter. Towards the end of the first quarter."
On what happened
"I was diving for a ball in the end zone on the south side. The way I landed on my arm and my elbow, and the safety landed on top of me, it just jarred it loose. It was bad timing. It's all right though because I'm back."
On what his role will be and how he'll get back into the receiver spot
"I'm not sure yet. I haven't talked to Coach (Rich) Fisher on what the reps will be like. I'm sure I'll start working in there with Jamal (Turner) and work back into the slot. We'll see how it works out through the week and on Saturday. I'll definitely start working with the first team and hopefully be sharing reps with Jamal."
On his impression of the offense watching from the sidelines
"It's been a lot of fun to watch. It's been fun to watch my fellow receivers grow and start making great plays. As a whole offense, we're explosive and the best in the Big Ten. We can be the best in the country at times when we take care of the football. It's awesome to watch when we're flying around penalty free and taking care of the football. Not when we start letting things snowball with offsides calls and ball security. If we take care of the football and the penalties, there are not many defenses out there that are going to slow us down."
On sophomore wide receiver Kenny Bell stepping up
"He's a great talent. He's a great player. He's been a great leader, too. He's a vocal leader. He's a very loud personality. He brings a lot of life to the team, and he's made some great plays. His yards after the catch are amazing. He can catch a hitch route and get you 25 yards. He's just a great player to have out there. He's a game breaker and definitely someone that other defenses have to prepare for."
On what they practiced during the bye week
"Just fundamentals. Things like ball security and staying on sides in terms of the offense. Getting back to the basics. We practiced three times last week and got some lifts in and some runs. We tried to get our bodies back fresh for this week because we have a big six weeks ahead. We're definitely looking forward to it."
On what he did for rehab
"I've been doing rehab for two hours a day. I do a ton of shoulder workouts like band work and resistance. I'm starting to get into weights now. There are a lot of things like pool workouts and running. It's been a long rehab but I'm excited to be back this week."
On if he's ahead of schedule
"Yes I'd say I'm about one week ahead of schedule. It's usually about eight weeks. Saturday against Northwestern will be the seventh week since I broke it. I'm excited to get back a week early."
On how this injury differs from a knee or ankle injury
"When I broke my collarbone I was heartbroken, but it definitely could have been worse. As a wide receiver I could have hurt a ligament in my knee. With breaking a bone there's not as much rehab as if you were to tear a ligament. The bone just takes time for it to heal. I just help the muscles around it. I'm fortunate enough to not hurt a muscle in my legs because that's where I get my money catching balls and stuff. I'm fortunate to break a bone and not a ligament."
On if there's any limited motion coming back
"No. It's full go. We'll tryout the contact today. I have to be careful diving for balls like how I broke it. It's full go."
On his experience going to Ohio State
"It was great. I was fortunate that Coach Osborne helped me out and got the extra 71st man to go. It was a great experience to be there with my team. Obviously it didn't come out the way we wanted to. Obviously wish I could have been playing. It's a dream to play in that stadium. Just to be there with the team and take the field was a great experience and a great experience. Like I said, it didn't come out the way we want it to but I'm glad I got to go."
On players during the bye week that stepped up and took charge
"I think Kenny had a great week. Like I said, he's become more of a vocal leader even though he's a young guy. He's not afraid to stand up in front of everyone and voice his opinion. As well as Rex (Burkhead). Rex always does a good job keeping us focused. He may not always be the most vocal leader but just by his work ethic and cheering us on at practice since he was sitting out. Those two guys are a big help."
On if Bell has earned respect to be a leader
"Absolutely. People see his big catches and we watch the game film watching him block. He's only 180 pounds but he's out there blocking his butt off. Him and Quincy (Enunwa) are doing a great job on the run game allowing Taylor (Martinez), Rex, and Ameer (Abdullah) to get long runs. He's proven himself and gained a lot of respect. Even though I'm a couple of years older than him, I'll listen to him all day. He's earned it."
On Coach Pelini saying the team has to win out
"We definitely have looked at the schedule and we, as a team, know what we have to do. We didn't need Bo to say it. We know we have to win out. We know we slipped up in Columbus. The only way we can guarantee we go to Indianapolis is winning out. Obviously there are other ways to do it, but if we just win the next six games we'll be in Indianapolis and that's where we ultimately want to be. We want to bring this state a conference championship."
On if it's normal for Coach Pelini to make a comment like that
"Like I said, we don't really mind. As players, we already knew. We knew once we lost in Columbus that it was our one slip up in Big Ten play. We have to win out to guarantee that we go to Indianapolis. Bo saying it just verifies it, but, as players, we already knew."
On what he expects from Northwestern
"They're a very good team, a very fundamental team. They're not a team that's going to beat themselves. Like last year here in Lincoln they played a sound game and came out with a victory. They're the same team. On offense they have a lot of playmakers and a lot of speed. On offense they have a lot of weapons. On defense, like I said, they just play basic cover 4 and cover 3 defense and they do it very well."
On if they have more attention on Northwestern this year
"Absolutely. Watching them on film last year, we knew they're a good team. We weren't shocked by them last year. They've gained more respect his year with six wins already and being bowl eligible. They beat some non-conference teams. They're definitely a very good team and we're aware of that. They have a lot of great athletes and a great coach. They're going to play their best on Saturday, and we have to bring our A-game."
On what they can learn from the two road losses to have a better outcome at Northwestern
"I'd say not letting things snowball."