Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

PJ Smith Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

On seniors taking ownership over this team
"That's what Coach Bo wanted us to do from the start. He trusts us because we are a more mature group. The seniors have been here for four or five years and its time, we need to get ready for the season."

On the numbers of Fifth year seniors.
"It is a huge advantage because we have been here since Coach Bo's first day. We help the younger guys out and show them the ropes because we have seen it all. We all are just maturing and getting better."

On the number of guys competing for playing time in the secondary
"We've had fun this summer, because we know it's a team thing so we are pushing each other. We are helping the younger guys out and they are also helping us older guys out. It is really going to help us out because if someone gets hurt, we have a lot of depth to go into the game and compete."

On working on guarding deep balls
"Coach (Terry) Joseph sat us all down and told us what we need to do and is working with us to get better. We do a lot of different drills that will help us out. Coach Joseph, he's a smart guy and brings a lot of different things to the table."

On losing past leaders in the secondary and being the one replacing them
"I've always felt that I have been a vocal leader for the defense, but now it's time to step up and bring the other guys with me. It's not about one guy it's about the team. And we have a lot of guys in the secondary that are hungry. If we all stick together we will be fine. "

On (Jason) Ankrah's comment on being a top-10 defense

"Yeah we want to be more than a top-10 defense, we want to be the best."

On run stopping for the safeties
"We have been working on our read steps a lot, because that is the most important thing that we need to do. Because if it is a run we will get the right angle and we can stop them sooner and win first and second down. We need to trust our eyes."

On (Daimion) Stafford coming in last season and having success
"He was hungry, and he stepped up last year. He loves the game and he is a hitter. He'd rather hit somebody than make an interception. He has learned a lot going into this season. He was my roommate last year for away games and he didn't really understand the whole defense, but he was a playmaker so he went out and made plays. Now this year he knows everything and he is going to have a big year."

On teaching the younger guys about trust, and the importance of it
"Yeah our secondary coach last night said that if he can't trust you on the field, then you will never play. We have to know what we are doing when we get onto the field because the worst feeling in the world is not knowing what you are supposed to do. If you don't know your assignments then you are already beat."


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