Devine Ozigbo Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 5, 2018

Devine Ozigbo
Senior Running Back
On nearing 1,000 rushing yards
“It’s kind of something that came up as the season has gone along. Now getting close and being able to reach it, that’s something I definitely want to go out there and grab for a personal goal. But I definitely just want to do something for the team and especially for the fans. It’s something they’ve been talking about for a few years now and it would be good to give it to them.”

On if winning games is the next step for the team
“You can only get so much better without getting the result you want. So we’re just going to keep working and keep getting better. Definitely wins are the next step for this team. If it’s not now, it’s definitely going to be in the future. This team is just going to continue to get better.”

On his understanding of the running back tradition at Nebraska
“I just knew in the past that they always had a good lot… just high-caliber, good running backs that came here through the years. Coming from the area I came from in Dallas, Rex Burkhead is really close. Seeing him and what he did here, I was like, ‘Alright, I like that. He’s from my area, he plays good ball, they treat him well out there. I can go do something like that.”

On if he knows Rex Burkhead
“Not personally. I met him for the first time I think earlier this summer, but just knowing who he was… I think he was a pretty popular guy in my area. Just seeing him do that kind of inspired me a little bit.”

On his relationship with Ameer Abdullah
“Me and Ameer, we talk pretty often. Not super often, but every once in a while I catch up with him. When he’s in town, I catch up with him and sometimes we work out together and things like that. He’s been a guy that I’ve kept in contact with.”

On if he takes struggling players aside to offer advice
“Kind of… I guess I would if I needed to but I haven’t really seen that out of the young guys. I think all the young guys kind of know what’s coming. They know what’s going on and they know, depending on what position it is, they have some pretty good seniors and stuff ahead of them. Especially when it comes to receivers and even on defense. A bunch of young guys know they’re learning from the older guys, and once they get they’re shot they’re going to be ready.”

On rising above the competition to become the feature back
“I’m a pretty self-motivated person, but I definitely think it helps – competition, definitely. The better group of guys you have in there, the more everybody’s going to get better. When everybody’s getting better, the team is getting better. So I think it definitely helped. It’s something that made me probably accelerate it, maybe. It forced it to happen at a faster rate, but I think I’m pretty self-motivated and able to take care of myself. It definitely helped.”

On the growth of freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez as a leader
“He’s always been a very mature guy even when he first came here. He’s definitely grown as a leader. He’s more vocal. He’s down to talk to people one-on-one. He does all the little things that as a quarterback you’d want him to do. He keeps his head cool and he keeps everyone’s minds at ease. So I definitely have seen him grow as a player and as a person. Nothing specific, he’s just kind of elevating his game everywhere as a quarterback.”

On Illinois quarterback and former Husker AJ Bush
“I’m happy for AJ, I’m excited. I definitely plan on going to say what’s up to him before and after the game. He was a guy that when he was here, he was nothing but good times. I’m happy for him and I’m excited to see him.”

On if his vision for his future has changed
“Coming into this year, I definitely knew that it might not be all I wanted. We have so many talented guys here, so I knew I was going to be in a limited role but I was just going to try to make the most out of it. When it came to playing football after this, I was like, ‘Alright, whatever I do here, we’re going to hopefully win as many games as we can and do my personal part to the best as I can, and no matter what I was going to give it a shot.’ So him [Coach Frost] just saying that kind of confirmed the [thinking of] ‘definitely go out there and give it all you got. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. But you’ve got to go and try to go get it.”

On what it is like to buy in as a young player
“It’s probably a lot of things that you don’t think matter are going to count. A lot of things that you might overlook or might not be fully aware of or focused on, those are the things that can really help you get to where you want to be. I had those problems when it came to little things here and there in practice. Just whatever it might have been… just small things that I didn’t really recognize were keeping me off the field. I feel like it’s just a realization of that, and once that happens, the young guys will be like, ‘Alright, this stuff is important,’ and that’s what’s going to help them get on the field and help them win games. Just those small little details and things like that.”

On examples of important details
“Probably in practice just finishing runs. That was one thing where if I get rocked up at the line, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s stopped.’ But that’s not a good for your conditioning and it’s not good for extending plays and being able to work the second level and things like that. So things like, ‘Oh, I was tackled right there. There’s no way I was going to get many yards,’ but you’re cutting your rep short when you could be getting more work at a second and third level, and things like that.”

On having a lot of miles left as a running back
“The first time I thought about that, my brother was talking to me like, ‘Yeah, teams are going to look at you and say that’s a guy that doesn’t have many miles or yards on him,’ so that could be a beneficial thing. If it’s going to help, then that’s good. I guess I’d consider myself that way.”

On how much faster he has gotten
“I think I can get to my top speed a lot faster. I don’t know necessarily how fast I am because we’ve never really measured it before, and we haven’t really measured it since, but I feel a lot quicker. Having that take a lot less time has helped me.”

On his breakout game at Illinois in 2015
“That was cool because it was the first time I got in the end zone. That was the first time I made an impactful play on the field in college. It does seem pretty far away but I do always think about that. That’s the first one. Illinois always holds a space in my heart because that’s where it happened. Yeah, I do think about that game and like, ‘Alright, this is my last time being able to play this team. I’ve got to go out there and give everything I’ve got. And that’s honestly for every team.”

On details of his physical improvements
“The only thing I could think of right now is the best I was last year in 2017 when it came to body fat, it was, I want to say… 16-ish. I think I got it down to in the 12’s this past year. That’s one thing that they did with everybody. Everybody leaned out and we just got stronger as the season went, so it was nice. That was from the same point last year… I think the lowest I got was like 10, but that was when I was back home. That was on a different system so I don’t know how it compares. Definitely leaning out has helped me a lot.”

On improvements in nutrition
“There are a lot better options around. They fed us so well all fall camp and things like that. Nobody’s weight dropped. Everybody was maintaining and improving in areas they needed to. I definitely attest a lot of that to Dave [Ellis] and Coach Duval and all of them in the strength and conditioning staff. They helped a lot. There’s so much available that you couldn’t go wrong.”


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