Jason Ankrah will be a leader of NU's defensive line in 2013.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Jason Ankrah

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Fan Day Press Conference
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013

Jason Ankrah
Sr., Defensive End
On his comfort level with defensive players viewing him as a leader
“Yes. I am taking that role so serious. When the bowl game ended and we began workouts in the spring, I had fun and am making myself better as a player and a leader.”

On the defensive line’s responsibility as a unit
“There’s a lot. It’s true because it starts with the defensive line. If the line does their job then you can’t get to the secondary, and can’t get to the second part of the defense. We hold each other to a high standard and every day in workouts we work to get bigger, stronger, faster, and more knowledgeable of our defense if anything. Not just the line, but everybody because the line can do a lot but if a defensive back messes up on a deep ball, then it’s just as bad as a mistake by the line. We take ownership of everybody, not just the line.”
On trying to get over the hump of playing for the conference title three of four years with no victory
“We talk about how we were so close. People think you have to make a drastic change to overcome that hump, but really it’s the little things like technique and knowing the game plan. It’s more than just people thinking we have to change everything up. That’s not really the situation.”
On media members choosing Ohio State to win the Big Ten
“We aren’t worried about anybody else other than ourselves. We are worried about the team we come up against each week. Right now we’re focused on ourselves and getting our defense on the same page because we have some many new faces. We’ve clicked real well this offseason, so we have no worries about that.”
On a defensive linemen who will impress fans the most this year
“I think everybody will. Last year’s class of Avery (Moss), Vince (Valentine), and (Aaron) Curry, they’ve really picked up and grown up. This incoming class of Maliek (Collins), Kevin (Maurice), A.J. (Natter), they’ve picked up on the playbook and how we carry ourselves as a defensive line and how we work. I’m really excited to see all of us work this upcoming week when camp starts.”
On if he’s talked with Randy Gregory at all
“I just met him yesterday for the first time. He’s ready to go. Unfortunately it took him this long to get here, but we aren’t worried about it. He’s going to get thrown in the fire just like we are.”
On if Gregory’s pass rushing abilities can boost the defense
“We’re really excited. We all are capable of making plays. It comes with confidence and knowing what you have to do. We’re excited he’s here. We’re excited about anything he can bring to the table. We want it, and we need it. If it’s him starting or him playing the second role, whatever role he plays, we need him, just like we need everybody else on the defense.”
On how important it is for Thad Randle to have a successful year
“It’s important because I came here with him and I’ve been his roommate and I understand his struggles and what he’s been going through with his knee. This year he’s had his mind set to where he wants to take the next step just like everybody else does. He’s really important to our defense because he’s just as experienced as I am. He may not have played as many games, but he played earlier than I did so we need him. He’s just as important as everybody else.”
On who he has seen step up at linebacker since the bowl game
“Zaire Anderson. I’m really confident in him. I’m really confident in (David) Santos, (Trevor) Roach, (Jared) Afalava, all those young guys, Michael Rose. They have the 'want to' to get right. They may not have ‘perfect’ down but they’re in the film room every day trying to get better.”
On the offseason altercation and the dismissal of two players
“It was just that night that something went down. With one of the players, he had previous incidents and had certain things he would do. That night was just the last straw for him and, unfortunately, he brought along another person with him. It went down the wrong way. We all know what we have to do. We know right from wrong, so the fact that they did that, they chose to do that, that’s the only issue. We’re still going to move on. The next people have to step up.”
On if the team had a say in the decision about the dismissals
“It was everybody’s decision.”


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