On Monday, receiver Kevin Wright and defensive lineman Zach Gholson met briefly with the media to talk about this second week of practice and how things have been so far.
Please see below for the video interviews with Wright and Gholson.
The wide receiver position is one offensive group that has a good bit of depth, but not a tremendous amount of experience, with the exception of senior Marcus Rucker. This is also a group that will have to produce in 2012 in a conference that is known for explosive offenses and QBs that like to sling the ball around. For new head coach Justin Fuente to be able to run a fast-paced offense that will keep the opposing defenses on their toes, Tiger receivers will need to step up and make plays.
Wright is the top returnee at wideout heading into the 2012 season, having tallied 398 yards and one touchdown on 36 receptions. Rucker and sophomore Reggie Travis follow with 20 receptions (195 yards) and 18 receptions (146 yards), respectively. Rucker's totals are significantly down from his 2010 numbers after battling nagging injuries last year. As a sophomore, he registered 704 yards and eight scores on 41 receptions.
The defensive line probably took the biggest hit of any group heading into the spring. Frank Trotter and Dontari Poe, who both started all 12 games in 2011 and anchored the line, will be missed as leaders in the defense. Trotter, along with Tommy Walker (8 starts), both graduated and Poe opted for the NFL draft after serious talks of him being a possible first rounder. Poe has been competing today in the NFL Combine and has received much praise by the commentators on the NFL Network broadcast. Poe, who was listed for the Combine at 6-4, 346 pounds, ran two unofficial sub-5.0 40s today, and was the top performer in the bench press with 44 reps.
Gholson will be looked to as a leader on the line and will hope to have a productive senior season in 2012. He started the first three games of the 2011 season, and registered 24 tackles in 12 games played. He tied for the team lead in forced fumbles with three and also posted 5 TFL. Also returning with game action is Corey Jones, who was credited with five tackles in 12 games; and Terry Redden who, as a true freshman, logged five tackles and a fumble recovery in eight games.