UCF took the field Monday afternoon with helmets, shorts, jerseys and a handful of players with…
O'Leary's Thoughts on the First Day
"There was a lot of instillation. We tried to play a lot of guys, four teams we were looking at. Obviously defense is going to beat offense. I saw some really good things from some of the freshmen, that's what I'm really looking at…I thought some of the running backs showed some really good ball skills and some good running skills. I think the key is still shaping up the quarterback spot, seeing who's the guy. I don't think anybody is that close at as far as I can see…"
On freshmen Vance King and Brendan Kelly switching their respective positions
"We switched them this summer. We switched Vance to receiver, a skill that fit him. Kelly was in the backfield, he was a running back in high school. I just wanted a big half back, and he's 235 lbs. and has good running ability, so I think that helps."
On the center position
"I think the more experience we can get at that position the better off we are. I think (Mike) Lavoie can snap it, I know he's played there. John Hafferty, is our transfer and he's getting an opportunity there. Ian Bustillo has been with the program for three years, so he'll have an opportunity. I think our front two lines are pretty solidified, they know who they are. The freshmen are looking like freshmen so we don't have to worry about any of them helping us this year, maybe Steve Robinson, he can play."
On a time frame for naming the starting quarterback
"When I'll know, you'll know. When I'm ready to make a decision you'll know that. If I do make it beforehand, you'll know. I won't keep it a secret until game day."
On Michael Greco possibly having a better shot at the job because of his experience
"I think Greco is probably a better athlete, he does a lot of things well. There's a lot of instillation going on, but I'll make a decision on the quarterback spot sometime this weekend…"
On Wes Tunuufi Sauvao moving to DT
"I always like big bodies inside, and he wasn't going to be as much help offensively as he would have been defensively. He has some experience inside playing on defense so that was a natural move to make."
On opening day and having fun
"It really is. I think the freshmen are exhausted the first couple of series, but then they calm down. We play a lot of players, it's just how quick they can pick up the instillation. There's a lot of retention from the kids that are here in the spring obviously, but some of the younger kids I wanted to see if they could come in and help us and make some decisions and let's go with it, that's really what the purpose of these couple days are. We'll see where some of the young kids are that can help us, we are pretty much set on everyone else that is going to be on the field."
On coming off of last season's championship year
"It's hard to win championships, I think it's hard to continue to win…That's our goal here, to get to the conference championship and win, and I think that's what we're looking to do again."
On having a bulls eye on the team's back
"I'd rather be where we are now than where we were four years ago when I first got here. We're definitely not going to sneak up on anybody, but that's fine, that's what footballs about. I think our kids know competition is important, we preach it every day…"
On player's chemistry over the summer
"They were here all summer for the most part, every one of them."
On tough out of conference schedule
"I think the key to our season is the conference games. We have to have confidence in ourselves, we have to start winning non-conference games, that's where you get respect in the country, and that's where you get notice. Conference dictates what happens to us, and non-conference dictates a lot of stuff nationally. If we want to move up in the rankings as a conference and as a team, you have to win these non-conference games, that's what they're for."
Are there any running backs standing out so far?
"No, they're all about the same, I'll evaluate that this weekend…"
On a running back by committee approach
"I'm asked the question all the time, ‘who's replacing Kevin (Smith)', nobody, he's an All-American, you don't replace him with anybody. I think we have two or three guys that I was pleased with their movement out there. Brandon Davis showed me something, Latavius Murray I though did some nice things out there, so we'll continue to evaluate, but it's hard to evaluate without pads…"
On RB's speed
"There really is (speed), I was happy really happy with what I saw from the running back position. Obviously we need blockers, which I think is key, but we can work with the rest of it."
Brendan Sonnone is a senior writer for InsideKnights.com, covering the UCF Knights for Scout.com. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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