April 2, 2014
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Saluki football team held a short, live scrimmage at the end of today's practice at Saluki Stadium in preparation for Saturday's full, 80-play scrimmage at 9:30 a.m.
All three quarterbacks on the spring roster looked sharp, including sophomore Ryan West, who started the final four games of the 2013 regular season.
Q&A with Ryan West
Q: What have coaches told you to work on this off-season so that you have the chance to be the starting quarterback?
"They told me to step up my leadership and be consistent with my play. From day-in to day-out, I have to make the right reads and make the throws. I have to do the little things right."
Q: How much did it help you to learn behind Kory Faulkner?
"The biggest thing I learned from Kory was how to get the whole offense to buy into him. They all bought into him and I want that same feeling when I'm out there. I want all the guys to know that I can get the job done."
Q: What were some of things you learned from playing last year when Kory got hurt?
"Don't do too much. Just play within yourself--always. You have to trust in what you see and go from there."
Q: You may not have the size of Faulkner but you do a number of things well. How would you characterize your style of play?
"I would consider myself a typical pro-style quarterback, but I also feel that I can make some plays with my feet as well."
Q: What has new offensive coordinator Bill O'Boyle done differently from last year?
"Physicality. That's the No. 1 thing he has said all Spring ball. As an offense, he said we are going to be physical up front and across the board. Basically, he said we should set an attitude out there."
"We do. Of course, we are never satisfied and we are always trying to get better. I think Coach O'Boyle brings a different attitude to the offense. I think it will carry over on Saturdays."
"Coach O'Boyle's philosophy is that he wants us to be well-balanced. We need to be able to run the ball and if we run effectively we should be able to throw the ball down field."
Q: What's been the biggest change in working with new quarterbacks coach Nick Hill?
"I think the energy he brings day-in and day-out sticks out. Some days, I am a little tired out there, but he's always energetic and gets us going. Also in the film room, he really knows his stuff."
Q: What kind of suggestions has he been able to make?
"I think one of the biggest things is that he focuses on our mechanics--like footwork and throwing motion. Also, he teaches us how to have a quarterback's mentality and how to carry yourself."