Watch & Read: Arkansas better than record would indicate

by Inside the Gators Staff
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Billy NapierHayden Hansen, and Princely Umanmielen spoke about the loss to Georgia and this weekend’s game against Arkansas during Monday’s press conference.

Florida Football Parental RoundTables


BILLY NAPIER: All right. How is everybody doing today? Are appreciate y’all being here today.

I think ultimately when you have time to look at the film a little bit closer, some of the same things I said after the game. I feel strongly about today. I think just makes me realize, and I think we all know this, you guys obviously cover our team, but everything matters. All parts of what we do contribute to the final result.

I think really for me, it causes me to double down on kind of what we believe from an evaluation standpoint, recruitment standpoint, having continuity in system relative to the concepts that you run, scheme, adjustments. I do think there’s a development component to that, as well.

The accumulation of reps, right? Building depth on your team. I do think the competition that is created from depth. The quality of your walk-on program, how that can improve your practice environment.

I think the situational football and the game management piece, as we go, it becomes really important. There’s a set of values. There’s character that you like your team to play with. There’s a chemistry. There’s a togetherness. All these things are important.

I think for me, walking off that field Saturday, that’s how I felt. I feel the same way today after watching the film. I do think there’s a lot of positives on the tape. There’s also areas we have issues and we need to get better.

I do think that some of the things that happened in the game are very fixable. I think ultimately when we look at that with the players, I think they feel the same way. As a staff, I know there are things we can do from a concepts standpoint that can help the players in all three parts of our team.

Good day with the players yesterday. I have confidence in our group relative to their attitude and their approach. I think the key thing for us here is what matters most today. I think regardless of what’s happened in the past, I do think that this is a group, every single detail, really challenging all parts of the organization to do their best work. We need to be operating at our best, firing on all cylinders. We need to lead our people. We need to impact our people and get consumed with preparing for this game.

I do think Arkansas, although their record doesn’t reflect it, they’ve been in every football game. This is a team that’s lost a lot of close games. I do think they’ve played really good defense for the most part. I know offensively they’ve made a change. I know Sam Pittman personally, and I have a ton of respect for him as a coach and a man. I do think they’re a lot closer than their record indicates. This will be a challenge.

We’re excited about playing in front of a sold-out crowd. I do think this week, for me, it’s important for a lot of reasons. We’re doing something really unique relative to the saluting those who serve theme of the week. We’re going to honor all of our military members, our veterans, local first responders included in that group.

We’re going to wear black uniforms for the first time in school history. I know everybody is excited about the uniform. I do think it’s important, I don’t want to lose sight of the intent here relative to what we’re trying to do.

Really want to create awareness and show gratitude and appreciation for these people who chose a life of service, and ultimately put their life at risk to protect some of these freedoms that I believe sometimes we ultimately take for granted.

Each player on the team’s jersey will display one of the five core values on the back of the nameplate. We worked with the military branches and the state and here locally, allowed them to select the core value that they wanted to use. Those five core values are: honor, courage, commitment, excellence and integrity. You’ll see that this week when we play.

We’re also going to carry out the prisoner of war, missing in action flag of the tunnel this week. I do think it’s important that we never forget those prisoners of war, their sacrifice, certainly those missing in action.

Also I want to point out that our civil engagement piece with the players today, at 2:45 today we’re going over to the Veterans Affair Medical Center here, Randall Malcolm Center, in Gainesville, spend some time with some veterans with our players.

We’re hopeful that that experience, along with a number of speakers that we’ll have at practice, we’re going to have someone from different branches of our military talk to the team. We started that last night with the team.

It’s an important week in that regard. Certainly it’s a critical week for our football team relative to where we’re at. Certainly Arkansas presents a number of challenges.

I know you got questions. What do we got here?

Q. Is there at all a need, when you have a team on the other side that has a potential to be more physical than you, to be extra creative, insert more trick plays into your game plan?

BILLY NAPIER: One more time.

Q. When you have a team that has the potential to out-physical you, does that call for you to be more creative to give your team an advantage?

BILLY NAPIER: No, I don’t necessarily know where you’re coming from there. No, I don’t feel that way at all. I think ultimately every week’s a little bit different, right? Your team has strengths. Their team has strengths. Vice versa. Relative to weaknesses, you try to position the team for success.

You’re combating the players that think can be issues for you. The more good players they have, the more challenging that is. The more good players you have, the more opportunity you have to neutralize that, right? I think every week’s a little bit different.

In this league, most weeks that you play, and all parts of their team, they have a significant player. Sometimes they have one at every level, different skill players maybe at their front, whatever the case may be.

I think each week’s a little bit different. You try to do what you think is in the best interest of the team that week.

Q. What do you see so far from Arkansas’ offense?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, no, I think it’s a big part of the story this week relative to the prep. They made a change in the off-season. Obviously Kendal made a move to go to TCU. They brought Dan in. That was a wholesale change.

Coach Guiton will be calling it this week. He has experience with Kendal in the past. Certainly played quarterback at Ohio State. What flavor do we get? I think ultimately with an open date I think that magnifies that a little bit.

Coach Pittman is an offensive line coach. His teams are tough. Certainly I think there will be an element of that. He’ll have some imprint on the offense. I do think that’s an element of the game.

I think ultimately for us, we’re going to have to find the right balance of prep in terms of what we expose the players to, but also being ready to adjust within the game.

Q. One more win, you clinch bowl eligibility. What does that mean for the team?

BILLY NAPIER: I think there’s an element to that. Certainly that could happen this week. Ultimately I don’t necessarily think we’re thinking about that as much as we’re thinking about we got to get consumed with the things that can affect the outcome Saturday.

There is benefit to bowl games, there’s no question about that. I do think with the team that we have in particular, that could be beneficial.

Q. Looking up your quote from last year about the military aspect, some of your background. Do you have a specific moment where that kind of shifted for you and became something that was important to you?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, I think 9/11, I was a college student to some degree. I think there was an element to that. I think there’s a generation of people that were affected from 9/11 to some degree.

You look at the recruitment of all branches of our military, the increase in membership that they saw. I think you get into becoming a head coach. I think being around your platform, there are things you get a chance to emphasize with your players.

Look, this started with black uniforms at Louisiana. The kids wanted to wear black uniforms. I was like, Well, okay, but why? Why are we going to do it? Ultimately we decided to build it around this theme. We did it at Clemson. We wore purple uniforms there.

I think it’s been beneficial for the kids. I think ultimately there’s an awareness. We have a game that has a platform. We can do some good. Ultimately I think that’s what we’re trying to do.

Q. Obviously home-field advantage is important. What do you see from your team when they get that you’d like to see out of the building a little bit more often?

BILLY NAPIER: I think just in general, home-field advantage is a real thing, especially in our league. You’re making the opponent execute in a little bit different environment. Our people can impact the game. They’ve impacted games this year. They’ve impacted a lot of games in the past, right?

It’s a special place to play. We’re sold out Saturday. This is going to be a really unique event. It’s going to be an historic event. I think ultimately the team thrives off that energy, no matter what anybody says. I think there’s an element of that that you don’t get at a neutral site or on the road.

We’ve benefited from it. They make it more challenging for the opponent. Certainly you get the benefit of not having to travel, right?

It’s a special place, man. I think there’s an element, a respect there. I think the players, there’s a sense of responsibility. When you run out of that tunnel, there’s been some great teams and great competitors do it before you.

Q. Two-thirds of the way through this season, how would you evaluate the progress you’ve made through the first eight games compare to the progress you made last year?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, I think the biggest difference would be the makeup of our roster relative to who’s gaining experience, who’s been productive, the leadership that we see at the player level, the level of discipline that we observe every day, the camaraderie, the chemistry of the group.

Look, I think the football’s improved in a lot of areas on our team. I mean, there’s areas we’ve gotten better. There’s still areas where we need to play with more consistency. Overall I think we’re operating at a little bit more efficient rate. I think there’s good processes in place. We’re getting better at what we do.

We haven’t necessarily got the results we wanted a couple times this year, but I do think there’s improvement in the big picture.

Q. When you got here, going for it, being aggressive on fourth down was part of your makeup. How do you assess where you are in that part?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, no, I think ultimately you get judged on the outcome of those decisions, but I think it’s more of a big-picture approach. Seems like it’s happened less year than maybe it happened last year, if that makes sense.

I do think that we work hard at it. It’s not just a singular event on game day. It’s more of a holistic approach that we spend a ton of time on in the off-season relative to strategy.

I think it’s sound. I do. I think that you’re seeing it at all levels of football. We just have access to information that we didn’t have before, right? I think the analytics, the technology that’s available, we can basically analyze the history of the game and tell you exactly why it’s beneficial to do at times.

I do think there’s some subjectiveness to it relative to the current dynamic within the game. Those are the things that keep you up at night.

When it works, everybody pats you on the back. When it doesn’t work, they throw you out in the trash. It is what it is. We played Utah the opening game last year. We went for it on fourth down, threw a touchdown. Everybody is excited. When it doesn’t work, they’re not, right?

It is what it is. I think we’ll continue to evaluate that just like we do all parts of our team.

Q. Where is your level of concern with finishing plays defensively, yards after the catch, after contact specifically?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, no, I think there’s definitely yards after catch. I think it’s what happens before the catch ultimately I think that contributes to that. Our ability to affect the quarterback, play better coverage. Once the ball is thrown, we have to break on the ball and get the guy on the ground. I do think that’s one of the areas we can improve for sure.

Relevant question.

Q. You made it pretty clear you have conviction about the fourth down call. Sometimes when you get further away from that, you go okay… Absolutely now, 48 hours removed, still feel the same?

BILLY NAPIER: I can see both sides of it. I mean, I think ultimately, yeah, I can see both sides of it, if that makes sense.

Q. The other side being the play itself turning into basically a fourth and five because of the snap, is that what you’re saying?

BILLY NAPIER: No, no, no. I’m just talking about the decision. There were other plays that I think about sometimes maybe we could have called. I think that play would have worked. To get real specific about what happened, I think it was just one of those things, right? Sometimes the ball bounces your way, sometimes it doesn’t.

Yeah, I mean, I think more about you punt it, it’s 10-7. At that point in the game, that’s what I think about. I don’t necessarily think about the play call.

Q. This play was inconsequential in the game, but T.J. Searcy only made one tackle in the game, but he ran a guy down 60 yards. How encouraging was that effort to see? Is that something that needs to happen more on defense?

BILLY NAPIER: Yeah, no, we pointed it out with the team yesterday in the team meeting. I think it’s an extra-effort play. The ball was thrown. The guy goes full speed, runs the guy down. GPS number on that play, ran as fast as any skill player the whole day, right?

T.J. is a good example of a young player who has traits, who’s tough, who goes about his business the right way. He’s a true freshman that’s getting valuable experience. Ultimately he’s been a bright spot.

But I think when you see some of those intangibles that you want as a coach from young players, you can build off of that. That was an impressive play.


HAYDEN HANSEN: How is it going, guys?

Q. Three years ago, different position. A lot of changes. Take us through this journey for you.

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yeah, man, I mean, I never expected to not play quarterback. My parents sacrificed a lot for it, I sacrificed a lot for it. The countless private lessons outside the sport. I never envisioned anything else.

Kind of recruiting came in when I moved to Weatherford, my plan was to take over for Ken Seals, the Vanderbilt quarterback. Good playing against him, even better beating him.

After OU, SMU, guys came in, Why don’t you try tight end? I kept it in the back of my mind about first week before season started, junior year. I ended up making the switch. Here we are now. Really crazy how it all happened.

Q. Do you notice anything from your time at quarterback benefiting you?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Great question. For sure, man. Especially in coverages, but surprisingly even more in blocking. Just, like, IDing the front. If I do a read route, I can see what the safeties are doing pre-snap, capped, I see a quarter looking in, I know a blitz is coming. Just a lot of stuff like that.

Q. Any buzz about wearing the black jerseys this week?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Oh, yeah, of course, man. We’re all hyped about it. Napier’s big message is don’t forget why. It’s very important to know why we’re wearing it. We take a lot of stuff for granted. People put their lives on the line. People choose a career path. We respect it a lot.

But, yeah, there’s a bunch of hype. New cleats we’re wearing, new gloves. I think the fans will like it.

Q. Any friends or relatives that were military members?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir. I had my great, great grandpa was a purple heart receiver on my dad’s side.

Q. (No microphone.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir, and Vietnam.

On my mom’s side, my grandpa got drafted to Vietnam as well. Those are the only two. We’re not a huge military family, but those two did.

Q. What are their names?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Steve Galich (phonetic). He passed away three years ago. The other one was Arthur Charles II. He passed away about 10 years ago.

Q. Do you remember what he got a purple heart for?

HAYDEN HANSEN: I’m trying to remember exactly what it was for. I know it was from Vietnam. Not the exact reason, no, sir.

Q. (Question about sticking together.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir. The example I like to do is Kentucky. We obviously didn’t go out and execute the way we were coached to do. The way we bounced back the next two games. I feel like it all starts tomorrow at practice. I already feel kind of the buzz, one of the recovery groups, I feel the urgency to get back.

Coach Hocke said someone else has to feel this pain and we shouldn’t be feeling it. We have to go out next week, execute against Arkansas, and take it to them.

Q. You’re a young player. You look at the big picture, your career is just starting and you’re building something?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir, yeah. I mean, I think it’s very exciting once you put it all together. I don’t think we’ve had a complete game this year yet. We do have a lot of young players. As a part of the young group, I feel like we’re definitely getting better every week. We’re looking up to the core group of veterans, Kingsley, Princely, Graham. I feel like once the team puts it all together, we’re going to be dangerous.

Q. It’s a developmental game, as Billy says.


Q. Do you ever talk about that, we lose a game but we have to keep pushing?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir, yeah. We understand that very well, especially the younger guys. We always talk about it. Especially the group of redshirts, my Arlis, Jamari. We were talking about this last year, now we’re here. We’re appreciative of it. We know we have to keep getting better to help the team. Anything we can do, we will do.

Q. You and Arlis in particular, what is the relationship like?

HAYDEN HANSEN: I mean, it’s awesome. It’s kind of rare you see a Texas-California bond. It’s awesome. We’re both very different tight ends. We both know our strengths and weaknesses. We play very well together. People don’t know what they’re going to get when we’re on the field at the same time.

It’s been awesome watching Arlis, man. He’s grown to a pure threat. It’s awesome watching him run routes. When we’re on the field together, I feel like it creates more problems for the defense.

I love watching him go up and grab the ball. I’ll always support that guy.

Q. People talk about Georgia’s defense, it’s a different category. Did you notice that, a gap between how they play and what y’all are striving to get to?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yes, sir. I mean, me personally, the one thing I noticed was discipline. They didn’t fall for the reverses. They didn’t fall for the hard counts.

At the end of the day in my opinion, I didn’t feel like they were more physical than any other defenses in the SEC that we’ve played. I just feel like we made more mistakes. Against the No. 1 team in the nation, you can’t do that. You have to come out, can’t give them anything. We just gave them too much.

Q. Bowl eligibility, how important is that?

HAYDEN HANSEN: I mean, it means everything, man. We know we got to go out and get one more win. We want that. We want to win out the rest of the season. We want to win a bowl game and start next season out on a great level, so…

Q. (No microphone.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: Yeah, I mean, it’s been a dream come true. I worked so hard for this. Especially no one wants to redshirt. I kind of knew coming in I was going to redshirt, a big learning curve. Just to put all that work together.

I mean, the biggest thing for me is proving Napier right. He stuck his neck out for me at two schools. To bring me here with him was a huge honor. To play and show you guys I can do it, to prove him right overall is the best thing for me.

Q. (Question about position coach.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: I love that dude, man. He’s awesome. When he came in, he took a liking to me and Arlis right away. He knew we were going to be a little bit behind because we didn’t play much last year.

Once he kind of instilled the offense in us in the spring, we got to play a lot faster. We saw a big jump in our productivity.

Q. What has he helped you on?

HAYDEN HANSEN: Me personally, he’s helped me on the signals in the pass game. That’s what I was behind on. Splits-wise. Lining up outside receiver. I’m automatic on that now. I’m grateful for him, for sure.

Q. What were your hands like as a quarterback? What are they like now?

HAYDEN HANSEN: So my dad used to always joke, The reason you can catch is you caught so many snaps.

I tell you right now, it’s two different things. Even last year catching balls from AR, coming a hundred miles at your face. They’ve definitely gotten better. I’ve never really had problems with them except for this last spring, I kind of had a couple fundamental issues. But I got it fixed for the most part. I’m just going to continue to get better with it every day.

Q. What does that look like? What is the process of improving?

HAYDEN HANSEN: When Graham first got here, we had a couple throwing sessions from him so I could learn how he throws, stuff like that.

It’s different for a lot of people. A lot of people like to do jugs. I like to work the angles. That’s where I used to struggle. Coach Ogas, our strength coach, I get on one knee, run my hands, have him throw the ball over my shoulder, track it. I get obsessed with tracking the ball. That’s 90% of it. You have to see it, then the rest is clamping down on it.

Q. (No microphone.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: No, sir. I did not know about her.

Q. (Question about switching from quarterback to tight end.)

HAYDEN HANSEN: It was a lot of people’s idea. That’s a good question. It started out, I already told you this, I first moved to Weatherford to take over for Ken Seals. The first idea sparked was OC. I was competing with a sophomore, I was a junior at the time.

Q. (No microphone.)


Q. What was his name?

HAYDEN HANSEN: He just moved to Brock, his name was Coach Christianson. Yeah, he got it put in the back of my head. They wanted both of us on the field. If that’s what it takes to win, I’ll do it. The OU scouts came in, started to sway me a little bit. The cherry on top was the head coach. I’ve been getting so many people talking to me about you. You know what, let’s do it, so…

Q. What sold you to Billy? Committed to him twice really.

HAYDEN HANSEN: My mom loves Coach Napier. He did a great job bonding with my family. My sister really likes him, too. Back at UO, they do the same thing here, summer cookout going into my senior year. We went up there right before I committed. That sealed the deal. My dad was, This is the guy you need to play for. Great program for tight ends. Johnny Lumpkin that went to the Patriots, I was really close to him when I committed there.

Q. Why did he stick his neck out for you?

HAYDEN HANSEN: What he told me was he liked that I came from a blue-collar background. He knew I worked hard. He knew I had the frame for it. Watching my film, he saw my big suction cup hands is what he said.

He said he knows it’s raw. I agree with him. Junior year I was trying to figure it out on the film. Senior year I took a huge jump, new coach, new system.

So he just saw a lot of potential there. He knew once I put it all together, I’d be a better player.

Q. Mom and sister couldn’t have fallen in love with Billy because of tight end. Why did they fall in love with him?

HAYDEN HANSEN: That’s a great question.

My sister, she’s 6’3″, a freshman. She plays volleyball at Texas Tech. He was really invested in that, too. Asking her questions, all sorts of stuff like that.

My mom, he really took the time, him and his wife and kids took the time to bond with her. I remember at the UO cookout, she was playing with his kids and stuff. Felt like the right decision. I had a couple other schools that were interested in me, it was close before that. After that, it kind of sealed the deal. All right, this is home. I’ll be a part of this all day.


Q. What is your role as a leader this final month of the regular season?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I would say just to keep our heads up. We’ve been through adversity this season, but I don’t feel like we should go about the season just moping around, just coming here just to be here. I feel like we should still play like we have something to play for. We shouldn’t put our heads down just because we took the loss that we took. We should still keep fighting for the rest of the season to try to win out.

Q. Bowl eligibility, building for the future, NFL prospects. What are some of the things…

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Really, yeah, bowl eligibility for sure. I would just say win. We have three losses, you’re not playing football just to play football. Like, we’re coming here so we can win games. I would just say winning for the rest of the season week after week.

Q. (Question about the defense.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I feel like we’ve improved from last year. I feel like we’ve played at a really high level some games, and other games very average.

I feel like once we can all piece it together, Tennessee was a really good game, I feel like we can be one of the best defenses in the country.

Q. What is the root of some of that inconsistency?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: To be honest, I don’t know.

Q. You guys are playing a lot of young guys.

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: That could be. It could be that. Experience matters. We have a really young defense. Those players are really young. Yeah, even when I was a young player, I didn’t realize it until I got older, but experience is a factor. So, yeah, it could be that we have a lot of young guys.

Q. You play a lot better at the Swamp. What energizes you guys at home?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, the crowd for sure energizes us. I don’t know. I will just say that no matter where we play, we do come with the same mindset, but it’s just about execution. We just got to execute.

Q. People don’t like the final scores from this year and last year, almost identical, maybe wonder what’s changed. What makes this team different, show progress?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I think the characters of the players on the team. Everybody stays positive. When we went down big at halftime, we was in the locker room, everybody was still staying positive. I think it’s the brotherhood of the team. Everybody is close together. We stick together.

Q. (Question about T.J.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: T.J., he’s a young guy, but he shows up big-time in the games. They’ve been finding ways to put him on the field. He does good in whatever they try to put him at. He has a bright future here.

Q. Is that play like that a reminder to pursue?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, for sure. Coach Napier brought it up in the meeting. If he wasn’t there, that guy could have scored a touchdown. You always got to run to the ball.

Q. Do you pay attention to the statistics nationally where the defense ranks? Outcome aside, are you improved by the improvements you’ve made?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, for sure. Coach Armstrong, he’ll bring it up sometimes like where we are as a defense. He doesn’t bring it up just to talk about statistics, but he brings it up to show us how good we’ve played, how bad we played, how good we can be. So yeah.

Q. (No microphone.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: He comes with the same energy every day. After a loss, especially, he still comes fired up. He comes ready to reset. He’s always already to reset and start from square one.

Even in a win, we still not trying to be comfortable. He comes in and points out the imperfections because he wants us to be great.

Q. How difficult is it not to take a team lightly like Arkansas?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: It’s really important. Coach Napier had brought up that their record isn’t the best, but they’re still a team that can win. They’ve had a lot of tight games and things like that.

We always got to approach every team… Like after the Utah game, I told the team that we got to play every week like we playing the championship game no matter who we’re playing. We can’t come in, We playing Georgia this week, we got to play extra hard. We have to play with that same mentality every week.

Q. How important is the upcoming month, young guys, early stages of a rebuild?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I think it’s very important. If the beginning half of the season, it’s been up and down, hasn’t been great, but we can still finish the season off with just three losses. I wouldn’t say it would be a successful season, but it will definitely be a much better season than the last two seasons that we have.

I think it will be, feel me, a big, big step.

Q. Your season personally? What has it been like for you?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, it’s been a little frustrating. I’ve seen posts saying I have the highest win percentage or one of the highest win percentages in college football. I get to the quarterback. As soon as I get there, he just throws the ball away. So many quarterback hits. It’s a little frustrating.

Feel me, I’m trusting in God. As the season goes, we have a lot more games left.

Q. Do you feel like you’re playing well at the Jack spot, still being effective?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, for sure. Like, this is the first season I’m playing this position, so I’m new at it. I’m still learning just a little bit, but I do feel like I’m playing well. I feel like Georgia was one of my better games. I feel like I’m going to elevate throughout the season.

Yeah, I still feel like, even though I’m not getting sacks, I’ve been affecting the quarterback throughout the games. I remember I missed one versus Vanderbilt. I was a little frustrated. Armstrong told me, he was like, You stood out on the field more than somebody who would have had two sacks because of how much effect I was having on the quarterback.

Q. As a team, how do you put a finger on the pass-rush numbers? Guys playing a quick game against you or…

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Can you repeat the first part?

Q. As a team, how do you put your finger on the sack totals? Is it a lot of teams playing quick on you, getting rid of the ball quickly?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: It’s a couple of those. Tennessee, they have a lot of passes like that where the quarterback wouldn’t even drop back. He’d throw the ball really quickly.

We just got to get to the quarterback. Some games I get chipped and things like that. But it’s not an excuse.

Q. (No microphone.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: It’s been very helpful. It’s helpful especially with T.J. that Coach Mike P trust him. Maybe it will be two drives into the game, Mike P, he’ll throw T.J. out there just so I can be fresh for third down. It was very, very helpful.

Q. (No microphone.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: About time, man. We’ve been waiting on those for a while.

Also Coach Napier was telling us the message behind it, the veterans and things like that. We don’t have our last names on the back of our jerseys, we have some of the core values of the different sections of the Army.

Q. What are some of the things you’ve had to learn? What has been some of the nuances that most people didn’t realize you had to learn at this new position?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: First off, I had to get comfortable with standing up. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to get a good get-off while standing up off the line. After spring, I’m really comfortable in it. Sometimes, because Armstrong tells me get in the three-point stance on third down, I’m good in the two-point.

The dropping, like the coverages, I’ve had to learn about that. Before, when I played in what we call the F here, mainly when we dropped, it would be one drop. Now I have buzz, bang the buzz, four to first. I really had to learn to maneuver around the field when I have to drop into coverage, especially eye discipline.

Q. Players seem to get psyched over black uniforms. What is it about that?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: I don’t know. It’s a nice look. It’s a really nice look. Tennessee had the black ones. Just looks really cool. I wish it was a night game, but…

Q. How much are you blocking out invalid criticism?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Not much. I try. Coach Hocke, I love him. He really tries to talk to me about it. He tells me lions don’t something with the opinion of sheep. I really been trying to work at it. Even though it does look like I’m not a little bit, like, there’s more stuff that I see that I don’t respond to, more than stuff that I do respond to.

Yeah, I’m learning. It’s really hard because it’s not like I just want to, you feel me, go at people. I feel like I have to be defending myself sometimes because people looking with a blind eye. But, yeah, I’m learning.

Q. In the old days, players turn off the radio or TV, but now so much is on social media. There’s no escaping it. Do y’all talk about that?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, we talk about it, for sure. Like, I walk into the locker room, Jay Hill will be, Stop talking to fans on Twitter (laughter). It’s something I got to work on. I know I have to work on it because especially at the next level that’s all you’re going to get, especially criticism on social media. I just got to tune that out. They’re not in our position rooms, in our defensive meetings. They don’t know what I have to do. It’s something I’m getting better and better at.

Q. Was Arkansas in the mix for you?

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: They had offered me when Morris was over there. They was in it early. I had went there for a camp my sophomore year, but I had never went back.

Q. (No microphone.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, sometimes. Predominantly it’s Twitter coaches. They see something that they is wrong. Whole time it’s somebody was supposed to do that, and they think it’s wrong. It is what it is.

Q. (No microphone.)

PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: Yeah, that’s mainly when I do do it, somebody will say something when they don’t understand the assignment. I’ll go inside. What is Princely doing, he’s supposed to be outside. I’ll be like, I was supposed to do that.

I’m not going to respond to somebody saying he sucks, things like that.

Video courtesy Gator Vision | Transcript courtesy ASAP

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