UF Media Day Q&A Transcript: O’Cyrus Torrence

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  • #18571
    Mark Wheeler
    Forum Owner

    Courtesy ASAP Transcripts:

    Q. Talk about the adaptations for you about the difference in style between Louisiana and Florida. You were adapting to it somewhat; what’s that been like for you and just the amenities, the food, the culture, all that? Give me your thoughts about that.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I’ve adapted pretty good so far from the last time we talked and even from when I first got here. It’s a difference from like the area and kind of a culture, but it’s still a college football town, so it’s kind of like I was able to fit in pretty well pretty fast. But the food-wise, it’s different. I’m just used to the spiciness of Louisiana. We talked about it, with the hot sauce and stuff like this. Nobody out here likes their food hot, so I have to kind of find places that have food or I just want to cook my own food. I have to put my Louisiana style to it.

    My roommate, he’s from Orlando, and there’s times he tastes it, and he’s like, what you doing with this or asking questions about it and stuff like this, and it’s too spicy, but it’s just a little spicy.

    But I feel like I’ve adapted pretty good just with the area and just this place. It’s nice.

    Q. People are praising you at practice. Gervon was just talking about how sound you are in your technique, how they’d have to study you to know how to play against you because you’re so smart. Talk a little bit about technique, what you’ve learned and what you’ve learned on top of what you knew before you came here.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: For me, most of my game I prided myself on my technique. I was always bigger and stronger than a lot of people my age, so I felt like I needed something else. I knew that wouldn’t get me through to get the best I needed to be when I get to the next level and even when I get to the NFL.

    I just prided myself on technique and just being sound with it, and I told myself that if my technique is perfect, it would be hard for me to lose a rep in general. Just like running my paths has kind of helped me out. My technique is to me one of my most important parts of my game, and it’s just come from film study on myself more than just other people. I watch myself and I see what I mess up on and I see what I not like, or I might take a step that I feel like could be longer or shouldn’t be as long, or getting my feet down, my hand placement, stuff like that. I like to watch film of myself to help myself get better in areas I know I need work on.

    Q. Self-evaluation.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah, a lot of it, yes, sir.

    Q. What do you think of the schedule you have here? You’re going from playing in the Sun Belt to playing in the SEC, plus Utah, Florida State. A lot to take in.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It’s exciting for me because I feel it’s much different than what I’m used to because what I’m used to at Louisiana, it was like two, three games where we know they were big games, where last year for us it was Texas and I knew that game was going to get the most looks so there was a lot of pressure to play good in that game for us.

    Here it’s like every week is a big opportunity, so it’s less pressure for me, so I know I can — not mess up, but every week it’s a new challenge to prove I can play and be here, so I’m just ready for that challenge to take on and show everybody what I can do.

    Q. You’re the new guy coming in here as far as offensive line. When you saw the group at the offensive line and you started working with them, what were your thoughts on how good they were when you started practicing? A lot of people think the offensive line is going to be a strength of this team. Discuss that a little bit.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: When I first got here, it took me a little while because I was kind of in a shell, but after like a few practices, not even that many, they kind of took me in as their brother, and I just appreciate them for that. Work-wise they work hard. Like from the first day, they never complained about the work, even if it was different from what they was doing last year with the other staff, because we do do a lot of O-line individual, team reps as an O-line. We do a lot of O-line stuff.

    It was a lot for them, but I never heard them complain. I just always seen them attack the work and the willingness to get better. That’s kind of what I like to see because that O-line is always something you can get better and work at — and it’s a team sport, so we’ve got to be together as a team, so just seeing them easily accept the work every day and just attacking it just made me feel like yeah, I can like it here. I like how they work, and I’m ready to play with them.

    Q. Going back to your freshman year at Louisiana, I think you were the first true freshman offensive lineman to start in 15 years. What was the message from Napier to you going into the season, and was it a jump that surprised you?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It kind of surprised me, but it didn’t at the same time because throughout the whole summer Coach Napier — it was more from my O-line coach, just kind of telling me, we’re going to need you this year, just talking to me. I don’t think he’s just telling me this just so I can not — just so I can work out and practice hard, not just go through the motions.

    But as the time came and as fall camp came, he kept telling me that I’d start getting more reps with the ones, and then a starter had got hurt, and they just told me it’s my time to go. I was nervous for like the first few plays, which I’m sure anybody would be, but from them telling me all summer and just working me like I was going to start, it helped me without me even knowing it because I was out there. My body just like acted and I was able to play and perform at a high level from the start, and that was because of the work they put me through over the summer in fall camp, practicing me like I was going to be a starter when I was still a third-string freshman.

    Q. Now all three of you guys are here, new place. What was the message that hey, we need you at Florida? What went into that?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It was just once I got in the portal, then they started contacting me and talking because I was a little shocked because I didn’t know — I didn’t think they would need me. I thought, it’s the SEC, they’ve got a bunch of needs over here, but they said they needed me because I knew the offense and I would be a good part to the puzzle over here and stuff like that.

    My other three teammates, we was in the portal together so we did talk throughout the process, but we never talked about what we was going to do, we just talked it up and talked about how it was going and stuff like that. It was just talking, and I just remember when I talked to the the coaches how they explained about the development of how long I would be here, just for like a year, then how it’s going to hit me at the next level, coming here, playing and dominating. It reminded me of coming out of high school and how they recruited me and just the love they showed, and I was like, yeah, it’s still the right place for me. I didn’t make the wrong choice then, and I didn’t make it this time, either.

    Q. How many years were you with Billy before here?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Three. Three years at Louisiana.

    Q. How would you describe his personality, some of his traits of his personality and how they rub off on the team?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: He showed a lot of like integrity and togetherness. Like he’s a player’s coach, and I just respect the way he goes about the work, like you’re going to get the same out of him every day. He’s the same guy, he comes with the same energy. He isn’t big rah-rah, but it’s a calm, but it’s still a nice — it’s a commanding presence with him and you just get used to it and you feel it when you’re out there on the field. I think just the feeling that you get from him, it makes you want to play for him a little harder because you know he’s behind you 100 percent, so he’s just a coach that makes you want to play hard for him.

    You know he’s going to work you. He’s going to work you, but he’s going to love you, too, and you love playing for coaches like that. It’s just a good feeling.

    Q. Have you been asked about the socks yet?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah.

    Q. How does all that you just said show up with the players, the calm, the attention to detail on the field? How does that show up?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It shows up with discipline. I think it has a lot to do with discipline. It helps us be more disciplined in the game because in the beginning of the spring that was the problem a little bit was discipline with us and not beating ourselves, just from seeing it from him, if you see somebody ahead of you, if you see somebody doing it the right way, we just seen him do it the right way, and it helps us be able to do the right way, just stay disciplined and play the game like we’re supposed to play it.

    I feel like his ways of doing it and his personalities, his traits that he does show, it rubs off on us and it helps us become a more disciplined team, better and together.

    Q. Do you see the stamp of Billy Napier being put on this program from what you saw in Louisiana? Gervon talked to us about the discipline issues and some other things. As you came here in the months to where we are now, have you seen these changes?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Oh, yeah, I seen it a lot. From the first practice we did was like just a regular practice from depth to where we’re at now to the first practice we was going — like going hard but you’re not going too hard, but here it was kind of no different. They were just going hard every play.

    It was just learning how to practice, small stuff like that, learning how to practice with your teammates and not getting yourself hurt, stuff like that that Coach taught us and showed them the right ways to do things like that.

    That just got us better to where now we can practice and it’s smooth. Like with OTs we’re out there by ourselves with no coach and just practicing, getting it out of the way for like 30 minutes, and we was able to do it, but when we first got here, Coach first got here, we wouldn’t be able to do that because we just wasn’t together enough or disciplined enough. But from the time I’ve been here until now, I’ve seen the growth, and they’re pretty good from then to now.

    Q. You’ve been on a lot of preseason watch lists, accolades. How do you process that mentally or how do you during the off-season, and how do you take that into camp?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: For me I use it as fuel. I feel like it feels good to get the type of recognition. I feel like I work hard to get that recognition, but I still feel like I haven’t done anything yet to deserve it. It feels good, but I still don’t feel too deserving, so it makes me want to work harder to prove to myself that I do deserve it.

    The list to me, it shows everybody else what I’ve been doing, and it kind of shows them that I’m pretty good, but to me I still feel like I’ve got more to where I can get better. It’s just showing that I’ve still got more to do. If I can achieve that goal, it would just make me feel like, what more can I do if I am out there. Just kind of adds more fuel to the fire for me to try to get better.

    Q. You obviously know quite a bit from your experience. What should fans expect this offense to look like? I know in the past couple years they were more 11, 10-personnel heavy, a couple years of airing it out, being one of the better passing offenses in the nation, but from what I understand it’s not going to look exactly like that.

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: It will be more like — it’s a little bit like that but mostly like — I don’t want to say run heavy. We’re definitely going to run the ball, but there’s going to be a lot of depth with play action and then downfield plays I feel like, and then with the staff and the people we have on the team from like the quarterback to the backfield to the receivers, I feel like we can do honestly everything but more of running the ball, like run the ball, play action, just across-the-field type stuff, and like setting up things along in the game and even along in the season.

    Q. I think Ethan had said back in spring that he really enjoyed installing a bit more power to you because you could kind of — would you agree it’s kind of like that?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Yeah, I agree with that, too, like power and like plays that you can kind of impose your will, the offensive line on the defense and like kind of time out, and then as you install, just open the playbook up for real, like start going over their heads, so it’s going to be exciting.

    Q. What was it about Billy or maybe even the coaching staff, the whole coaching staff at Louisiana that you think enabled you guys’ success? What did they do for you guys that put you guys on the right track?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: I feel like what they do — I’m going to speak for my position, O-line-wise, like with Coach Sale and Coach Stape, it’s like two head O-line coaches together teaching you the same thing but sometimes in different ways. They have the same emphasis but they’ll teach it in different ways.

    They just build experience with their relationships, too. For me I can go to either one of my coaches and talk to them about anything, even family troubles or even if it’s something on the field that I’m not getting. I feel like I can do that with them. It’s just the relationships they build, and then from seeing from what I have seen with Coach Napier and the other coaches how they interact with the players and talking with the players how they say it’s different from how they’re used to, it’s just eye opening to where that actually matters and how the coaching staff actually interacts with the players and stuff like that. It’s more than just football, more than just about football, it’s kind of like a family ordeal.

    Q. Why does that allow the team to be more successful?

    O’CYRUS TORRENCE: Because like if you’re playing and then the person alongside you knows what they’re doing, and that’s what the coaching staff does to make sure whoever is out there they know what they’re doing and they’re confident in their skills, and I feel like if you know the player alongside of you is confident and he’s like — in practice you’ve been seeing it and he’s confident in his plays, it’s going to make you play harder for me.

    Like O-line, like our coaches make sure we are all — like the right guard knows the left tackle job, and the left tackle knows the center job. If we all know each other’s jobs from being coached and stuff like that, it can make us play better and harder, so I feel like this makes us play more together and better together.

    #18583
    Steve L
    ITG Subscriber

    This kid is going places. Wish we could have him more than one year’ Like his style and attitude.

    #18591
    LizardLover4144
    ITG Subscriber

    Agreed 100%. Thing that I really like is that he’s brought his swagger and attitude with him and it looks like it’s quickly rubbed off on the others in the OL room. Coach Napier and his staff believe in being physical and nasty at the LOS. This should be one of the areas that will be vastly improved barring injury.

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