Transcript of Navy Head Football Coach Ken Niumatalolo's Comments
Aug. 5, 2009
Q. Does it feel good to be out on the grass finally?
A. It does. The lifting and stuff is OK, but there is nothing like being out here.
Q. Do you think after a few days you will have a feel about the freshmen and what they can do? Right now you probably hardly know those guys.
A. You can see how guys move around, but you won’t be able to really tell until we put on pads.
Q. Some of the defensive players were wondering how the no contact against Ricky is going to work when he comes busting through the line and lowers his shoulder into a defensive guy. He isn’t a guy that stops on contact.
A. I am sure the defensive guys will give him a blow too. The biggest thing we want to do is to make sure if he gets hit that it is up high. We don’t want anybody tackling him around his legs. There will be some collisions, some inadvertent and some will probably be intentional. We are just going to try our best to keep him healthy.
Q. God forbid if something would happen to Ricky, but do you feel like you have a guy that is ready to play and execute this offense?
A. I don’t know if Ricky is ready yet, we still have to go through camp for Ricky to be ready. He did some great things last year, but the thing that Coach Jasper has tried to stress to Ricky is that, yes he wants Ricky to get the offense together and build some chemistry, but more importantly Ricky has to get Ricky ready to go and then he can worry about everybody else.
Q. Is Stukel a slot back for good or is there a chance he could return to quarterback?
A. Hopefully not. If he returns to quarterback that means we had an injury in camp. We would like to keep him at slot back. He is an emergency quarterback.
Q. You have two plebes at quarterback as well in Tyler Lynch and Gordy Law
A. Yeah, it is hard for a freshman to come in and be able to play right away at quarterback. They have a lot to learn.
Q. Can you talk about the two guys (Pospisil and Asante) that was selected captains and what you think of them?
A. All the captains you have here at the Naval Academy are great, I mean you have the best kids here and these guys are the cream of the crop of those kids. You can never go wrong. Ross and Osei have been tremendous. They have done things in the summer like going out in the community and stuff like that on their own or with the help of Scott Strasemeier and they have shown great leadership.
Q. I don’t think anybody was surprised about Ross, because he has been an obvious leader for the last several years, but what can you say about him? He seems like he is everything that you would want in a midshipmen and as a representative of your program.
A. What you see is what you get. He is a phenomenal football player and a great person. Ross is what this place is looking for. He is a great leader. I would say the same thing about Osei. I coached him when he was younger and I’ve seen him grow every year. I am really proud of both those kids.
Q. I must admit I was a little surprised when Osei was announced as captain just because he wasn’t a guy that came to mind when you think about the offense. Playing on the offensive line you are forgotten sometimes.
A. I wasn’t surprised. He is a guy that everybody in the locker room has respect for. That is something that you can’t buy or manipulate, it is something you earn and the kids have tremendous respect for Osei.