Hey y'all, excited to bring you the next installment in our exciting player interview series! This time, we talked to Orwin Smith about a variety of things including his recovery, the newfound team energy this season, and his goals for the year.
As you can imagine, the recovery process from his turf toe injury sustained against VT last season has been a long one for our old buddy number 17. In case you didn't know (I didn't), turf toe is basically injuring the ligament that connects the toe to the foot. He says he's been doing a lot of pool work (swimming laps and treading) to keep the stress off his toe, as well as doing some stretches that loosen it up. Mentally its been a long process as well because "its frustrating" not being able to go 100% for fear of re-injury. However, Big O has stated that he's "ready to go 100%" and eager to get back on the field. The biggest issue was not being able to plant so he couldn't shift his path as easily, but he reports that that's no longer a problem. Orwin also spoke to the energy of the team this offseason. See our inside insight into one of the most important phases of the game after the jump!
When asked if he sensed a different kind of energy this offseason as compared to others, he said "I do. We have a lot of guys just pumped up with energy every day, just out there running...Guys are coming out wanting to work." In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of success. As long as the team can keep focused and stay self-motivated, the sky's the limit. Focus becomes significantly harder as success continues through the season and the media people hype them up more and more. What separates the great teams, in my mind, is the ability to block all that out and focus on the game. In my time (since 2007), this is the team I feel is best equipped to do this because of this attitude. Even the new freshman who haven't seen a game "are hyped," coming together on twitter and in class like I've never seen before. This is why I think this season is going to be exciting, despite the lack of experience at some key positions. In Orwin's words, "its better wanting to than feeling like [we] have to." Again, this new attitude seems to do in large part to new Dir. of Player Development John Sisk. "Just his whole approach on the workouts is different...The way Sisk, the way he treats us, and also demands, the things he demands of us, I feel like the guys are more willing to give." Orwin made it seem like he makes condition fun (somehow), and that's lead to a big surge in "want to" from the team.
Lastly, I asked him about his goals for the season. "I want to lead the country in all-purpose, I feel like that's a reasonable goal" was his ambitious response. He said he's fairly sure he'll "get a few" kick returns, which I take to mean most of them since that's the way it was last year. He seems confident in his ability to achieve this goal because catching passes is "something that always came natural to me" so hopefully we'll see some more of him in the passing game this year. He IS one of our few proven receivers.
Check back on Monday for interviews and insight from the DB's!