The tight end position is one of the best and deepest on the South Carolina team this season. The spot is anchored by senior Justice Cunningham, a team leader that is a likely captain in 2012. Cunningham spoke recently on how workouts differed this summer and what he expects from the position group this year.
Senior Justice Cunningham is one of the team leaders and a four-year contributor at tight end
How were the 7-on-7 workouts this summer?
“The 7-on-7s were a lot more fun than usual and people were a lot more active. There was a lot more hustling and people were a lot more serious. Everybody seemed to really step it up this year.”
Do you think it was because there was better talent or was it more organized?
“It was better leadership overall. Players like D.J. Swearinger and myself were all making sure the players got out here and we worked hard when we got out here.”
Talk about the leadership and what you thought was different than years past?
“We always had decent leaders but in years past we would come out here and guys weren’t really hustling and the offense would say this isn’t going to work against our defense but this year was different. The offense stepped up and really challenged the defense and the defense responded.”
There are a lot of talkers on the defense. Were the 7-on-7s pretty intense with a lot of trash talk?
“Not as much but it was the first day and everybody was excited out here. They were talking a little more (during the opening practice) than they usually do when we practiced this summer.”
What do you see from Connor now? Do you notice a different, more confident guy?
“Oh yeah, a lot more confident. Connor knows he is the man of this team and we are only going to go as far as he takes us.”
Does he have a presence or respect when he is in the huddle?
“Yes sir, everybody on the field knows he can get the job done so everybody plays very hard for him.”
What do you expect from the tight end position this coming season?
“I expect me and the rest of the tight ends to prove we are the deepest position on the team and that any one of us at anytime can make plays.”
Do you believe the tight end position is going to be more involved in catching passes?
“If we come out here and do what we are suppose to do, which is run our routes crisp and catch the ball when it is thrown to us, then we hope Coach Spurrier will give us a chance. If not, we will do whatever they ask us to do to help win games.”
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