Q&A with USF linebacker Brouce Mompremier
With practice starting Monday afternoon, I'm realizing I still have good interviews from Newport I want to post here. First up is senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier, who returns for his second season as the Bulls' starting weakside linebacker ...
GA: First, what does it mean to be here in Newport, chosen to represent USF as a senior?
BM: It's very exciting. Sometimes I feel like I'm just on the team, not being recognized, but I don't have a problem with that. I really don't like the spotlight. But it's good to be here, known as one of the leaders. I'm having fun. I enjoy these kinds of things.
GA: You say you don't like the spotlight, but you seem to like being a leader on this team.
BM: I like being one of those guys who leads by example. I don't like talking that much. When you talk like that, guys are just waiting for you to mess up. So I just lead by example.
GA: Tell me how you feel about this defense, how you guys can make up for some of the big losses you had in players moving on to the NFL.
BM: I feel really good about this defense, especially about the d-line. We may be a little younger and lost a couple of guys, but I feel like we're much bigger and stronger, with a better rotation. I believe that will be the strength of our defense. The d-line will help the linebackers and the defensive backs, making our jobs easier.
GA: Who has impressed you on the interior line? That's where the new guys will be stepping in.
BM: Sampson Genus has really impressed me. We can get him and Terrell McClain going for a rotation that can really disrupt things.
GA: How quickly did Genus take to playing defense when he came over in spring?
BM: He didn't really have to do much, just get in the backfield. He's strong as hell. He's moving guys into the backfield. I'm over there waiting for the guard, thinking 'Where is he?' Well, he got destroyed by Sampson. If we can just get him to do what he has to do, get in the right gaps, use his hands, he's going to be something to watch.
GA: Tell me about the new cornerbacks behind you. They've been in the program, but obviously are stepping into big roles as starters.
BM: (Jerome) Murphy has all the talent in the world. Tyller (Roberts) has been in so many games, I'm not worried about those guys. I'm not worried about our corners. I'm just ready to play. We have Nate Allen back, we have Louis (Gachette) and Carlton (Williams) and Danny (Verpaele) ... The secondary can be a strong part of our defense.
GA: You guys have always been able to take these Big East preseason polls and feel slighted, feel disrespected. Does it change things when you come out No. 2 in the conference?
BM: We really didn't use that. (Coach Jim) Leavitt just had to tell you to work hard. I don't care what they say. Everybody's so stuck in their ways, they're going to pick the guy .. the West Virginias, the Louisvilles. We have no problem with that. We know we're going to be fine. We're all just trying to finish on top.
GA: Does it change things to have a target on your back from the start this season?
BM: We just have to get used to having a target on our back. It's getting used to it and working hard to stay there.