Fall camp is right around the corner, what has you excited the most about this season?
The camaraderie and work ethic of the student athletes in our program is second to none. I'm excited about the new staff chemistry. Our offense is under new leadership with Tim Plough taking over as the offensive coordinator, along with Tim Davis coaching the offensive line and Aaron Pflugrad working with the wide receivers. On defense, Cha'pelle Brown has joined us as the new cornerbacks coach. All of these coaches bring a lot to the team and I can't wait for camp to start.
Why should fans be excited about the upcoming season?
Last year we demonstrated some really exciting football – at times – and our players have worked extremely hard to develop more consistency. I believe with the returning talent, improved team chemistry and leadership that we have, fans can expect a strong football team most notably for its character. Last year, we brought our fans excitement with big plays down the stretch, highly attributed the play of our young wide receivers group. That unit will have Dejzon Walker and Marc Cooper in the lineup this season giving us more playmakers to add to our resume. With those guys coming back, mixed with the excitement that playing in the Walkup Skydome brings, I can't wait for our fans to embark on the season with us #NAUStrong.
Marcus Alford was selected as the NAU player representative at this year's Big Sky Kickoff. What is it about Marcus that made you choose him?
Marcus has demonstrated great leadership in the offseason. He's been a consistent player from the minute he stepped on the field, getting better each year. Marcus has yet to reach his peak, so I'm excited for his senior season. He's a very talented player, but what makes him stand out is that he's the kind of player that makes those around him better. I'm very proud of the development Marcus has accomplished in his time at NAU and glad that he can represent the 'Jacks at these meetings.
Instant replay has now been added to all Big Sky Conference games. How will this impact the game?
With instant replay in use it can only improve the game. There should be less doubt when a call has been made. The hard part for everyone will be to understand that not every play will be reviewed. For the coaches, players, and fans it will take some time for all getting used to the rules that come with instant replay.
When talking to media at the Big Sky Kickoff, what's the one thing you want them to walk away knowing?
I want them to know that our program is evolving. Making the right changes after last fall is imperative to create the kind of success we are looking for. Our players have embraced the changes and have embodied it completely.