DURHAM, N.C. – With the third consecutive bowl-win of the Duke and the trophy of the Walk-On & # 39; s Independence Bowl 2018, proud to be seen at the Yoh Football Center, the Blue Devils have turned the page to the 2019 campaign.
In February GoDuke.com will sit down with the members of the program and see how each prepares for the spring practice, which starts on 1 March.
For the first edition, GoDuke.com caught the rising senior linebacker Koby Quansah. A psychology brand from Manchester, Conn. Quansah enters spring to secure a starting place after the departure of three-year-old starters. Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys. Quansah played in 35 career games, dealt 102 tackles, 9.0 tackles for lost yardage, two forced fumbles, one awkward recovery, one failed break-up and six quarterback pressures.
GoDuke.com: Your last spring practice segment is coming. What do you want to get a moment from this period?
Koby Quansah: "I think one thing I want to get out of is to give the young men a sense of self, I think after your first spring ball, you enjoy it a little bit more, you're not that anxious or think too much about it. But you want to get better and show what you've learned in the last season, you're trying to see what you can work on and improve next season, I want to shoot the young men, let them know what to do do and make me better as a leader. "
GoDuke.com: thinking of those young guys who are in your room now, you do not have Joe Giles-Harris or Ben Humphreys in that room anymore. What does that mean for you to be that elder statesman in that linebacker room?
KQ: "For me it's just a lot of appreciation: one, an opportunity to learn from Joe and Ben, almost from the moment I walked in. I learned from those two of that first summer, first spring ball and now to my fourth. I now do the same for the younger boys: Rocky [Shelton II], Cole [Carteaux] and Shaka [Heyward]. It's a bit to keep them informed of how we lead our defense, how we can watch movies, how we can better guide our defense and so on. And then it should not be hesitant. You have to let it fly and do not think too much. & # 39;
GoDuke.com: with both the new rule that allowed up to four matches and a red shirt to play and with all the defensive injuries sustained during the season, how did 2018 help you to prepare your defense for 2019 at the same time?
KQ: "I think it has helped a lot to give the young boys, like Shaka and Rocky, a chance to play four games, I became jealous! Like," you're fine because I wish I had! My year, you played once and it's over. & # 39;
"So if you do not play that much, that year is over, but those guys got the chance to play four, they got their feet a little wet, tasted a bit and know a bit more what they should do next year. It also helped those who were injured or injured in the four games prior to the fifth game to get their year back.If it is something serious, you do not have to hurry them. & # 39;
GoDuke.com: Last year was your first year playing under Coach [Lanier] Goethie. How was that?
KQ: "It was great for me, from the moment he came in, it was a different atmosphere and different energy, he brought us a lot of juice, he played the position, he knew exactly how to get us started, and that's great. The energy he brought was different from what we had before, it made us excited to go back and work here in the spring, a lot of technique, a lot of skills, that's the way he gave us the confidence. that is also a thing we needed. & # 39;
GoDuke.com: What is one thing, not from a leadership perspective, but just an on-the-field feeling that you want to see yourself improving in this spring?
KQ: "I think that one thing I want to improve on is not too much, I think one thing I did that hurt myself on the pitch was a bit hesitant, thinking: is this the right game? Is this the right one? angle? I would see a hole and thank, what do I want to do next? & # 39;
"I think I should be ahead of my brain this coming season," I see a hole, I know what I'm doing. & # 39;
"Go, trust it and do not be hesitant."
GoDuke.com: You have participated in winning two bowl games in the last two years. How have those postseason experiences been for you?
KQ: "They were great, they're a chance to get better and get more exercises in the season, it helps recruiting people, but it's just another chance to be with the seniors and play with them too .
"This year was a bit different because I actually played against my high school teammate, the temple-wide receiver Isaiah Wright, so that was a bit different, and we had to get that same old competition we had back on the field in high school. also a different environment.
"You're always grateful for the chance to play in a bowl-game, because not every team gets that, I'm grateful for the equipment we got and grateful for the great time, both in Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl and Shreveport for the Independence Bowl of the Walk-On. "
GoDuke.com: Switching from soccer, what is your favorite lesson that you will be following this semester?
KQ: "I think my favorite class is this semester [Special Topics in Markets and Management Studies] Business communication with Dr. Conn. So far it is great. She brings a lot of energy to this material. I come to class, dance a bit. It is a long class, on Wednesday evening from 6.30 am to 9.9 am. But again, she brings energy. She is enthusiastic about what she does and always tells us about it.
"I think that will help me on and off the pitch, I think it will help me to speak more fluently, more confident and loud and present around a lot of people." With respect to the field, it's going to help me communicate in defense , with as hard of a stadium as we have for the first game, it's going to help a lot. "
GoDuke.com: What did you do to spend your time between the bowl game and the start of this semester?
KQ: "I went back home, I went back to my trainer in Bloomfield, Conn. I went straight back to workouts and tried to get ready for the next season, I did not even give myself a lot of time to rest, but I did a little bit when I was home, I mean, it was a little cold in Connecticut, I'm without a car, so I'm stuck in the house a bit, trying to hang around with some friends there, see family, sleep a little, I have a mix of all that. "
GoDuke.com: Watched the Super Bowl earlier this week, how was it for you to think you would play the next game at Mercedes Benz Stadium?
KQ: "Looking at that match, I thought it was a fantastic defensive play on both sides of the ball, one seeing the pregame and how excited and crazy that stadium is going to be was great." It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity So just come out, do what we do, enjoy the experience and try not to get overwhelmed, but just play your play. "
GoDuke.com: Do you come from the Connecticut area, are you a supporter of number six for the Patriots or not?
KQ: "I do not actually have a pro-football team, where I come from, everyone is a fan of a patriot, so I started to row at them a bit, because they will always be in. I'm not against that, some people call them a underdog who goes into the game If you've won five Super Bowls, I do not call you an underdog, I'll sometimes root for it and sometimes I'll stand up to it, it's a tough choice for a team, anyway. "
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite Duke Athletics event that you have followed and that is not football?
KQ: "Lacrosse games gentlemen Last year, Joe and I, we usually went to the game of his little brother, JT, so it's always exciting to see him play, he has to work a bit on his goal when he shoots is, but it was a pretty good match, they played UNC last year and we knew that, and we even looked when they were at the NCAA Championship in Joe's house, it was a great time to watch that. "
GoDuke.com: What is a hidden gem in Durham or on campus?
KQ: "Oh, that's hard, because when I talk about it, somebody can hear it." In the Brodhead Center there is a small rest room when you go past ABP [Au Bon Pain]. There is a room with a big TV, but if you pass it, there is a room with couches. That was my place when I was on campus. I would get something to eat and take a nap. Maybe a bit of work, but definitely sleeping there. A hidden gem in Durham? I would not call it hidden, but I always go to Tobacco Road Sports Café, usually after every race with my family and food. Those are my two places. & # 39;
GoDuke.com: Who are the three greatest living musicians?
KQ: "J. Cole is different. Textually, artistically speaking, he can mix it up. He went platinum on his first solo album. Drake too, because he is capable of taking many different vibrations and different beats from producers in different styles to make a bit of it. You can always see how he makes samples and things like that. He has also reached many different platforms. I'm a bit biased, but my favorite artist is Torey Lanez. That is my other artist with whom I should deal. & # 39;
GoDuke.com: if you could be a cartoon character for a week, who would you be?
KQ: "That's hard, I'd have to be Spongebob, that's my favorite cartoon show, one because he's got a lot of energy, he's always laughing around and giving everyone positive energy." Even Squidward, no matter how hard he tries, Spongebob always tries to get him started Spongebob just goes to work, excited to go to work, and always has a smile on his face, no matter what happens. "
GoDuke.com: Do you prefer to win an Olympic gold medal, an Academy Award, a Grammy or a Nobel Peace Prize?
KQ: "I have to go with an Olympic medal because it comes every four years, so it's a bit harder to do." Some people train four years and then it disappears. "Many things can happen." Grammy's, everything else happens annually, so I have to go with the Olympic gold medal, because it is quite difficult. & # 39;