Quotes from Georgia State’s media day:
Jordan Giles, wide receiver:
On not being able to establish any rivalries in the CAA since it will only be in the league one season: “We’ve noticed that, but we can only play the games that are on our schedule. Every game that we step on the field we look to win, and I think our record will show that we’re ready to play. Rivalries will come when they come, but right now we’re just going to go out there every Saturday and play our hardest.”
On being picked to finish last in the conference: “Actually, I didn’t know that until you told me, but we don’t really worry about what outsiders say. Our record last year wasn’t up to our standard, but we’re looking to prove them wrong. We’ll use that as motivation.”
On whether that prediction was based on other CAA members not liking the Panthers “one-year” layover: “It hurts to say it, but we went 3-8 [in 2011]. We have to own up to that. I’m sure that we’re going to prove to those that picked us last that we’re the total opposite of that.”
On the parts of his game that need improvement: “To be the best wide receiver I can be, I can always improve on everything. I always want to improve on my blocking, because a lot of people think wide receivers can’t block, but we’ve got to do it.”
On leaving a legacy at the program: “Every day, every morning we see that mural [of the 2010 team, the first year Georgia State took to the field] and we look at it and realize we’re starting something great. We take pride in that and want to be the best group we can be right now. Hopefully 20 years from now, we’ll look back and say, ‘Wow. We started that.’”
On how much being a member of the start-up program factored into his decision to play for the Panthers: “Being the first is always the great feeling, and Coach Curry is one of the better coaches [out there]. He has a record that speaks for itself as well as the things he has done in the past, so when he came in my living room and we talked, I knew I wanted to come to Georgia State.”
Demarius Matthews, junior cornerback
On being picked to finish last in the CAA: “I didn’t know that, but I know there are a lot of people that aren’t expecting us to do too good. I love it, though. The best feeling in the world is to prove somebody wrong. When you prove them wrong and you see the look on their face when you’re standing on top — you succeeding at everything they said you wouldn’t — that’s a beautiful moment.”
On relishing the “underdog” role: “I love being the underdog. I love when people underestimate me. You can underestimate me all you want to, but when we get out there it’s going to be a fight. When you get on the field, it’s beginning to end non-stop. May the best man come out on top.”
On the parts of his game that need improvement: “Learning the playbook and learning everybody’s position. I know my position real good, so I’m trying to learn the positions around me, too. When we turn the page, I can be like, ‘OK, I can do this more on this play, and do this more on another play.’ Also when somebody makes a mistake in the middle of the game — it happens — I can help him out. If they need to know what to do, I’ll know. That’s why I’ve been watching a lot of film, trying to react a lot faster and know what’s coming before it’s coming.”
On how often he thinks of the legacy he and his teammates are leaving: “When I first got here, I’d think about it all the time. But as time went on, it just became, ‘OK, I’m here to play football. Let’s just play football.’ But when I leave here, I’ll probably be thinking, ‘Man, I just helped start a big program in the city of Atlanta, one that a lot of people didn’t think would get as big as it is now.’ But right now I haven’t been thinking about it too much. I’m just focused on playing the game and helping my teammates.
Anthony Midget, defensive coordinator
On being picked to finish last in the CAA: “If the guys look at and want to use it as motivation, that’s fine. I don’t get caught up in it. It is what it is. You still have to go out and play the season and do our talking on the field. That’s going to be the main thing: we’re just going to go out there each week and take it one game at a time. Look at where they had ODU to finish last year. [Writer's note: The Monarchs were picked to finish next-to-last in 2011. They ended up taking second place.] I don’t get caught up in rankings. We’re just going to go out and play football and have fun.
On how excited he is for Wednesday to arrive, which marks the first day of practice: “It’s a fun process and we’ve been putting in all the hours to get ready for this. We’re ready for the opportunity to get on the football field and see the guys. They’ve had a great summer and I’m excited with where we’re going.
On how much time he gets (if any) to reflect on being part of the first chapter of Georgia State football: “We take pride in that. We as coaches talk about that all the time because this is something special. A lot of people don’t get the chance to build something from scratch. We knew coming into this that there would be some growing pains, and part of those growing pains were last year. The key and the mark of a champion is how you respond to that. That’s the process of building this program to what we want it to be: to make Georgia State a national powerhouse.”
– Ryan Black (subbing for a vacationing doug)
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