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April 16, 2012

Spring game presser: Players

Ryan Radcliff

On how today felt

It felt good. It was a beautiful day. It was nice to come out here and have a little fun. The offense got after it and the defense made some plays. It was just a good time obviously.

On the Quarterback group

All the guys played well. We all had some mistakes that we still need to correct and we will do that when we watch the film. There are some small things to correct and I know all the guys can correct them. Everyone played well though and I'm excited about the depth we have.

On the progress he's made since last year

I'd like to believe I'm better. I'm a lot more comfortable this year than last year. It's my third year in this offensive system. Gaining that full understanding of this offense has helped out a lot. I just need to go out there and execute.

On Zurlon Tipton

It's definitely nice to have a back like Zurlon. He just gets that ball and goes, it's my job to hand it off to him and let him do the rest.

On the wide receiver corps

We were a little bit limited to what we could do, but guys stepped up today. We had to even it out a little bit and get everyone a chance to play. You saw some big plays from Jordan McConnell and Jerry Harris. We didn't get the ball to Andrew Floyd that much, but he's had a fantastic spring. And obviously Titus Davis can play. I thought the guys did a great job today.

On Jerry Harris' improvements this spring

I think he's more confident. He's always had the ability, it was just a matter of utilizing it. Once he gets his confidence up like he has this spring, he can be a great player."

On the light trash-talking during the scrimmage

[laughs] There was a little bit that. After we picked the teams and talked about it all week. There was a couple times where you could hear the offensive and defensive lines getting after it a little bit. Other than that, we were just out here playing and having a good time.

On the running game

They did a good job. In the first half, we were really gouging them, from our side. I know Anthony Garland ran the ball real well on their side. Even big Tyler Lombardo got a few carries on the goal line. Once you just give them the ball and let them do the rest, it's pretty easy from there.

On the game coming down to the last play

Yeah that was great. Like I said, we'll take a win however it comes. I think it's good to show that both sides of the ball are even and it was pretty fun for the fans to watch too.

Zurlon Tipton

On his performance

I felt like I did ok. I made some good cuts but there are still things I need to work on in the offseason.

On what he needs to work on

I mean I read the holes well, but you can always get better. Also my protections; I was a little bit sloppy with picking up blocks. And just getting better with technique.

On the performance of the running back group

It's a real good group. We have a lot of people and we actually have fullbacks that can take handoffs too, so it's good when everyone can be productive.

On the competiveness of the game

I guess you could say it was competitive. I like the whole turnout of it. We got good plays in there, so I'm happy how it turned out.

On how he will prevent from getting injured this year

I'm in the weight room a lot more. I feel like I need to get my body right. Anthony (Garland) and I are in the weight room a lot more. Getting stronger and making it through a whole season, that's the goal.

On working with Anthony Garland

If I'm falling behind, he will pick me up or vice versa. Also, we're just trying to help the team.

On his plan heading into the summer

Work hard in the weight room. Also work on technique and plays, so when you step into camp you know what you are doing so you're not thinking out there, just playing.

On the seven-game home schedule and Michigan state

Definitely looking forward to all the home games, especially Michigan State. Every time we've played State I've been hurt, so I'm definitely anxious to play them. As far as the seven home games, I mean you really can't ask for anything better.

On having the Michigan State game at Kelly-Shorts

Even better, Kelly-Shorts is going to be packed. That raises the intensity level, so I can't wait for it.

Alex Niznak

On his preparation level this spring compared to last year

Well obviously this year we had a game, as opposed to practice situations. For me it was more about mental preparation than anything. This year, I am the guy that spits out the plays in the huddle and who everyone is looking at. Last year, if I didn't get the plays out right, they wouldn't be very effective. So I was a lot more prepared mentally; getting in the film room and seeing how things progressed. I think standing on the sidelines with a headset last year, next to coach Enos really helped too.

On the 65-yard touchdown pass to Titus Davis

I think that is a throw I could make last year, distance-wise. I don't think it's a throw I could make as far as sitting in the pocket and making that read. But it really was a busted-play. I thought Titus was going to make an out, but he kept going. It was probably my fault because I told him on the sidelines that the way they were covering him, he could take them deep. And then when he went, I was surprised. I think the work that I did in the offseason with Coach Barry helped me gain the ability to make that throw.

On the scrimmage format

I haven't played a game since we went to the state finals. It was great to be the guy that everyone looked at in the huddle. It was a lot of fun. I haven't really had any situations to drive down the field to win a game, so that was pretty fun. We had beautiful weather and how can you not love playing football in April.

On how the quarterbacks played

I didn't really have a chance to watch them that much to be honest. We were on the sidelines talking to the coaches and other guys. Ryan [Radcliff] did a great job, because they beat us. I didn't really pay much attention to what Cody [Kater] and A.J. [Westendorp] did because I was on the sidelines talking with coaches. I honestly couldn't tell you how I think everyone played because I wasn't paying much attention, but they beat us.

On the potential game-winning two-point conversion

[chuckles] There's no doubt there should have been a flag thrown on that play. I obviously thought there was contact because I wanted another shot at it. Coach Shankweiler called the play and we didn't execute it. I thought there was contact, but we didn't get the call. If there was a flag on that play and we did execute it, I probably would've jumped out of my skin.

On the Ithaca support

Yeah it was great to see some friends from high school show their support today. A lot of my former coaches and teammates were here and it was nice to see them. I got to meet a lot of great people here today. It's one of those things when you're a local kid and watch a lot of CMU football growing up, people realize it's not that far of a drive and you can watch some games.

On his first pass attempt, which was picked off

I was really amped up. When I came to the sidelines, I thought it was my fault and I did something wrong. Everyone said it was on the money and he just needed to catch it, but I'll see it on film and I'll obviously do everything I can to make it better. I was amped up and obviously starting off with an interception isn't what you imagine. I think I came back with three touchdowns, so I think I made up for it."

On the wide receiving corps

I thought Titus did unbelievably well. I think he will be a mismatch for everybody. Titus is a guy who can matchup with anybody and give them fits. I think at the tight end position you saw, Mike Kinville, who has only had one spring under his belt, play unbelievably well. Ben [McCord] is a player in my class and a guy I really pushed to come here and I'm unbelievably happy he's here. Jordan McConnell is the guy I threw that last ball to and his leg was bleeding. He was really burning out, but he showed an extreme amount of toughness sticking in the game.

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