CHARLESTON, S.C. - Just two more days until the Charleston Southern Spring Football game on April 13 at Buccaneer Field as the CSU Athletic Communications Department caught up with rising redshirt senior safety Darin Smalls after practice.
How do you feel your position group has performed this spring?
"I think we're coming along just fine. We're young and we've got some walk-ons, but everybody is doing well learning the plays and picking up where we left off last season."
What are your thoughts on your new coaching staff?
"I appreciate how hard they push us and how they expect so much out of us. In the past, we were supposed to be a team of leaders, but I felt like we never achieved our potential. The new coaches have brought a whole new perspective for us and got everybody back on the same page. We're focused now on moving forward and trying to have a great season."
As an upperclassman now, what are some things you're telling the younger players?
"Just to play fast, physical, and don't worry about any problems you may have off the field. I want them to know that as a team, we're here for you. I just want guys to show up for practice, and when it's time to play, do what they need to do."
Since you're coming off an injury, do you think your time spend injured has made you a better leader?
"Most definitely. It was such a long road to get back to playing. But through that time, I was only on special teams, so I had time to get behind our guys and hype them up. It really humbled me and made me overall, a better person. That experience gave me the ability to talk to the young guys and really be able to lead from that perspective."
What are your goals as a defensive unit this year?
"We want to be the best defense in our division, in the nation, whatever we can do to be the best, we want to do that. We have the guys that can do that so we feel like we can make it happen."
Gates open at Buccaneer Field at noon on Saturday, with the Spring Game set to begin at 1 p.m.