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Wake Forest Football Media Day quotes

Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2005

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Quotes from Jim Grobe, Cory Randolph, Ben Mauk, Jon Abbate and Josh Gattis

2005 Wake Forest football team

Winston-Salem, N.C. - 2005 Wake Forest football media day quotes

Head Coach Jim Grobe:
On the first two weeks of camp:
"It is a little bit like not being able to see the forest through the trees. In two-a-days, you really are just evaluating talent and effort. I am excited about the enthusiasm of this group. We have a great attitude and a great work ethic. I think that we have enough talent to win and we are just trying to get sorted through all the X's and O's. We haven't really settled on anything for the first game yet and we are doing so many things that we will have to cut back in the next couple of days to begin to prepare."

On the team today and the team at his arrival five years ago:
"We've had some very good individual players on our football team since we've been here. This team has the most talent and certainly the most depth that we've had since this coaching staff arrived.

On ACC expansion:
"When Florida State came in the league everyone else raised the bar. Now that we have even more additions, the bar has once again been raised. It is a little bit harder now but it has helped up with recruiting and we are continually working to make ourselves better."

On the challenge of improving the program:
"We are further along than I thought we would be when we first started. In the beginning, we had some really good older players and some depth in the offensive line. We had some older guys that Coach Caldwell had recruited that helped us have some good years. We've had a few years without a large number of seniors and we haven't won as many as we wanted to. In four years, we have become really competitive and I think that we are further along than I expected. We've had a bunch of freshman and younger players on the shelf that could have really helped us get over the hump of the last few years. We are trying to do what is best for Wake Forest in the long run and it is tough to be patient with that much talent in the wings. I am proud of where we have come in four years."

On the offensive line:
"If you look at the position groups, we don't have a better looking one than Lobo's. On the offensive line there is not one kid in the two-deep that we are not pleased with. All of the offensive linemen made a commitment over the summer to work hard in the weight room and looking at them right now they are a much different offensive line than they were in the spring. It is starting to come together. Last year we were worried about losing Blake Lingruen, but we couldn't be happier with the play of our two centers. We are seeing a lot more intensity out there by the kids up front and they are better than they were in the spring."

On the competition at quarterback:
"Ben Mauk is having an absolutely great August but I am most impressed right now with the attitude and work ethic that Cory Randolph has shown. I am not telling you that Cory walks around with a smile on his face all the time, but I could not ask for any better effort than he is putting in right now. When he is not taking reps as the quarterback, we have been asking him to take some at receiver. He has shown a lot of toughness and he catches just about everything that is thrown to him. He is starting to get pretty good at running routes and we have to get him to improve on his blocking. He has made our quarterback position a horse race and he didn't have to do that. He could have sulked about it and he has made it great competition. If we had either quarterback out there for us, I wouldn't worry about it one bit."

Cory Randolph

Senior Cory Randolph

On the transition from quarterback to receiver:
"The only offensive position that I have played since middle school has been quarterback. This has been a journey and I think that the transition so far has been smooth. It has tested my athletic ability and I have taken on the challenge. It is also a great test of my character. I talked to my dad about it and he said that you can take two approaches. You can go out there with a bad attitude and waste the season or you can use this as an opportunity to enhance the skills that you may or may not know you have. I have taken the latter and hopefully it will turn dividends in the future."

On the quarterback competition:
"I am still out there competing, although I don't think the job is out there up for grabs. Going into Vanderbilt, I think that Ben is going to be the guy. Right now I am just like 10 other guys fighting to get a spot on the field. Receiver is a great way for me to continue what I have already done at quarterback - get the ball to make plays. I am enjoying the opportunity and we have a great bunch of guys at receiver. I am just enjoying myself."

WFU QB Ben Mauk

Sophomore Benjamin Mauk

On the competition with Cory Randolph:
"I think that the competition makes each of us better. I am pushing him to help him improve and he is pushing me. He is getting a lot of reps at receiver and he is going to help the team one way or another. I think that his pushing me has made me a better quarterback. This job can be lost any day and you have to come out and compete each time you step on the field."

How Cory has handled it
"I admire him on how he is taking it. It was tough for me to be the number two guy last year and we just keep competing each day. He has been a team player and I admire that."

How he is playing:
"I am really excited. I am going to do whatever it takes to help the team out and win. I think I have made great strides from last fall. I didn't have any experience playing college football last season and playing last year really helped me progress as a college quarterback. I am excited to be back out there and I think that the experience factor is going to make a great difference in the coming year."

Sophomore Jon Abbate
On Coach Grobe and how he motivates:
"Coach Grobe is a father figure to all of us. He is a great guy and is probably the main reason why I selected Wake Forest. He is a stand up guy and he will always be here for us both on and off the field. When he talks to you he looks you straight in the eye and tells you what you need to improve on. His favorite saying is that if you think you did something good yesterday then you probably haven't done anything today. That is a great motivator for me."

On the national attention:
"It is fun. I have always been the underdog -- being 5-11 and stuff. I have been taught to just play the game at 110 percent and to run sideline to sideline and if you do that, then good things will happen. I try to play that way. If I get attention for that reason then I am fine with it."

On Vanderbilt:
"We are watching film and getting ready. Vanderbilt has a great quarterback and they are big up front. We are trying to focus on the little things and some plays that they run."

Junior Josh Gattis

On camp:
"I think I am playing pretty well. This is one of the best camps that I've had since I arrived. I think as a team we need to get in a little bit better shape, but that will come. I think by the end of camp, we will be ready."

On how the defensive line will do this season:
"We have guys that have the ability to rush the passer and play very well. I think that once we start competing on the field, we will see our hard work pay off."

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