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Saturday, November 1, 2014

More on Bolden: Q&A plus RB named to watch list

BLOG: In today’s edition of the EAGLE you’ll find an article regarding Ole Miss’ recent season ticket spot that features senior running back Brandon Bolden.

During a media opportunity at the Indoor Practice Facility on Wednesday Bolden was pretty low-key about the appearance. He seemed honored and acknowledged that he has received plenty of good-natured ribbing from his teammates for the spot.

In addition to the commercial, Bolden talked plenty about becoming more of a leader, using last season as motivation and how he has seen the Ole Miss offensive line improve over the last couple of months.

As is often the case in the newspaper industry, we didn’t have the space to fit EVERYTHING Bolden talked about in today’s EAGLE.

Some of the quotes that were left on the chopping block, I felt, are still fairly interesting.

As a result, and thanks to the limitless interwebs, I’ve decided to include the excerpts from Wednesday’s interview below:

How long did it take?
About an hour and a half.

Was it fun?
It was fun, tiring, but it was fun.

How many times did you have to run?
Like six.

A lot of feedback?
Everybody. Guys on the team, ‘awe, man, we’re playing with a superstar,’ and stuff like that. I tell ‘em it’s just the same old B.B.

What about the dive in the commercial, that was a pretty cool part?
That was fun. I think the first time I did it I dove from the 7 (yard-line) and actually went over the mat and hit the end zone. That kind of hurt, so they were like, ‘OK, try not to run so hard and just jump a little closer, from the 5.’ That ended up working out. It was hard not to laugh, especially when they’re like, ‘oh, I didn’t know you could do that.’

Did it end up like you thought?
It surprised me. They kind of told me, ‘OK, we’re going to film this scene and we’re going to do this and this and then we’re going to cut it all up and make it look real good.’ I know what I was out there doing, but half the stuff I don’t even remember doing all that. It turned out good. Everybody seemed to like it.

What’s been your focus this offseason?
The main thing I’ve been working on is leadership. In the spring, Coach (David) Lee looked at me in a meeting and was like, ‘I need you to step up and be a leader,’ especially for the summer going into pass scale and everything like that. I accepted the challenge. The guys made it pretty easy to be a leader for them. I just kind of sent out a mass text like, ‘hey, we’ve got to be here at a certain time, everybody show up. No questions asked. Everybody come get your work done.’ That was basically the main thing I was working on, my leadership.

How has the attendance at summer workouts been this summer compared to years past?
It’s been great compared to years past. Usually you might get two or three receivers, a running back, two quarterbacks. Now it’s like everybody is there and we have enough to go first team, second team, third team. It has been real great attendance.

Any new guys stand out?
They came in and you go shake their hand and they already know your name. They say eyes are always on you so that felt kind of great. They always have questions they want to know so I just kick it to them straight and tell them what they need to know to help them while they’re here. Everybody is just taking to it, being one big family basically.

What’re your thoughts on the QBs?
Not really because all of them get the same reps. All of them look real good, pick their spots to throw the ball. All of them look real good and know what they’re doing. Like I said, we got the playbook thrown at us, so we’re not on a learning curve — we’re off of it — but, we’re still getting to know our playbooks.

Do you look at the RB position as a strength?
Partly. The only reason I say that is because without an offensive line there is no run game or passing game anyway. The main part is really on the O-line. They have a lot of the weight — we’re going to try and take some of that weight off of them — but as long as they give us somewhere to run, we can go to the moon.

What’re your thoughts on the offensive line from spring?
They got better each week as the season went on and they’re like an entirely different group, especially now in the summer where there’s just pure workouts and they’re getting faster and stronger. They look like an entirely different group. (The running backs) love it.

What about the fullback battle with H.R. Greer & E.J. Epperson:
Both of them just got real nasty at fullback and that’s what every running back wants, a real nasty fullback that will stick his nose into anybody. Both of them really did start leaning there towards the end of the season and just took over. They have a real tight race between those two.

How do you view last season?
Just forget about it. Let it go, it never happened. Just wait until the fall comes. That’s really how everybody has been thinking about it. If you really want to get guys going, just bring it up.

PRESEASON WATCH LIST: While I was typing this blog it was announced that that Bolden has been named to the Doak Walker Award pre-season watch list.

From the Doak Walker Award website: “The prestigious Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.”

Joining Bolden on the watch list is Mississippi State running back Vick Ballard.

Ole Miss has never had a running back win the Doak Walker award. (July 15, 2011)

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