Quinton Carter has been a leader on the Oklahoma defense for the last two seasons. Now that leadership has the seal of approval from the American Football Coaches Association who named Carter a first-team All-American this week. Carter talked about the award, the Big 12 Championship and Nebraska earlier this week.
Congratulations on being named an All-American Quinton... I don't know where to start. Just looking back at OU's history and looking among all those guys and the names and all the prestige all those guys have - the past couple of years I've played with some great players and just to be among those names is a great honor. When I found out, just thinking about where it all started off, it was kind of a flashback to my first year ever playing football. I kind of got a little emotional knowing how far I've come as a person and it's an individual award, but being around my teammates, they're playing hard every snap. With them demanding excellence and the coaches demanding excellence, I think that plays a huge part in that.
You are so humble, when you first heard about it, how did you take it directly? I thought it was a joke actually. From there, like I said, it was an emotional type of thing just thinking back to when I first started playing football and my first days on campus and just started thinking about my teammates and watching them out there playing hard. That's pretty much all I was thinking about. I really didn't put too much thought into myself. It's an individual award but I know my teammates always have my back and are always supporting me. They're all out there playing hard and I know nothing is impossible without all those guys.
Can you talk about Nebraska and what it's like preparing for them? They do a lot of different things but they have some players hurt and it seems like an odd situation. They're still a good football team on tape and they have so many weapons to hit you with. They're a physical team with a downhill running game and they still use the play action pass. They still have big play receivers, even though a couple of guys are hurt. They're still a good team and of course on the defensive side of the ball they're a great team. It's going to take a whole lot of preparation on both sides of the ball this week.
Quinton, can you talk about the emergence of Austin Box and his experience and the improved play of the defense the last two weeks He brings a whole lot of energy. I enjoy playing with Box. Just going back on the film review he's everywhere making plays and he's lining guys up. He knows how to make checks and he's played a huge factor on the defense. I really feel like he's part of the reason we've started hitting our stride on defense and all eleven guys are starting to click together and play as one.
How does it change not knowing who's going to be quarterback for Nebraska? How does it change your preparations? I don't think it changes at all. We still prepare the same way. Their offense won't change at all just because the quarterback was hurt. They've still been winning games with different quarterbacks.
Can you talk about what makes Brent Venables such a good defensive coordinator? He just demands excellence from us but it's never the coaches fault. They can't get on the field and play. They give us the call and it's our responsibility to line up and make checks. It's never the coaches fault when we don't play well. It's the guys on the field that's not playing well.
He really gets us ready during the week. He knows how to fire us up on gameday and he's really key on preparation throughout the week. He really knows how to teach us and get us ready for Saturday.
Going through a tough year last year and now being able to seethe team improve this year and go back to a Big 12 Championship, how does that feel as a senior? It's really exciting. We had some ups and downs. A whole lot of ups and downs. We had some close games and just hitting our stride late in the season, that's what you want. Being able to play for a championship as a senior, it means a lot in all those other years that I'm here. Just to end out in a bang is a really big deal.
Can you talk about the challenge of facing Nebraska's play-action passing game? Just having good eyes, I think it goes back to preparation during the week, watching a lot of film and just things it takes to let you to make plays. You don't try and over do it and be a Superman out there but just to trust all the guys on the team and just play your responsibility.
How special is playing in this game and could you talk about the rivalry and tradition between OU and Nebraska and what it's like being a part of this? I think it's really special. This is the last year of the Big 12, technically I guess, with teams leaving. OU and Nebraska has a rich tradition of playing each other for big games and I'm pretty sure this will go down in history as another big game.
How have you seen Landry Jones grow up and mature this season especially after the way things happened in the fourth quarter against OSU? Just starting off he's been way more vocal just with the offensive guys, getting them fired up and demanding top plays from those guys. Just us seeing that on defense it kind of motivates us to play our best game too. He makes mistakes like everybody does but he always bounces back and he finishes strong.