On switching quarterbacks mid-drive during the Gator Bowl victory:
It's hard to say. At that point in the season, I was a little banged up so that had to do with it. For me and Trevor, we've been doing it for so long. When our number's called, we're ready to get in there and make a play. We don't think about it very much. Maybe the defense is like, "Oh god, they've got a new quarterback in there." For us, it wasn't that different.
His thoughts on Matt Alviti, the incoming quarterback with similar skillset:
I've seen him in workouts. I don't watch his highlight tape in high school. I mean, all that's really pointless. When you step into the college arena, it's completely different. Some guys step up and some don't. I hope he is a great quarterback for Northwestern in the future, and any help I can lend to him, I'll definitely do it.
His interactions with Trevor Siemian:
We have a great relationship. We both came in the same year. We both watch each other grow as quarterbacks and players and want each other to succeed. It's cool to see Trevor run for a touchdown, taking my role away. We joke around.
How the positive nature of that relationship affects the team:
Looking at the quarterback, they set the attitude and example for the team. When you see two guys being unselfish, it's going to trickle down to everywhere else. When the team asks you to split time… You do it because that's what the team needs.
Being the standard for young running backs:
It means a lot to me that I can be someone's role model. That's what football is about: You see a lot of kids doing things you shouldn't do. If someone gives you great responsibility, that has to be taken care of. Every little thing you do, the media is going to see, the media is going to blow. The spotlight is on you, and that's one thing Northwestern has taught me. I just try my best to go about it, talk to different kids, maybe on the South Side of Chicago. I do everything I can to help kids understand that there is a life outside of what they're going through.
The importance of NU's reputation in the midst of so much NCAA controversy:
I'm proud to represent the N, maybe too proud. Northwestern kind of speaks for itself. It's a great academic institution and I knew that coming in. That's why I chose this school. Football only lasts for so long, and I need a Plan B, so that's why I came here.
On changes and adjustments with the offensive line:
I'm very confident in our O-line. People keep asking about them. Are they this? Are they that? I know how they are. So, that's one thing I love about coming into a game: surprises. They're not always good, but we have arguably one of the best centers in the nation in Brandon Vitabile. Jack Konopka showed what he can do last year. Those last three positions are up for grabs. We have people fighting for these positions. Those freshmen came in ready: They're the right weight… They have the right mindset already. Theirs and my mindset are very compatible.
On the stages of player development during redshirt seasons:
It's definitely about learning our scheme. You could biggest the freak of an athlete out there, but you need to pick up the defense. That's how Dean Lowry got to play so much: He picked things up very quickly and that helped him.
Some advice for freshmen as one of the current senior leaders:
As a freshman, in general, you have to make the transition to watching film everyday. That's not something you do in high school. It's something you learn over the years. You might be dozing off in meetings as a freshman. If you take it seriously, you end up learning a lot. That's the biggest part of succeeding then.
A player who's worked to develop his game:
Deonte Gibson comes to the top of my mind. He came in and was skinnier, but then he bulked up. He's still fast, he can run, and I'm excited to see how he plays this year.