Had a chance to catch up with co-captain Bradley Vierling this afternoon. The Commodores' starting center touched on a number of subjects, including the improved play of the offensive line and the career day from his good friend Jared Hawkins.
Talk about how much you've seen the offensive line improve in just two weeks.
Bradley Vierling: Every day in practice we get better and better. We're young and we're just starting to flow. With two games under our belt now, we're really starting to get a feel for each other and I'm pretty excited about what we can do.
What was it like to dominate the line of scrimmage when it mattered most in the fourth quarter and keep South Carolina's offense off the field?
BV: We knew we could do it and it was put on our shoulders. Our offensive line coach told us the only way we're going to win is if we do well. In the second half, we started to really get a feel for what they were doing and started being aggressive and had some fun.
What impresses you most about Jared Hawkins?
BV: I wasn't surprised by anything that Jared did or what he can do because I know he's always been a great back for us. I'm just excited whenever he gets that ball. You never know what's going to happen, if he's going to break it for 30 yards for a touchdown or slam it in there for four and just get us a first down. No matter what I know he's going to make great decisions back there and do a great job.
How would you describe Jared as a runner?
BV: Jared's fearless. When he gets the ball all he wants to do is just gain yards. It doesn't matter if he's breaking to the outside and running past people or trying to run them over through the middle, no matter what he's going to get the job done.
How does it feel to see him have success?
BV: It's very exciting for him personally to get the extra carries and extra yards and all that kind of stuff, milestones for him, and I'm just excited to be a part of Jared Hawkins' life and it's just a pleasure blocking for him.
What's your relationship like with Jared?
BV: We came in together, we've been through everything together, we're the same year, we're going to graduate together. It's just great to see him do well and as soon as we get Jeff back, we're going to have a very, very good tandem, and I'm really excited about it.
Do you think he has deserved more carries than he's gotten in the past?
BV: That's coach Kitchings. I have nothing to do with that. I'm not in their meeting rooms, I don't make the decisions. Whoever gets the ball, I'm just blocking for them no matter what.
What area of his game has Jarred improved the most over the past 3-4 years?
BV: I think whenever a running back comes in to college the No. 1 thing they have to work on is pass protection because in high school I don't think you really have to deal with that. You're always stronger and faster than everybody else. It's their hardest job to pick up all pass protections and blitzes and stuff like that.
Has he gotten a lot better in that area?
BV: Absolutely. He's improved on that more so than I'd say anything he's done. Knowing the offense better, knowing where blitzes are coming from, just getting your pads down and blocking better, he's really improving and he's looking good.
What type of person is Jared?
BV: Jared's one of the hardest workers on the team. He's non-stop, go hard, always on the grind. Whatever that guy gets, he deserves.