VIDEO: Starks on First Week

Freshman running back Nate Starks talks about the biggest adjustments of fall camp so far and whether he'd be comfortable redshirting his first year...

Nate Starks:


On camp so far:
The first week was crazy. In high school, I was a man amongst boys, but it's been eye opening. It's a real man's game. I can just come out and be ready. You have to have the mindset to come out here.

On Kennedy Polamalu:
Coach Polamalu is great. He's a nice guy, and I can tell he's going to coach us hard. He gets on us every day in film. You can tell he wants all his running backs to be great. He's coached some great running backs in the past. I'm just honored to be playing for him.

On if he feels he'll get opportunity this year:
It all comes down to the work ethic. I just come out here and do what I do. I know it's a lot faster, and guys are stronger, but keep the mindset. Things are hard now, but I know how that's going to be, I'm a freshman, so just keep going.

On how his skill set differs from others:
I'm a lot taller than a lot of the backs, and I'm a lot shiftier. But I'm trying to learn still. It's good being behind guys like Paul Perkins, Manfro and JJ. Buy into the program, follow in their footsteps, know what I know about the game.

On doing little things:
Coaches look at what running backs do when he doesn't have the ball. We work on that every day and watch it on film. He makes sure we attack the hole and don't let our quarterback get killed. I was good at pass pro in high school, so I'm just continuing to buy in.

On if he'll redshirt this year:
It has come to mind. I just want to finish camp and see how the rest of camp goes. I still have a lot to learn and make sure I'm ready to compete at the collegiate level. If I can contribute to the team, I will, whether it's on special teams or the backfield. It's a matter of if I'm ready and we'll see by the end of the camp.

On if it's been discussed how many backs will play:
They haven't indicated, it's just whatever guys are ready, they're goiing to throw them in there. We all have the same job to do. And we have to take care of that job. Who ever is in there is going to be ready.

On if he feels he's physically ready:
Yeah, physically, I think Coach Alosi, over the summer, he got me physically ready and conditioned. I just have to keep working and keep going. Everything is hard, but I know if I buy in, everything will fall in.

On if he added weight this offseason:
No, I'm still 200, 205. Depending on how much we run. I lose pounds then gain it back. Its about your work ethic and doing your job. We want to be great.

On if camp has been tough:
It's definitely been tougher. I kind of had a sense it would be a different ballgame at this level, but actually being out here with guys with talent that are at mine or better than mine, its eye opening. It just shows you really have to work to get at this level.

On the learning curve with pass protection:
In high school, I really didn't understand how to read a defense or make my scans correctly and that's what Coach P is teaching me right now, how to read a defense fast and if a backer is blitzing or a safety is coming down. So Coach P is working on that and if I keep listening to him, everything will fall in to place. Working in the film room is another thing. In high school, I didn't spend a lot of time in the film room, but that is a big thing, at this level, you really have to spend time in it. You have to know what guys are doing and what you're doing wrong, it will slow down for you and get you better for the next practice.

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