Friday, one day before the start of fall practice, senior offensive lineman Jonathan Alston sat down with members of the media to answer a few questions. Alston shared his thoughts about Lou's decision to suspend seven players this summer, how his off-season went and a few other interesting topics.
Was the unity council in place this summer? - Well, it’s a new season ... He’s going to choose new members this year.
There’s not one in place right now? - No, there’s not.
Was Lou’s decision to suspend those seven guys a wake-up call for everybody on the team? - Well, like I said, he’s the coach and that was his decision. He dealt with it the way he felt was necessary. The players can take it how they want to take it, but it was his decision, and what’s done is done.
Were you surprised that he suspended those players? - Those guys are pretty important to the team. No. After being here for four years going on five, I kind of expect anything from Coach Holtz.
How did the off-season go for you? - This was a great off-season not only for me but for the team. Just seeing the drive that they’ve got and the determination that the guys had this off-season kind of reminded me of the first two years that we went to the Outback Bowl two years in a row. As a senior, it’s now or never. I put it all on the line as I always do, and I see the same thing from the rest of the team.
Do you think y'all have enough to get back? - Yeah. I think we’ve got enough to get over that 5-7 hump.
Are you expecting a tough camp this year? - Yeah, I do. I do. I mean there’s no getting around two-a-days. With the heat and the wear and tear on your body, but also we have a new coaching staff now that will enforce every aspect of the game.
Do you expect the defense to carry a lot of the load? - I expect them to do their jobs. I also expect an elusive defense from Coach Minter because just seeing some of the things that he did in the spring, I know it’s going to be a great year for the defense as well as the team.
Can you think of any guys that might be candidates for working with the second team offensive line? - Well, I see a lot of guys coming in early like James Thompson and guys like that, but like I said before, it’s up to them if they want to play. They’ve got to come in and work hard and pay attention to the little things. You can get it done in the weight room, but it’s a different story on the field. Once camp starts, it will be easier to assess that.
What was your impression of James Thompson? - I like him. He’s a good kid just coming in and learning things and just kind of working hard.