Aug 29, 2009, 4:00 PM EST
(Editor’s Note: “That’s What He Said,” is a new segment where we’ll break down comments from different members of the Irish and try to dig a little deeper into what he’s thinking. Think of it as our tribute to Dunder Mifflin’s Michael Scott, only about college football, not… well, you know.)
Darrin Walls spent 2008 away from Notre Dame and the football program. The why and the how aren’t important, and the “personal reasons” behind the departure aren’t something that Walls is talking about.
What we should be talking about is bringing back into the secondary a talented, potentially lock-down cover corner who as a true freshman lined up against All-World wide receiver Calvin Johnson and held his own. Walls’ 73-yard interception return for a touchdown against Penn State in 2007 was one of the highlights of the season, and Darrin is back on campus ready to make up for lost time.
“He’s probably hungrier than he was a year ago,” coach Corwin Brown said.
Here’s what he said.
On competition and team chemistry:
“I think for the most part, we look at each other as brothers. We look out for each other and we know we have a lot of good guys back there and a lot of good guys who can play. We just push each other every day, try to get each other better and we know that the coaches are going to make the best decision to put the guys out there and put us in the best places to play. We look at it as a positive thing and try to motivate each other with competition.”
How his teammates support last year helped:
“I think it helped in the long run just keeping in contact and knowing that those guys were still behind me and pushing me to work hard and that they missed me, they would say things like that. It was a lot of help knowing that those guys wanted me back and they really missed me. As time went on, I think I realized how much of a family we are in the secondary and the total defense in general. I think that helped a lot.”
On how chemistry helps the secondary:
“I think it helps us pay attention to detail. we have to play the way that we’re coached. if not, we’re the last defense, the last security. We have to play our keys and know our rules to heart. At the end of the day, we’re the ones that are going to give up the touchdowns. We know we have to be on point every play and we practice that way.”
Darrin Walls: That’s what he said.