Marcus Coker spoke at Stony Brook today. Here’s the transcript. (Not a lot on Iowa, but he’s on a new path. Nothing but the best to him.)
Q: How important does Athletics play a part of your life?
A: It goes 1) God, 2) Family and 3) School, which I feel Athletics is a part of.
Q: How does it feel to be a little bit closer to home?
A: It feels great. I’ve had the opportunity to go home the past two weekends. The chance to see my mom and family is something I definitely missed.
Q: Are you planning on changing anything about your game? Maybe gaining more weight or losing some.
A: I’d definitely like to lose a few pounds. I’m a little heavier now than I was last season.
Q: What are the top three reasons you chose to transfer to Stony Brook over other schools?
A: Coaches, academics and the type of offense Stony Brook runs.
Q: How do you feel about sharing the offense with Miguel Maysonet (1,633 yds, 15 TDs)?
A: We’re both going to compete for time on the field. But I don’t see it as one over the other. We’re both trying to win.
Q: What will you miss most about the University of Iowa?
A: My teammates.
Q: What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
A: I’m not big on expectations. I’m going to play as hard as I can. I feel good things will come from hard work.
Q: How would you describe your running game?
A: Downhill runner, straight ahead. Whatever is the shortest way to the end zone (laughs).
Q: You have a bracelet that says, “Get Better, not Bitter” What attracted you to that?
A: When someone or something knocks you down, just get back up and move forward.
Q: Was there something that attracted you to that?
A: My third week of camp as a freshman, I broke my collarbone and missed the first three games of the season.
Q: You ended your freshman year as the MVP of the Insight Bowl. What was it like to have a year start out rough and end like it did?
A: It was one of those things that happened so quick. I thought I was going to redshirt, then start a few games, then rush for 200 yards against Missouri. I just tried to get better everyday.
Q: How gratifying was it to cap of the season with a bowl victory and enter the next season as a highly thought of running back?
A: It wasn’t any kind of gratification for me. My gratification was knowing that the seniors on that team would go out with a win. We had lost a few games in a row, so winning the final game of the year was important to me for them.
Q: Do you think you have to prove yourself on the field being at a new school?
A: I feel like I have to prove myself everyday and everywhere I go.
Q: Do you feel like your teammates are going to be watching you closely the first few days of practice?
A: I don’t think so. We’re all just trying to get better. I’ve been around them for a few months now, so I don’t think there’s something unknown.
Q: How have your new teammates tried to engage you?
A: I feel like the guys have treated me like family. When we’re lifting, we’ve talked about some personal stuff, but nothing more or less than any other new guy in a program.
Q: What has Coach Priore done for you since you’ve been here?
A: Anything he could do. Getting acclimated academically and athletically. Showing me the Stony Brook way.
Q: Have you gotten to know Bamiro (right tackle Michael Bamiro – 6-8, 350)?
A: He’s a funny kid. We’ve talked a few times. He’s a character.
Q: Do you think you’ll be more efficient, running the ball 22-25 times at Stony Brook then you did running 30-35 times at Iowa?
A: Yeah, I guess. I mean I’ll always try to keep my legs fresh as the season goes along. Most games I didn’t come out at all. 70, 80, 90 plays definitely takes its toll. [SBU coach Chuck Priore interjects] When you talk about the next level of football, there’s two parts of preparation and I told this to Marcus during the recruiting process – continue to get better and gather the correct film. He’ll be fine going forward. A lot of scouts will say the same thing.
Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore:
Q: Are you excited to finally get Marcus on the field?
A: Certainly, he loves being on the field. I don’t think the transition to our offense is going to be too difficult for Marcus. The offense at Iowa is very similar to ours, and he’s been coached by some great coaches. He’s got a lot of natural skills.
Q: You lose Brock Jackolski (1,418 yds, 16 TDs) to graduation. Do you expect Marcus to step into Brock’s role?
A: As I’ve stated to a lot of people, anytime you lose core players you have to adjust and tweak some things. We expect Marcus to be a premier guy in our offense and produce on a play-by-play basis. That’s going to take hard work and a dedication to success.
Q: Have you developed a game plan to feature Maysonet and Coker?
A: We run the ball more than enough times during a game. (Turns toward Coker and laughs) I think their tongues will be hanging out after the end of games.
Q: You have Adrian Coxson (transfer from Maryland) coming in. Will you be looking to throw to him?
A: We led the Football Championship Subdivision in passing efficiency (143.1). The reality of our offense is that it creates a lot of one-on-one situations with the safeties. We’ll lull you to sleep with the running game and if the safeties want to get involve in tackling, we’ll utilize our receivers in big-play opportunities.
Q: How do you feel about playing Army and Syracuse this season?
A: We’re real excited about playing two New York schools. It gives our alumni and fans the chance to see us play two great institutions. Having Marcus, who competed against the FBS for two seasons, will give us a different dimension in those games.