A few minutes with CMU running back Zurlon Tipton
In 13 starts last year, Tipton rushed 252 times for 1,492 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 289 yards and an additional score. He completed the year rushing for over 100 yards in his last seven games including 23 carries for 101 yards in the 24-21 win over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Tipton will be a senior this fall and undoubtedly is going to again be a major focal point for the Chippewas offense, especially as they attempt to break in a new starting quarterback.
With spring football in its first week, I chatted with Tipton for a few minutes after practice Friday. Here is what he had to say:
On the last few practice days:
"The atmosphere has been great. Guys are flying around, players are wanting to be coached. It's a great feeling to be back out here and just looking forward to having a better season than we had last year."
On feeling as though last season just ended:
"Especially playing in the bowl game, we didn't have that month to go home. We feel like we just got out of the pads. But I feel like everyone has been carrying their pads really well in these practices. It's been exciting."
On how important the extra practices/bowl game were to the younger guys on the roster:
"I think it was very beneficial. When they came out here for spring practice, we didn't even have to teach them. There were 15 extra days there to get them reps. It was like they were playing that season with us. You don't have to coach them up much. Just on techniques. As far as the scheme of things, they have it down pat."
On how his foot feels:
"It doesn't bother me a lot. I don't even think about it. Mind over matter. It don't mind, it don't matter. I mean, of course there are always going to be aches and pains but I'll be alright."
On how the rest of the running backs group looks:
"Everyone's looking we.. Especially with Martez (Walker) coming in there. It's not hard to play running back. Block left, block right. It's been exciting just being in that room and being around great people. Everyone's excited for the season."
On the added confidence levels of the team heading into this fall:
"Whenever you come off a winning season, that confidence is there. We did this, now we can do better than that. I think everybody has that mindset of coming out and doing better than last year."
On how he is looking to improve his own game:
"There are a few things. You can always clean up your own game. I felt like going into last year I wanted to work a lot on my protections. Now it's just technique, getting all the little things down that I need to work on. That's just me."