As part of last week’s Big Ten Media Days, The Daily Gopher had the opportunity to speak with and ask a handful of questions of each of the three student-athlete representatives that accompanied head coach P.J. Fleck to Chicago.
Here is what Carter Coughlin had to say.
On his personal goals entering his senior season:
“Shoot, to do better than I did last year, honestly. To change my best. Personal goals, I mean, if you’re not shooting to be the best, there is no point in striving. I’d like to be the best at what I do in the entire country.”
On the pressure of being a senior:
“I do feel added pressure, but we talk about the difference between pressure and stress. Stress is stuff you can’t control, but pressure is stuff you can control. In my mind, I want to be the guy that has to make the game-winning play on the [opposing] offense’s last drive. I’d like that in my hands. I love pressure.”
On how current players influence recruiting:
“I think you need to recruit guys that fit into your program. And there’s been a couple different guys, where Coach Fleck sat us down when we’ve had recruits and said, ‘Do you think he’d fit?’ And sometimes we’ve said, ‘No,’ based on how a recruit interacts with us, how he interacts with the people around him. You need to make sure you get guys that fit.”
On the different position coaches he has had over the course of his college career:
“It really depends on how you look at it. I could look at it and say, ‘Yeah, man, it sucks because I’ve had to develop new relationships,’ or I could look at it as the fact that I’ve gotten four different perspectives from four different unbelievable position coaches. [Current defensive line coach Jim] Panagos is completely different than [previous defensive line coach Marcus] West was, but they’re both awesome coaches. So I think that gives me an advantage.”
On the turning point in their season after the Illinois game last year:
“I think it was a reality check that we weren’t where we needed to be. We spent a lot more time focusing on details. We were missing details and that is why we got gashed so much.”
On defensive coordinator Joe Rossi:
“Coach Rossi is an unbelievable coach. He is crazy detailed. He was my position first coach when I first started playing rush [end] and I had to learn a new position. I picked it up crazy fast because of how detailed he was. He brings that same level of detail to our entire defense.”
On when he knew Paul Bunyan’s Axe was returning home:
“[When] the Wisconsin fans started filing out of the stadium with five minutes to go.”