March 30, 2001
The Notre Dame football team opened spring practice on March 27 at the Loftus Sports Complex. Throughout the spring, www.und.com will follow the progress of senior flanker Arnaz Battle and senior linebacker Tyreo Harrison.
The following is our second installment with Arnaz Battle including what adjustments he will need to make in switching from quarterback to flanker.
Does this Spring bear any resemblence to your freshmen year given the new coach and the position switch to wide receiver?
"Not really because I know the system. I have been here three years. Right now, I?m adjusting to the practice system at receiver, the coaching, and what we are trying to accomplish. Right now, my goal is to learn the new position and give 100 percent in practice."
In what ways will your experience at quarterback help your development at wide receiver?
"It is knowing the entire game and the whole offense. At quarterback, you have to know where everyone is on the field. Right now, I have a little advantage over the other receivers. I know all the formations. I know where the different positions are aligned, and how to read defenses differently, knowing where the safeties and the cornerbacks are. Playing quarterback brings more knowledge of the game."
Which player or coach has been a big influence in helping you adjust to receiver?
"Obviously, the coaching staff has helped a lot. Outside of coaching, David Givens has been the biggest help. He is out with a hamstring injury right now, but he?s still been at practice day after day, helping me out, watching film, and working with me to get my routes down. He knows what is going on. He really knows the receiver position well."
At this time last year, you were penciled in as the starting quarterback. This year, you are playing at the deepest position on the team. How does that change your approach to practice? What do you think about the competition among the receivers?
"The competition pushes you to play harder. Our receiving core is very close. The guys get along very well. We know the competition is tough. Everyone is trying to earn a spot, but at the same time, we come out and help each other, doing what we have to do to lead the team to victory."
Saturday is the first day of full pads. As you know, players are going to hit one another whether it is allowed or not. How will Saturday be different from your days of wearing a red jersey at quarterback?
"For Oregon State I received a little taste of full pads and contact.
I'm not use to it, but I know what it is going to be like. Saturday will
be more intense and more physical. Cornerbacks will be in the receivers'
faces, which means more contact. However, all in all, it is the same thing,
going out there, getting your technique down, and improving as a player."