April 13, 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 the sixth interview with Battle:
Can you describe your relationship with Joker Phillips?
"I have a strong relationship with him. He's a younger coach, he's exciting, and he has a lot of energy in him. Given he's young, he understands where we are at right now. He played football at Kentucky and went on to the pros for a little while, so he really knows not only playing receiver, but the things that go on outside of football. He's kind of like a big brother, but at the same time, he's a coach, so he'll get on you if mistakes are made."
How has David Givens continued to be a help to you at receiver?
"He's helped me with my assignments and basically the entire adjustment to wide receiver. If I have any questions, I can go to David. He's been here for a few years now, so he understands what he has to do. He's a big help. He's the one I go to for any information I need."
Any one else among the coaches or players that have been a big help?
"Really the entire receiving corps. Everyone helps out one another. There is no friction between us. I also get along with the Defensive backs real well. I hang out with them outside of football, guys like Shane Walton, Clifford Jefferson, and Donald Dykes. They are all hard workers too. They give me good looks in practice going against them. We make each other better players."
Why will the Notre Dame receivers surprise people in 2001?
"I feel we have a lot of excitement, a lot of juice. We have some young guys who can go out there and play. They are getting their first opportunity to get their hands on the football. On the other hand, David Givens and Javin Hunter are veterans who are also explosive. They were expected to have big years last year, but with me going down, the offense took some time to adjust and get going. All in all, we have a lot of exciting guys who work hard and have the drive to go out there and make big plays."
How has your relationship with the quarterbacks developed over the last couple of weeks? How are you able to help them out?
"I know what they are going through. Even though Matt saw a lot of time last year, he's still a real young quarterback. Along with Carlyle Holiday and Jared Clark, they form a great quarterback group. They can all go to other schools and start easily. But they are here battling it out. That shows their maturity. They all make great plays, and I try to congratulate them. They are the leaders on the field, but at the same time. I try to pump them up, get them going, and help take on the leadership role."