April 23, 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 eighth interview with Battle:
As you know, there are eight days until the Blue and Gold game. Where is your development at the wide receiver position right now? "I think I have made a lot of improvement, but I still have a long way to go. Especially route running and just having the mentality of a wide receiver. This summer is going to be real key for me. I'm going to go out there and try to get better."
Given your physical ability and knowledge of the game you gained playing quarterback, what are your goals at wide receiver? "Well, we have two veteran receivers in David Givens and Javin Hunter. They are probably going to be our go-to guys. I plan on getting in the mix, catching some balls, and making a lot of things happen next year."
Besides your athletic ability, what is your best quality that you can give to the team next year? "I think my poise, I don't get rattled. In tough situations during games, with all the pressure, I really can keep my poise. I keep a level head so I can go out there and do my assignments."
Why will Notre Dame be one of the top football teams in 2001? "I think we'll be a great team because we have a lot of excitement. We have a lot of young players and energy. We have guys coming up who just want to play football and let it all go, especially a lot of freshmen who red-shirted last year. They spent a year off getting themselves ready, so they are ready to really let it rip. We have a tough schedule next year, but that's to our advantage. We'll go out there a win the big games and prove that we are the best."
Why will Arnaz Battle be an improved player in 2001?
"I think my experience will help me out. Being a veteran, I know what it is like out there. Playing behind Jarious Jackson helped a lot and some of those guys at receiver like Malcolm Johnson, Riki Nelson, and Bobby Brown. I have seen a lot of guys go through the program. Autry Denson is another guy. It's to my advantage to have watched those guys go out on the field and make plays and have great games. I have seen a lot around here, and I feel confident about going into next season.