It’s not easy to keep a winning team healthy all season long, even the best teams face this void each year. Sometimes it’s easier to handle for some because each player brings their own dynamic that makes a team thrive on the gridiron.
This season especially on offense the Rebels have had to deal with this in more ways than one but as all teams must do the only thing that can be done is attempt to fill the void and hope that players will step up to the challenge.
Fortunately for the Rebels three players have transitioned to make plays when it has mattered.
On Sunday, offensive lineman Justin Bell, runningback Jaylen Walton, wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo met with media to talk about their bowl experience thus far and helping fill the void for the Rebels.
Offensive lineman Justin Bell
On his bowl experience “My Bowl experience this week has been amazing. This is my first time getting in to see the city of Atlanta. I’m enjoying everything. I feel like the Peach Bowl staff and the committee has been doing a great job to help heighten my experience.”
On having a healthy O-line “Feels great. Roderick Taylor stepped up. I feel we’re not losing much even though Aaron is down. Not taking anything away from Aaron. Just says a lot about Roderick Taylor, how he stepped up. He plays with passion and helps us out tremendously. It makes it a more enjoyable experience, getting a young guy in there and knowing he’s going to play 60 minutes, give it everything he has.”
On just how fast the Rebels can operate “We can still go as fast as we’ve been going. I think we’ve been slowing it down a little bit to give us more time to read defenses and read certain tendencies of our defenders as well as give the quarterback a little bit more time to see the protection and change the protection if need be. So I feel like us slowing it down has helped us out. But at the same time, we can speed it up if we have to. We have no problem doing that.”
Runningback Jaylen Walton
On his bowl experience “My experience has been great also. I enjoyed Dave & Buster’s, though we didn’t win. It’s all right. The food’s been good. I like to eat. The food has been good. And the hospitality of Georgia, it’s all been fun.”
On having momentum after time off “I think I can carry pretty well. I’m trying to take advantage of my opportunities. Whenever a play needs to be made, I just want to make it. Whenever it’s time for me to carry the ball for the team, I want to make sure I get more yards after contact or with contact and just give it 110 percent every time I touch the ball.”
Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo
On his bowl experience “I think I’ve been having a great week so far. Me and my teammates, we’ve been bonding and having a good time. Like Justin said, the staff is really nice and have been taking care of us.”
On his growth with Laquon & Vince being out “Probably a lot. Those were are starting recovers at the beginning of the year. They’re both down. Honestly, I have to step up and do what those guys can do.”
On his, Markell & Cody’s dynamic this game “For the most part, yeah, we know that those guys went down, and stepping up is a big thing for us. We’ve been instilling that in our head since Laquon went down. And when Vince went down, we knew we had to compete even more.”
On his growth at slot receiver “From camp, I feel like I’ve came a long way confidence-wise and just being more confident in myself. That was the main thing that I was lacking was confidence in myself. Once I gained that, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better as a player.”
As the season prepares to close for the Rebels in a few short days it is clear that their has been a tremendous growth amidst young players and veterans on understanding what it means to fill a void in spite of all that surrounds you. Clearly the Rebels are focused and aren’t going to let anything or anyone stand I their way to close this season stronger than ever.
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a HottyToddy.com contributor, veteran SEC sports journalist and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.