Cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks on Elijah Shumate: "Oh my gosh. Listen, you talk about athletic and the way the game is moving now with these spread offense, so you have a safety that has the ability to come down and be a physical presence in the run game, tackling. You have a guy that can walk down and be physical presence in man-to-man. You have a safety that has the ability to get from sideline to sideline playing in the high hole, off the hash, what's not to like there?"
S Matthias Farley on classmate Eliar Hardy, who should debut Saturday: "The difference (from last year) is night and day. I think he's fully healthy and really feeling 100 percent. He's also just getting more comfortable with reps and experience. It slows down for you. We're both juniors and you begin to understand the system. He's studied under Zeke (Motta) and Jamoris (Slaughter) and Harrison (Smith) and he's really worked hard to put himself in the position he's in now."
S&C coach Paul Longo on an offensive linemen hitting his stride in Year 3: "They have to be able to hit that if they're going to be an upper-level performer. If you look at Zack (Martin), his (redshirt-freshman) year when I got him he was 275. Good player, but not dominating. Then he went to 290-295, right around there. Then last year, bigger, faster, stronger, another year, and was able for reach those heights. Now he's 310, on top of his game, and one of the best in the country."
Tight ends coach Scott Booker on blocking from the slot as a TE: "Whenever you're going against a guy who's smaller than you, which we will if we're in the slot, you have to understand your strengths. Your bigger than those guys, so you want to get up on them and dominate them physically. In doing that we have to position our bodies in the right way, make sure they're not able to juke us."
Running Backs coach Tony Alford on Amir Carlisle: "He's a tough guy, he's a tough cat. His ability to run inside is one of the things that impressed me the most this summer. I thought he might be strictly a space-type player. He's tough, he'll grind it out. He told me this morning he's 190 by the way…"
S Austin Collinsworth on his special teams acumen: “Mentally, maybe I have a screw loose but I never really thought about it. I’d go out there and run through a brick wall if they asked me to.”
WR T.J. Jones on complacency: "We lost pretty bad last year. It's hard to get complacent when you're obviously not the best."
Jones on his punt returner role as a senior: "To have that on my resume for the NFL, it can definitely help me out. But its not going to help me out if I'm bad at it. To be back there, I need to be someone who's going to make the right decision and make those big plays as well."
RG Christian Lombard on replacing Mike Golic: "Specifically, his pulling. He was a very good pulling blocker. We do a good amount of that in our offense, being able to be crisp on that. I watched a lot of (film) on him doing that and it was something he was really good at."
Lombard on avoiding "Another South Florida": It means don't let certain elements or the team we're playing determine how we play."
CB Bennett Jackson on the coaching staff remaining intact: "It gives you something to play for outside of your teammates next to you. There's a respect level. I've been here as long as they've been here. It's kind of like we've been through this journey together, so I think it's definitely motivating."
DC Bob Diaco on improvement over 2012: "We're not going to change our culture, we want it to grown, and we want to minimize the myriad bucket-full, bushel-basket full of things we did wrong. Both physically and mentally. So that's what we're working on. When we get that done, the players and coaches improve just a little bit. We hold steadfast to the ingredients that have created this unit and we go back and inspect the areas we do poorly and the unit should improve."
LG Chris Watt on the success of the left side of the offensive line last year: "It seemed to work all year so obviously defenses weren't able to stop it. It'll be nice to be more balanced this year though, it opens up some things to keep defenses on their toes."
ILB Dan Fox on the unit's new starter Jaylon Smith: “When he came in during the summer he was asking me if I wanted to watch some film and I was like ok let’s watch some film. So we get in the film room and he’s saying some things that took me a little while to pick up on and he knew it right away so I was impressed by his knowledge of the game. Being so young as a freshman and he knows certain things about the game that really impressed me.”
Senior QB Andrew Hendrix on a potential fifth season in South Bend: "No doubt. I want to use all five of my years here for sure. I love this game and I want to play it as long as I can."
RT Ronnie Stanley on playing high school basketball: "I think it helped a lot with my footwork and overall athleticism. It made me a more versatile football player. I could have played college basketball but I have a better future in football."
CB Lo Wood on fighting for the starting spot: "To me its still a grind. Go out and get better. That's the only thing I work toward is to get better every day. I'm still pushing and still have to do my job and become a better corner. If I become better, then guys ahead of me will have to become better too."
S Elijah Shumate on losing to Alabama, his first loss in nearly five years of football: "You're used to winning, you have a winning attitude. But it happens. I knew I was going to go through it sometime in my life. It motivated me to get better this year."
Head coach Brian Kelly on DaVaris Daniels' views of the Pistol: "Daniels doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. I wouldn't listen to anything he says. He's having a hard enough time figuring out what the hell he's doing."
WR DaVaris Daniels (two weeks later) on how the Pistol offense impacts the receivers: "(Laughing). Nah-nah…good try."
Daniels on the depth of the wide receivers group: "I think as a group, we've come a long way. Together, we're one of the --- no, I'm not going to say that. Together, we're a good bunch."
Zack Martin on his brother Nick's assertion that the younger is the better ping-pong player: "This is what happened. My dad beat me, he beat my dad, then I beat both of them. During camp, Durham Smythe, the new freshman, he's like this stud ping-pong player. He beat Nick like 21-7 and then I stepped up and beat Durham. So that answers your question."