University of Central Arkansas sophomore quarterback Breylin Smith and senior defensive back Juan Jackson joined Nathan Brown at the Southland Conference Media on Thursday in Houston, Texas.
First up, Smith answered questions about his ankle and how he has been rehabbing since he broke it in a Sept. 29 game against Sam Houston State in which the Bears lost 34-31 in overtime.
“Everything went well,” he said. “I went through spring and I feel like I got better on the field.”
Smith also talked about how his new receivers, namely Arkansas transfers Tobias Enlow and Jarrod Barnes.
“I expected them to come out and compete and they did,” he said. “During the spring, Tobias got open a lot and Jarrod brings a big play threat. We got to throw during the summer and the chemistry is there for us.”
Smith was also asked about his offensive line. “I feel confident in those guys,” he said. “All spring they have gotten better and seeing them doing what they’ve done on their own has given me a lot of confidence.”
As for his running backs, Smith says they take a lot off him.
“Carlos [Blackman] is one of the toughest to bring down, Kierre [Crossley] is big play guy and we have D’erek Fernandez and Cameron Myers who are also solid,” he said. “They take a lot of pressure off me in a lot of ways like in the running game, passing game and blocking.”
Jackson was asked about senior defensive end and fellow All-Southland First-Team selection Chris Terrell.
“He is a monster,” he said. “I’m glad we have him. He really gets after the quarterback and that allows us to go after the wide receivers.
As a senior, Jackson gave a word of advice for his underclassmen teammates.
“Always be ready,” he said. “We saw with Breylin last year that your number can be called at any time. So, you have to be ready because it could be your time.”
Jackson also said the team does have a tough schedule to start off the season with four of the first five games coming on the road.
“We just have to make adjustments as they come to us,” he said.
Both Smith and Jackson were asked about the Sept. 21 trip to the University of Hawaii and the two gave a football answer.
“We’re going there to play football first,” Smith said.
Jackson echoed those sentiments.
“It will be cool with the beach, but I’m there to play football,” he said.
And for those road games, which the Bears will have seven total, which is the most since 1995, Smith and Jackson are not fazed by it.
“I like going to play on the road because there are fewer distractions and it is more structured,” he said.
“I like traveling and going to the different hotels and eating the food,” Jackson said.