Prior to the game against Alabama this Saturday, The Signal sat down with four seniors who played in the first Georgia State-Alabama game in the 2010: Brent McClendon, Travis Evans, Danny Williams and Kelton Hill.
The Signal: How did it feel to play against the defending national champs as a freshman? McClendon:It was just exciting to be out there going against the defending national champs. I think I played fairly well as a freshman. I got smarter, got wiser from the game.
The Signal: What was it like playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium? McClendon: I loved it. I got to see some good things playing at Alabama…a great environment, just great to be apart of it.
The Signal: Did any of your family and friends attend the game? McClendon: My mom and dad came. My dad usually comes to all my games. My mom tries to come as much as she can.
The Signal: Did you have any opportunities match up with any of the NFL-bound Alabama players? McClendon: I matched up with Julio a few times, Darius Hanks, Marquis Maze, got a chance to tackle Mark Ingram, stuff like that. It was a great experience; I’ll never forget it.
The Signal: What’s your outlook for the Alabama game this time around? McClendon: Just a chance to prove myself, for the defense to prove ourselves and the team to prove ourselves. We’re better than a lot of people expect us to be, we just have to prove it.
The Signal: How did you feel about your performance in the Georgia State-Alabama game in 2010? Evans: I felt like it was good but I could have done better, but that was our first year playing college football. It was a good stepping stone, something to build on.
The Signal: With the 2010 game in the books, what did you learn from the game? Evans: I learned a lot. I learned that college football…wasn’t like high school. [Now] I can’t beat everybody to the edge, it’s straight north-and-south [running straight ahead]. Going into this game, I don’t really see going into they were defending national champions. This year, they’re defending national champions so the ground is set for it. I’m just trying to motivate our team and get us ready to go out there. We’re not going to lay down to them. We’re going in there to fight and keep fighting. We’re going to win in my mind. I see us winning.
The Signal: What was it like playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium? Evans: I loved it. I love the atmosphere of having all those people who don’t really like you. I just love that hostile environment.
The Signal: Did any of your family and friends attend the game? Evans: I had some family there but majority was home, back in Florida watching. They were just cheering me on from there.
The Signal: You played against Alabama as a freshman in 2010, how do you feel going into the game as a senior? Williams: I’m a very much smarter football player. I definitely know the ins and outs of the game a lot better and I’ll prepare a lot better than I did the last time.
The Signal: You had a catch for nine yards in that game. How do you feel about your performance? Williams: I wish I could have had a couple more. That one was nice. Like I said, I’ll be more prepared. Hopefully, I’ll get a couple more.
The Signal: What was it like playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium? Williams: It was cool, but like what coach always says, it’s just another game. It’s a big venue, but it’s still a hundred yards painted with the hashes, still the same thing, just a little taller. It’s kind of like being in the Dome to be honest with you. More people there, but same thing.
The Signal: Did you have any friends and family come to the game? Williams: Yeah, my dad comes to every game so he’s always there. And my mom. I think I had an aunt from up in Ohio come. I don’t know about this year, though. My dad and mom will probably come.
The Signal: What is your outlook for the upcoming game against Alabama? Williams: We’re going to show them Georgia State can play football with the best of them.
The Signal: How did you feel about your performance in the Georgia State-Alabama game in 2010? Hill: I was happy with it. I contributed a lot. We did good as a team. We weren’t scared. We showed we weren’t scared in 2010 and it’s going to be the same this year.
The Signal: With the 2010 Alabama game in the books, what did you learn from the game? Hill: It was fun. I had a 58 yards rushing that game. I think I contributed a lot. It was a lot of fun playing in front of that crowd against a top five team and I’m looking forward to it again.
The Signal: Did you have any friends and family come to the game? Hill: I had about 10-plus family friends come. It’s always fun doing that. It’s going to be the same next week.
The Signal: What is your outlook for the upcoming game against Alabama? Hill: Just to go out there and compete hard, make plays because we’re going to be on every news station so just go out there and show the world that Georgia State…we belong [with the best of them] and we can make plays like the best of them. Alabama puts their cleats on the same way we do, pants on the same way we do, helmets and shoulder pads. We just got to go out there and compete, bust them in the mouth and draw blood first.