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Bonesville One-on-One

Thursday, August 27, 2009
By Ron Cherubini
 Editor of Bonesville The Magazine

In Step with Dominique Lindsay

Senior enters final campaign — again —
with a great attitude and lots to prove

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

Running Back
(Photo: ECU SID)

It hasn’t been easy… not by a stretch for East Carolina senior running back Dominique Lindsay. After backing up all-star Chris Johnson for three seasons, he had outright won the starting position for the 2008 campaign only to lose the job to an injury. While he watched the guys he beat out add another year of experience during a tremendous season, Lindsay spent time cheering, mentoring, and working hard to give it a go one more time.

He is in a battle royal for the job this season and understands that he may not win it this time around. Still, he has the goods and an edge on his competition in terms of experience. Universally respected by his teammates, Lindsay is looking forward to this final campaign. All observers can rest assured he will help this team in any capacity asked of him.

Lindsay took the time recently to sit down with Bonesville for a one-on-one Q & A in which he talked about the competition at running back, his hopes for a great final season, and his desire to get back on the football field.

* * * * * *

ECU Media Relations photo

Bonesville: You are a guy who saw an awful lot of playing time since arriving in 2005 and were a big part of the successful 2007 campaign. You were the clear No. 1 guy heading into 2008 and then bam! The knee injury. Talk about your mindset when you learned you would not be playing in 2008 and what you have done to get yourself back together for a run at it this season?

Dominique Lindsay: Injuries happen in football and all you can do is take the time to get smarter about football. I took the time to get deeper into the playbook and learn more about the defenses and prepare myself to get back into it (the next season).

B: Was it difficult to be sort of outside looking in during the first few weeks of the season a year ago and the season overall?

DL: It wasn’t really difficult… I believed in my team and was there with them the whole time just like if I had been playing and believing in my team. I knew that these guys could get the job done because so many times before we had gotten close and had learned. I enjoyed that… to see the success… I was happy for my teammates. Of course, any football player wants to be out there with your teammates, but you have to contribute any way you can.

B: The injury deferred your final season to this season rather than 2008. When you look around at the potential this team has and the talent that this team has, have you had a thought that maybe there is some silver lining to having this be your final season?

DL: It is great to make my final run with this team and these guys. I mean, I came in with the Class of ’05, Coach (Skip) Holtz’s first recruiting class. I would have missed playing with the guys I came in with if I had played last season so it is a little bit of a blessing in disguise. I have a lot close friends in this class and I know and they know that we will go hard for each other on every play. It is the way it should be, I think.

B: Obviously, last season, you competed against this same set of running backs with the exception of Brandon Jackson. You won the job against the likes of Norman Whitley, Jon Williams, and J.R. Rogers… but now they each have another year of experience. How is that battle shaping up for you out there?

DL: You mentioned a lot of talent there. Brandon Jackson brings a lot, a lot of talent to this team… a lot of energy and power. You know, I feel like right now, with me missing some of the practices (concussion), what is keeping me in the battle right now is my experience and understanding of the game. I know the playbook and the assignments and I try to be a leader to these younger guys out there while still trying to win the job.

B: Aside from the concussion, how are you feeling? How is the knee?

DL: The knee is 100%... even better than that. I don’t even worry about it anymore.

ECU Media Relations photo

B: You got to sort of watch the offense last year and, at times, it struggled to move the ball consistently. From your perspective, why should fans expect an improved offense this year?

DL: We have a lot of guys on this offense that can make plays consistently. Last year, we lost a lot of our playmakers and the young guys stepped up. Well, the playmakers are all back now and the young guys are pushing for more time because of the experience they gained last season. Look around at this offense. We have Dwayne Harris, Jamar Bryant, Jon Williams, myself, Brandon Jackson, Pat Pinkney… I could name a bunch of other guys, we have dynamic playmakers every where you look on this offense. And, we got a bunch of good lineman… so we really should have a great year offensively.

B: When you look around this talented team, can you point to a player who above all commands your respect? Why?

DL: I like at Van Eskridge first. He was one of my first roommates up here and he played linebacker as a redshirt freshman and then switched to safety and made that transition easily and made even more than plays. He is a guy who I respect without question and he is great leader out there. There are others I could talk about like Jay Ross and C.J. (Wilson) but Van is the first one I think of.

B: Talk about your relationship with Coach Junior Smith and what, if anything, did he do to help you work through last season? What are his expectations of you this season?

DL: First, Coach Smith wants me to be a leader for the younger guys… he made that clear. He wants me to show them the right things to do and help them when they need guidance. On last season, Coach Smith knew that I was really down after working so hard and winning the job and then losing it, he told me to keep my head up and keep bringing my heart and leadership.

B: Is that latter role, leadership, one you embrace?

DL: I love the role. I have been here a long time and know this system and how we run it. My knowledge of the game and understanding of what the coaches are looking for help me help others and allow me to keep my game on top when I am on the field. I know I can help this team through leadership.

B: Having spoken to a lot of your teammates, one thing that is clear is that they all greatly respect you not only for your past accomplishments, but for you and what you bring to the team in that leadership, camaraderie and more. What do you attribute this universal respect for your teammates to?

DL: Putting me on the spot… I guess it is that I am a hard worker and try to carry myself the right way and tell them and the coaches that I want to do whatever they want me to do to help this team and I mean that. The best feeling in the world is when you come off the field after a win and get to that locker room and start celebrating with your teammates and I let my teammates know that.

B: Having to work against this defense, you are in a great position to answer this question. How physical and good is this defense?

DL: On a scale of 1 to 10… they are most definitely a 10. Look, these guys like to hit. You got Nick (Johnson) there in the middle and Jay Ross and Linval Joseph coming up the middle so when you have the ball you got to keep it on lockdown and your head on a swivel because you really don’t know where it is coming from. You only know it is coming and you want to be ready for it. You could be 15 yards down the field and here comes Big Jay Ross right beside you bringing you down and he’s a defensive tackle… no joke.

B: Talk about Game Day at East Carolina, particularly knowing this is your final season with the Pirates. How do you feel on Game Day when you walk into the stadium?

DL: Game Day you know that there will be at least 45,000 screaming Pirates there supporting you. It is one of the best atmospheres I have ever played in. And, when we are on the road, you look up and there are always some of our fans there… they come support us and believe me, we all really respect that and appreciate that.

B: So how do you want the ECU fans to remember you after you leave the program?

DL: I definitely want them to remember me as a hard worker and a guy who could get it done. I think I have put in hard work since I got here. I waited my turn and I hope that I can go out there and get the job done this season to leave good memories of me in their minds. I want to be one of the best backs to come through here.

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08/30/2009 02:28:40 AM


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