Getting to Know Your Golden Eagles

August 18, 2006

Throughout the 2006 Golden Eagle Football season, a player from the offense, defense, and special teams will sit down for an interview with Southern Miss Athletic Media Relations Graduate Assistant Mallory Haynes on what you need to know about Southern Miss Football.

This week will feature offensive lineman Travis Cooley, defensive back Jasper Faulk and linebacker Wayne Hardy.

Travis Cooley

Cooley

Do you feel like you're back to 100% after your injury?
"Yes, I think I'm pretty close to it. I've been feeling good out here. After I've been out here a while it gets kind of sore but once I get some rest I feel good."

What do you consider to be your mission out on the field?
"My mission is to come out here and do what the coaches count on me to do. They expect me to come out here and go hard and lead by example. One day I talked about being coachable. I make mistakes out here but I try to focus on not making the same mistake twice."

Since you are out on the field all day pushing people around and getting hit, what do you do to relax when the day is done?
"Sleep. I love to sleep."

If you could describe your playing style in two words, what would they be?
"Smart and physical"

What CD is in your stereo right now?
"Most of the time I listen to the radio but it would be either R&B or gospel. I like to listen to anything that relaxes me."

Why did you choose to pursue a second degree in human resource management?
"I'm interested in becoming a scout one day. I also had another year of football. I want to take advantage of everything I have to try to be the best that I can be."

If you had a fantasy football team, what would you name it?
"Springfield Mustangs"

How will you remember your days here at USM?
"At first I thought it was going by slow but now I'm a senior and everything has gone by fast. I had fun and it has been a great learning experience. I came here as a kid but now I've grown up."

Has an opponent ever tried to psyche you out on the line? Did it work?
"A lot of guys try to talk noise out there. It really doesn't bother me or work on me. I focus on what I have to do. I may listen to them but I'm sitting there thinking 'Yeah, I'm gonna get you'."

What is more exciting about Sept. 2nd, the fact that the season is finally starting or that you're playing Florida?
"Both. I'm glad to finally get to the season. I like to always start off with a tough schedule. I'm just ready to get it on and to come out strong."


Jasper Faulk

Faulk

The coaching staff is counting on you to provide leadership this year. Does that make you want to play harder out on the field?
"It does in a way. If the other guys see me working hard and being consistent then they will feel like they have to do it too."

If you could be drafted today, which team would you want to go to?
"It doesn't matter. Any team would be a blessing."

Once a player has earned a starting position, what must they do to maintain it?
"They have to continue to get better everyday. You have to separate yourself from the others and be an impact player and a playmaker."

What does it mean to you to be a Golden Eagle?
"Being a Golden Eagle means to be a player with a lot of pride and a lot of character. You have to refuse to lose in every aspect of your life and be consistent with that."

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows.
"I have twin little brothers."

Being a veteran on the team, where do you see the team this year compared to the other years you've been here?
"I think this team is different because we have more young guys who are hungry. They want to play a lot and they compete everyday. I know when I was a younger the young guys knew that they weren't going to be able to play."

Did you get to choose No.21 and if you did, why did you choose that particular number?
Yes, I got to choose it. I chose No.21 because No.24 was taken which was my high school number."

What do you plan on doing with a degree in therapeutic recreation?
"I would like to build a recreation facility one day that is built for kids with disabilities. My goal is to give them confidence in the fact that they can be as normal as any other kid."

You are one of the team's fastest players. Do you do any particular drills that help maintain your speed?
"Flexibility is a big key. I also do a lot of cone drills."

What runs through your mind when you are about to catch the ball and run it down the field?
"Catch it first."


Wayne Hardy

Hardy

How do you feel being a senior this year?
"I feel like I want us to win everything. It feels great to have been here for so long. Now I've become a senior and it's time for me to leave. It feels good."

If you could change anything about the game of football, what would it be and why?
"I wouldn't change anything. It's a game that teaches us to be disciplined and hard nosed. It's just football."

You finished as the team's fifth-leading tackler last year. Do numbers mean anything to you?
"I don't really look at numbers. I look to see if the team's doing alright. If I'm not helping the team I'm not satisfied."

What is your favorite television show?
"The Jamie Foxx Show"

Does the team play music in the locker room to pump everyone up?
If yes, what type of music? "A lot of times Pat (Patrick Stewart), our equipment manager, has music playing because we have a stereo system in there. Sometimes guys bring stereos in and some of the guys on the team wear head phones. Just about all of the guys like rap but we'll listen to anything with a good beat."

Are you pleased with your performance so far in the preseason?
"A little bit. I still have a few things that I need to work on. As far as my tackling and technique, I'm coming along. Everything seems to be going well."

Do you have a nickname?
I have a lot of them. All the guys on the team call me a lot of different names and my friends call me a lot of different names. One of them is 'Clank'."

If you weren't playing football, what would you do with all of your extra time?
"I would probably either be working or working out."

What is your biggest fear out on the field?
"My biggest fear is blowing an assignment. I play man-coverage a lot of the time and if you get off of him for a split second it will bust the whole play."

Which magazine do you prefer, Sports Illustrated or ESPN the Magazine?
"Sports Illustrated"

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