Getting to Know Your Golden Eagles

Sept. 22, 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 running back Conrad Chanove, tight end Shawn Nelson and linebacker Tokumbo Abanikanda.

Conrad Chanove
What do you think about the season so far? "I think we've been working really hard this year. During the preseason, we talked about what we need to work on from last season. In the end, we slacked off. We're still concentrating on finishing the games, finishing the practices and finishing each week off as if it is a game. We've been doing that and the success is coming along. We need to keep it up and I think we will." What are your expectations for the remainder of the season? "If we keep working like we are, which I know we will, we're going to be alright. I feel like we'll have a chance to go to the championship game but we've got to take it one game at a time. Each week is a new week so if we do that we'll be o.k."

How do you feel about your performances so far? "I've been average. I feel like I can be better in some aspects. I'm going to keep studying and working on my fundamentals. I'm also going to try to step up."

What do you like about playing in The Rock? "The fans. They don't understand that when it gets really loud we get excited. This past week against N.C. State was a perfect example. It was an awesome crowd and the student section was great. It really gets us pumped up and ready to play. I love the fan-base the most."

How would your teammates describe you? "Crazy. I try to come out here everyday with a lot of enthusiasm because it's hard to come out here and beat up on each other. I try to keep it fun. I love the game and that is why we're here to play. It's not a business; it's because we love to do it. I try to keep that in mind when I come out here."

What do you think this year's team has over last year's team? "I think that we have a little more experience. Last year, a lot of our defense was new and now their experience from last year is showing. Our defense is doing great and our offensive line is full of veterans." What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer? "Black and Gold"

What do you plan on doing with a degree in business management and marketing? "I don't know. I'm not sure yet so I guess I'll just have to see. I'd like to take football as far as I can but I'm realist. I know the job world is going to come sooner or later."

What does it mean to you to be a Golden Eagle? "It's an opportunity that not a lot of people get. It's wonderful being able to be a part of this team and the tradition. It's an awesome feeling to be among these people and the traditions they have made."

Shawn Nelson
What do you think about the season so far? "I think we've been good this year but we can be better is some aspects of the game. We've been getting off to a good start. We lost our first game but we've got a two-game winning streak right now. We had that big win against N.C. State. We've opened up our running game a lot more that we did last year. I'm looking forward to things looking better."

What do you think the team needs to improve? "We always come out and improve on all aspects of the game. We look at fundamentals and the mistakes from the games."

What are your goals and expectations for yourself this season? "My expectations and goals are really high. I had a good season last year, which I didn't expect. I want to have a good year this year too."

If you could be drafted today, which team would you want to go to? "I'm a big fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I used to watch Michael Clayton play at LSU. I'd play for either Tampa Bay or Florida."

What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer? "I like the 'Southern Miss to the Top' cheer that they do when we get a first down." What's your biggest weakness? "Being too nice"

How are you preparing for UCF? "I'm coming out here trying to get better in my steps and being fundamentally sound. There's always room for improvement."

If you could be President of the United States for one day, what is the one thing you would do? "Lower gas prices"

Tokumbo Abanikanda
What do you think about the season so far? "I think we got off to a great start and we're getting better each game. We've got the mentality that all of those other games don't matter. We concentrate on getting better for the next one."

What are you trying to improve about your game? "I wish that I could see stuff a lot quicker. That's the kind of thing that comes with film study and that's what I'm doing now."

How do you feel about games in the middle of the week? "I have no choice but to like them. I can't let that be in the back of my mind. I have to stay focused. Anyone Anywhere Anytime."

If you could be drafted tomorrow, which team would you want to go to? "The Atlanta Falcons because I would be home." What is your favorite Southern Miss cheer? "I'm a defensive player so I like the 'Nasty Bunch'."

You also wrestled in high school. Why did you choose to pursue football instead of wrestling? "When I first started wrestling, it was just to stay in shape for football season. I didn't really like it until I started winning but I never thought about pursuing a career in it." What do you like about playing in The Rock? "The support that we have. When we play in The Rock it's like forty thousand against eleven. Everybody's into it."

What is your favorite television show? "I don't watch too much television but I watch 'Sportscenter' more than anything."

What CD is in your stereo right now? "An Atlanta underground mix tape"

How would your teammates describe you? "I think that they would describe me as hard working. I play big and never give up. They can depend on me."

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