Lindsey Lamar has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the USF offense this season. So far, Lamar has 41 carries for 220 yards and two touchdowns, to go with nine catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns.
I had a chance to catch up with him earlier this week to ask about his performance so far, and the mindset of the team going into its game against Louisville on Saturday. Here is what he had to say.
Lindsey, you were supposed to redshirt this year but injuries forced you to play. How did you handle the sudden switch from thinking you would sit out to playing?
LL: I was always ready to play. I came to work every day preparing to play because I never knew what was going to happen. I knew it was going to be tough to sit out the year, but I came to work like I was going to play, so the transition was good for me.
What went into the initial decision to redshirt?
LL: It was a mutual thing decided during camp. I talked to a couple of the coaches, because I was worried about how I was feeling about a couple things. It was really my decision to do it. They wanted to do it for me to help me out for my future with school and all that and to bulk up some more for the next level so they let me do it. But they told me at the same time, if something were to happen, we’ll need you to play. Something happened, and they called my number.
Did you expect immediate success?
LL: I knew the coaches would always put me in a great position to have success. I’m just taking an opportunity and running with it. I didn’t expect anything. All I expected was to keep working in practice and if it comes in a game, it comes.
You had bulked up in the summer, so now that you are playing bigger, how are you feeling?
LL: I feel more explosive. I feel healthier knock on wood. I feel great all around, I run better. I can run in between the tackles. I feel great at running back. It’s a blessing to be back here.
You guys have not gotten off to the start you hoped for this season. So what is the mindset of team coming out of your bye?
LL: The mindset of the team is great. We’re going to use the second half of the season to do well. We can’t look back because the first half of the season is over. All we can do is look forward. The morale on the team is great. We all feel positive.
How have been able to keep morale up?
LL: Staying positive. In life you have lessons, and we learned a lot of lessons through the first six weeks, lessons we can build on and learn from to grow. It’s going to help us be strong through this stretch of the season.
What is the biggest lesson learned?
LL: Don’t stub your own toe. We’ve got to be disciplined, we’ve got to do the little things right. We have to play a 60-minute ball game.
Are you optimistic you can get back to a bowl game?
LL: Definitely. I really believe we can, but we’re taking it one day at a time, one practice at a time. We have to keep pushing, that’s all.