Aug. 28, 2006
Junior defensive end Greyson Gunheim had a breakout season for the Huskies in 2005, leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss. He is set to lead an improved defensive front into Washington's opening game this weekend against San Jose State. GoHuskies.com caught up Gunheim on Monday.
GoHuskies.com: What is it like being out of camp and into the first game week?
Greyson Gunheim: "There is a lot more focus on what we have to get done. Right now we are focusing all on our opponent. The little silly things in camp are all gone and we're just trying to focus all on this opponent to get a win."
GH: How important is it to play well in the first game of the year?
Gunheim: "At this point we just want to play someone besides ourselves. Anyone with a different color jersey is good for us. We've been in camp just grinding against each other so we just want to get out there and play and have the fans come out. So it's definitely something to get excited about."
GH: With the breakout season you had last year, what type of leadership role are you now assuming?
Gunheim: "Since I've been here I've tried to play hard and lead by example. Anyone who has any questions, I've tried to answer, just because I've been there and I have that experience. Since Manase [Hopoi] and the people ahead of me have taught me things, I'm trying to pass it on to the younger guys, so we can all become a better defense."
GH: San Jose State coach Dick Tomey said the Washington defensive front is very strong. What have you seen in that regard in camp?
Gunheim: "We always have something to work on. We've definitely gotten a lot better from what we've been in the past. We've picked up the pass rush a lot. With some big guys back at tackle we should plug up some holes and make some big plays."
GH: To what do you credit that improvement?
Gunheim: "The ability has improved through this whole year and the summer with the workouts. And then just the mood, the whole attitude has changed. Sometimes in the past if we had a hard workout people would just say, `I'm going to get through this,' but now people say, `This is a chance for me to get better, so I'm going to push myself, to make myself the best I can.' Everyone is trying to push each other and trying to get the best out of whatever is thrown at us."
GH: How has that attitude change translated to the field?
Gunheim: "People are just competing everyday. When I was out with my knee for a while people were competing and doing really well and I just wanted to be out there to just say, `Hey, I still got it, don't overlook me.' The whole enthusiasm at practice is huge and people are more excited just be out at practice and playing football."
GH: How is the knee you injured recently?
Gunheim: "When it first happened I thought it was going to be worse. The first couple of days it hurt really bad and I thought, `How long is this going to take?' But, through the rehab and treatment it healed a lot faster than I thought it would and it just feels a lot better. I'm definitely excited to be out there competing with the guys again."
GH: Husky fans are certainly glad to hear that as well. Thanks for your time, Greyson, and good luck this weekend.
Gunheim: "OK, thank you."