June 20, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF football team is working hard this summer. The main focus is on strength and conditioning that will assist the team in defending its Conference USA Championship. Senior wide receiver Rocky Ross recently spent some time talking with the UCF Athletics communications staff regarding his preparations during the summer sessions and the importance of senior leadership on the football team.
What is your typical schedule over the summer relating to your classes and the practice schedule?
"I wake up at about 9, and then eat breakfast. I typically make waffles... homemade waffles for breakfast. Next, I go to class followed by walking over to the (Wayne) Densch (Sports Center) at about 11:30 to 11:45. I take my time getting ready and then have a protein shake before going to weights from 1-3. Catching drills usually last until 3-4. I then go home or to work."
Going into you senior year, what are the duties of the senior class during summer workouts and what specifically do you need to improve upon that will further help the team?
"I feel like there is more responsibility on you and your fellow senior teammates. I need to be more vocal to help and make the players do all the reps in the weight room and hustling during conditioning."
You are the only senior that is apart of the receiving corps, so what are the responsibilities that you place on yourself in teaching the younger players during the summer and going into the season?
"I just have to be vocal and always be the first person in line to do stuff. Make sure that everybody is giving 100 percent effort during the summer. It's the summer, everything is [relaxed], especially when you get done working out. You are pretty much on your own to relax, so you need to make sure you put a good effort in the weight room to get you ready for the season."
What are your aspirations going in to the season and how are the players dealing with the momentum that the program had when it finished the 2007 season?
"Going out there and playing in the Bright House again. I want to get some wins. We feel that since we won last year, the attitude is to going back to back. This time it is not just a bowl game, but we want to win all of our games and conference championship to see which bowl game we can go to. Last year, we reached our goal and it felt good to do that. We need to continue working hard throughout the offseason to achieve our new goals that we set."
After losing Kevin Smith to the draft this year, what is the primary focus of the offense during the summer workouts?
"Everybody has to focus in the weight room. We need to get bigger, faster and stronger. If you do that, then you will be a much better player on the field. Right now, we are focusing on the weight room."
What are the activities that you participate in to relax, especially during the summer?
"On weekdays, I just go home and watch Sports Center. I enjoy watching PTI and Around the Horn when I come back from practice. On the weekends, I get out in the sun."
Ross and the Knights open the 2008 campaign on Aug. 30, hosting South Carolina State at Bright House Networks Stadium. UCF went 10-4 last season, claimed the C-USA Championship and participated in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
The squad is scheduled to play six contests at home this season. Season tickets are currently available by calling 407-UCF-1000.
For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also visit www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.