November 18, 2019
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>>John Hightower, we obviously saw the kick return and
the other touchdown that he had. Just help me kinda, how’d you see him kind of progress from
the academic issue after last season? And just kind of him getting to this point
where he’s obviously one of your key players, cuz obviously there’s
a ton of talent there with him and obviously you got some other stuff
you had to get figured out there.>>Sure, yeah,
well he’s certainly talented. And isn’t that the story of a lot of
people that are extremely talented, that there’s a lot more to
it that just being talented. And what I think John has learned and has done a really good job of is
he knows how to play the game. He’s an extremely intelligent football
player, one of the best I’ve been around and very explosive, very dynamic and
how we can utilize him. He did a lot of things this last game,
but just handling your business. You got to take care of things and
like I just talked about, when you’re a part of a team, everybody
has a role and everybody has to do that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a starter,
it doesn’t matter if you’re a backup, scout team. It’s all the same. We all have a role and
we have to go out there and do it to the best of our ability. I think he’s learned that. He’s become a better teammate. He’s become a better leader on our team. And then because of that I think he’s
experiencing success because he’s, he’s handling himself the right way. And to me,
like you wake up in the morning, you know you’re doing things right. You know, you’re taking care of business,
then you can go out there and you can perform at whatever
it is you want to do. And it happens to be football for him. He’s really good at it. So I hope that continues. I hope he sees that, I think he has. He’s done a good job for us right now. But if all that continues, you know
with life and football and really for every one of our players, then I think
guys like that that are talented will have continued success it’ll
show up on the football field. He’s not the only guy that way,
there’s a lot of guys in this room and college football’s really hard,
you have to do a lot of things, and you got to be on time you got to do it
every day, and everything does matter. And some guys, they don’t see that right
away until something’s taken away from them, and when you don’t get to play in
a game or get a chance to prepare for a game that hurts. No matter what you think,
I mean, that stings. And at some point, it’s like either I’m
going to be a part of this or I’m not. And he chose to be a part of it. He made the right decision. We all make mistakes. It’s just how you handle it right? And he’s handled it the right way so
far and if he continues that he’ll be playmaker for us the rest of this season,
he will do a lot of really good things.>>From your perspective, what exactly about Air Force’s
offense makes it such a challenge?>>Well, not just the scheme itself. They do a really good job. It’s not just triple option. They actually are very
creative in their formations, their creative in how they attack. Each team they try to find like
every offense does a weakness and try to attack it and see what they can do. They make adjustments
along the way in the game. They kind of know what they do and
how to answer the questions. That the defense provides and
then their quarterback. I think he’s playing really well,
he can throw the ball well. They hit some explosive
plays on us last year. And you know the guys around him. They’re really good at what they do. Offense is about execution and
they execute very well and at a high level and
they do it consistently. And I feel like when you have
that run threat, which they do, and then you’ve got the ability
to throw it, which they do. Now, as far as what you have
to do on the defensive side, you got to be focused every play,
you got to play with great eyes. You got to be in the right spot and
doing your job. And if you’re not, then at some point when
you get out of phase with the other 10 players, that could be the one guy that
it makes the difference in the play, and it could be a five-yard gain or
50-yard gain. And we’ve seen Air Force do
that they’re very well coached. Troy Calhoun,
I think does a tremendous job. And, their players are disciplined. They’re disciplined,
they’re tough, and it shows up. Every single time I watch them play and it
showed up in this Colorado game when they went out there and
played, they made plays. I think there were some turnovers as
some things like that in the game, but these guys battle back, they
fought a really tough game all the way through four quarters of it, they’ve
found a way to finish, and they won. So to me that’s the challenge, is you’re playing a good football team
that happens to have a unique scheme and they do it really well but they’ve got
things off of it to complement it.>>Obviously when came in,
he played pretty well for you and->>Yeah.>>I’m not mentioning
the controversy thing, but obviously you’d like to maybe try to get
him in a little, involved a little bit. What did you learn from two years ago with
maybe to try to balance that a little bit, maybe, especially with
a young quarterback and Hank, trying to make sure that he obviously
doesn’t lose any sort of confidence.>>Sure.
>>Put Jason?>>Well, I think Montel and
Brett situation last year was different Brett got hurt in the Washington State
game and then Montel came in and started. So we actually got to see Montel
play a whole game and at that point, Montel just like Chase, Montel is
a guy that was a tremendous leader, great teammate, everybody loved him and
him on the field. He made us better, I think Tracy went
out there, he made us better, right? He went out there, made plays,
looked really good, was poised, and it was good to see. So he’s a guy that we
can get on the field. But it’s not for any reason than, we wanted to play him,
and he’s feeling good now. I mean, you guys gotta think,
this ACL deal, it’s a long-time recovery. And that’s something that, it’s just hard to explain to
everybody how long it really takes. And you saw Chase take off he got loose,
and had a big run, gotten the open field kind
of made a cut, like you did in practice, got hit, got up, and it was like okay,
you know that might be it maybe that’s that one thing right
there where it’s like, boom. I needed that as a player, and
he certainly played like that. But having them on the field. However we utilize him,
I don’t know if we go this back and forth like we did with Monte and Brad. That was really that season, I wouldn’t
say we’re on that same mode right now, but I do feel good about Chase being in there
and playing, I do feel good about Jale and Henason getting in there and
playing as well. So we have three quarterbacks that
can really go in there and operate. And those guys all prepare and
Chase was ready and I told you guys and he’s always ready on the sideline. He got a shot went in there. He took about one of the best five
step drops I’ve ever seen from our quarterbacks here and
laid a dime up to CT. And it was as good as you know as good
as I’ve seen and Chase’s got that too, Chase’s got that pro style body,
and he’s got the ability to run, now he can drop back and
he can fire it, and I think for him he deserved it one but
it gave him great confidence. I think everybody around
him felt good about it and when he’s on the field like any
other player When you got guys, and you guys haven’t seen the work he’s put
in to get to where he is right now. And all the rehab and all the time and
just the pain that he went through. I mean even in fall camp,
that wasn’t easy for him. It was painful and we limited reps and
all that but after each practice, it was painful. [COUGH] And
he would take care of his knee. What I said he would do the rehab,
he would all that and he come back the next and
he was back at it again. So we pay attention to that and
guys like that like I love guys like that. I love guys that are just hard workers,
dedicated and tough. And so when he went out there and played I was fired up when he threw
that touchdown, I mean it was emotional. I was excited for him and because I
know how much work he’s put in, and I know how much he deserves it so if he’s in these game plans
moving forward, he’ll play well. We’ll be able to use him
however we need to use him, but at the same time his leadership and what he provides off the field is equally
as important to our success in my opinion. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Tony wyaad