This Q & A is with Seth Austin. Austin is a great contact for my beat because not only is he on the Ohio football beat, but he has been on it the longest of any student journalist. As a result, his knowledge of the inner workings of the football program are only matched by the Athens Messenger’s Jason Arkley, and those actually affiliated with the football team. Austin is currently the Managing Editor of Speakeasy Magazine in addition to his football responsibilities. His picture of Travis Carrie is used for my blog header.
Medlock: This is your third year on the football beat, how is that even possible?
Austin: (Laughs) I know, usually you have to work your way up for that position, but with Speakeasy (Magazine) being rather small I earned my opportunity pretty early.
Medlock: What is the best part of covering this team?
Austin: Where do I start? There are so many reasons. I’ll give the nod to the players; they are awesome, awesome people. Whether it is (Tyler) Tettleton or one of the walk-ons they are genuine guys, who always give you the time of the day. I find it remarkable how humble they are, not at all how I stereotyped big-time college athletes. Then the coaches are the exact same way. They’re incredibly gracious in giving their time for an interview. For me personally though, I want to cover football for a living and to be given this opportunity, and gain this much experience for as long as I have while watching such a great team play, I am incredibly blessed.
Medlock: Two games in, what has surprised you?
Austin: I feel like a broken record (laughs) but where do I start? Have to show some love to Beau Blankenship; never thought that guy would be such a workhorse. Also, did not believe offensive line play would be such strength, especially after they lost half that line from last year. Skyler Allen will be an NFL player, and Eric Herman notched an incredible 15 pancakes vs. Penn State.
Medlock: Anything else?
Austin: For sure Ryan Clark. The guy was a cornerback last year and is now making huge plays as a receiver as well as returning kicks. My neighbor in Boyd (Hall) last year, Landon Smith has shown great after the catch ability. Another guy I liked off the field but have never really seen on the field is cornerback Ian Wells. Nicest, quietest guy off the field but is an absolute menace on the field, can really lay the blow against an unsuspecting receiver. Let’s see what am I missing… Oh yeah, the linebacker play. This linebacker core is playing great, which is not what I expected after Noah Keller graduated.
Medlock: Have you ever seen Peden (Stadium) as packed as it was for the New Mexico game?
Austin: Yes, the Temple game last year, but this even out did that. A new stadium record and people did not start leaving until Ohio went up 30. Sincerely hope we as a student body can keep it up.
Medlock: With the access you have, what are some things you know that the average Bobcat fan does not?
Austin: The secondary loves nicknames. Nate Carpenter is known as “Magic Man” while young corners Larenzo Fisher and Ian Wells call themselves “the Air Control Squad.” I also see the day-to-day operations of football practice. It’s amazing how many people are apart of it; equipment staff, video staff, sports management majors. the media department, it’s quite a large operation.
Medlock: Who is your favorite player to cover?
Austin: This is tough; I have a lot of friends on the team. I love D.O. (Donte Foster), Jelani Woseley, Troy Hill, Mario Dovell, Nate Carpenter and Tettleton. My favorite would have to be Alphonso Lewis though; he always yells at me from across the field to interview him.
Medlock: Willing to predict that the Ohio Bobcats go undefeated?
Austin: I honestly would not be surprised if they lose this week to Marshall. Ohio should be favored in every game remaining on their schedule, but going undefeated is not their goal. The team has taken on the slogan “Unfinished Business,” which refers to winning the MAC Championship; that they feel they squandered last season. Ultimately, that is this teams goal, not a perfect season.
Medlock: If an undefeated season happens, is this a BCS team?
Austin: They would have to win every game by 50 points, and all the SEC teams would need two losses. I would love to see it, but it’s not happening, the strength of schedule is not there.
Medlock: LaVon Brazil was drafted by the Colts last season, are there any NFL draft picks on this roster?
Austin: I think a lot of guys will have an opportunity to play themselves into the draft. I would give Gerald Moore and Skyler Allen the best chance at getting drafted. Jordan Thompson and Eric Herman could also compete for NFL jobs and earn training camp invites like Noah Keller and Phil Bates did this past year.
Medlock: What should we look for in the Marshall game?
Austin: Marshall has the number one passing attack in the entire country. Rakeem Cato is not the same timid freshmen that was torn apart by the Bobcat defense last season. “The Air Control Squad” will have their hands full. This might be the first game that Travis Carrie’s injury haunts the Bobcats. I also expect Ohio to throw the ball more in this game and for Tettleton to play great. Marshall is giving up close to 50 points a game.
Medlock: Thanks Seth!
Austin: No problem, buddy.