On Davis Tull winning player of the year
"I thought Davis was the best defensive player in the league. I'm proud for him and I'm glad he got it. I've said this before, and I'll probably embarrass him, but people don't realize the work that he puts into it. People don't realize the film study, eating right and the extra work he puts in the weight room. He put a lot into it and he is deserving of it. I'm glad for him. I'm pretty proud of him."
On what makes him player of the year
"I think, obviously, that people have to see you, game plan for you and have to know you're there. I believe that after every game they probably said, 'Aw man, we had to survive that one.' I know he had a great game against Elon, and I think the guy he was on was a second-team all-conference guy. I thought Davis pretty well handled him. Jason Swepson, from Elon, walked off the field and asked me if 90 was a senior. I said he was a sophomore and he said, 'Oh, no.' You know that people notice him. We do. We notice a lot of our guys. We know how well they play but sometimes you can't. If you look at it, the second most tackles for loss was 11 and the next guy was at nine. He doubled the third guy and almost doubled the second guy. And in sacks he probably almost doubled everybody in sacks, too. Davis had 50 tackles and 46 of them were solo. Things like that are unheard of. Even though he didn't have 120 tackles like some people do, I think the 50 are meaningful. Plus he was part of a good defense. I think that helps too. We had a good defense statistically."
On what makes him a great player
"It's speed for sure. He can run and he's athletic. But, also, I think he studies the game. I watch him pregame and pre-practice and he's working on his craft in some capacity. Before the game on Saturday, I told him he needed two sacks. He got two and I told him not to stop there. But he has a lot of ability. He can do everything. He's talked to the coaches about gaining a little bit more weight but he's plenty big enough."
On what it means for the program to win awards like this
"It's a big deal for us as coaches. For the program, it will come and go. People may forget about it in a couple of days. But it will be with us for a while. We're proud of him and we're proud of this accomplishment. I know Coach Fuller and Coach West are proud for him because he's worked hard to get this. It makes your job better when you have these opportunities. I'm glad for it, but does this make our program any better because we got an award like this? No, but it makes us proud of him and excited for him. Now we need to start talking about him and all-American. Whether he gets it this year or not, he better get it next year and his senior year. I think he's had an all-American year this year. That'll be fun to watch for down the road."
Davis Tull, sophomore, defensive end
On what motivates him
"I think a lot of it stems from high school and really wanting to come out and play football. Then being hurt and losing the opportunity. I had to make my own way, so to speak. Coach Huesman and Coach Satterfield got me here as a preferred walk-on. I think about that every single day. Other schools passed up on me or didn't want me because I got hurt. I think that motivates me a lot."
His thoughts on the injury he suffered his senior year of high school
"It was a huge blessing in disguise. If that doesn't happen, there is no telling where I am right now. I can tell you right now, I wasn't working half this hard before. I'm very thankful for God putting me in that situation. It's helped out a lot."
On his rebounding from the injury to being named player of the year
"It's a cool story. It's a testament to the work ethic of this team and this defense and all of us getting better together."
On finding out he was player of the year
"I was a little bit shocked. People had told me I might get it so it was in my head already that there was a chance. When you actually hear it, it's a pretty special feeling, especially with this only being my second year playing. I'm happy and I'm thankful for everybody that's helped me. This award is a testament to the defense more so than me. Without them playing as well as they have I wouldn't have these numbers."
On how he practices his craft
"Josh Williams and I are pretty close. We both love football and we're passionate about the game. We get together probably three or four times a week to work on hands or different football techniques. People can get caught up in running or lifting weights, and that stuff helps, but we don't lift weights. We play football. All that helps and I love doing all that but working on football stuff with Josh probably helped out the most."