home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 29, 2017

John Atkins

Pasadena, California

Q. How excited are you to get the opportunity?
JOHN ATKINS: I'm stoked. That's my college. Been there a long time. A long time. And him getting the opportunity at night. I know he always wanted to coach again.

Q. I was asking about Georgia. Do you think there's going to be trips up to Knoxville?
JOHN ATKINS: I don't think I can go there.

Q. Even with good ties.
JOHN ATKINS: I mean, even with good ties. If I happen to play in Tennessee. If I happen to go out, I can't just go to --

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: Stetson does a great job every week. He's mobile and it's hard to catch little Stetson. He's running around every which way. It's funny, though, because looking at Stetson, you really need that, because that's the only person that you can get to.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: NAH. He can't really talk about it. When I see him, he's really laid back. He's just -- Stetson's real -- I think he's laid back to me. But as you can see, he a great quarterback.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: A lot. Yeah, there's a lot. Sometimes he is a fascinating quarterback. But he's the same quarterback in a way.

Q. Fetter has also been another guy that really --
JOHN ATKINS: You know, Coach Smart -- you don't want to hit it. Yeah. You don't want to reload it.

Q. What's the difference?
JOHN ATKINS: I mean, comparing our defense to offense, it's okay. That's when the road meets the road. So both you all good. Each one of you all showed me each play. This showed me who's the better player, who is the better offense or defense.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: Say it again?

Q. Did it change for offense?
JOHN ATKINS: I mean, we -- we just kind of give him what we give him. We don't really know like -- we really go off our offense momentum, for offense. Our offense pick us up and we pick offense up when they down. It's kind of like going back and forth.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: We have. I mean, we have video that we seen, and I thought, George Foreman was going to win because he's undefeated. There's time -- like, okay. Now you see always going to be four quarters like. He just got to keep going.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: I never really seen that movie. I was like -- this movie? Actually it's pretty long and rich.

Q. Does any running back stick out more than any other to you?
JOHN ATKINS: I like 24. Good starter. They take what you give them. They was like, okay, we're going to do this. They going to win, and I have a lot of respect for those guys. They step up to the challenge every time I seen them.

Q. Did you know Rodney Anderson in September?

Q. They played Ohio State.
JOHN ATKINS: Yeah, that surprised me. Looking at the film. It was like I see -- they played both of them. I didn't know that, but that's crazy.

Q. When you were growing up, did you ever go to a Georgia game?
JOHN ATKINS: I really wasn't like a sports fan. I was more of a basketball player. I didn't really --

Q. Who was your favorite basketball team?
JOHN ATKINS: My favorite growing up was the Lakers. It was a fad.

Q. What was your first --
JOHN ATKINS: When I came on a visit here.

Q. What did you think?
JOHN ATKINS: When I first got here, I was like, oh, wow, it was really family-oriented. When my family came here, they knew my family by name. I was okay, you know my mom's name, you know my sister's names. Oh, guys.

Q. They are doing their job well?
JOHN ATKINS: Yeah. They doing it great.

Q. Did they take in, like, the dog, like that -- did you take in that stuff?
JOHN ATKINS: I didn't take into it. I just liked the atmosphere of the game. It was really loud. When I got here in like '13, there was a lot of stuff they doing nowadays that wasn't done back then. Now, every time -- on the field, in a way, when I came the roof was in the stands. It was like in the stands. It was really loud. I was like I got to get there on the field.

Q. The halftime show of the title games --
JOHN ATKINS: I know it.

Q. They went to you and said, if you -- who should we have for the 2019 halftime show, who do you pick?
JOHN ATKINS: Oh, halftime show. Oh, that's a hard one. Let me see. I had to go with -- Big KRIT. I have Big KRIT.

Q. A couple Oklahoma guys are pretty good this year --
JOHN ATKINS: Also would have been -- they been at all of the games. Yeah. They been at everything.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: They strap the ball in like four, five seconds. They want to risk you and keep getting. They get tired and you don't do the things you supposed to do. I think it's speed, like a fastball, and it's really going to be in the front tire.

Q. What do you think --
JOHN ATKINS: I love it. I never played for a Heisman. He actually was going to get a Heisman. Who's got the best defense. It's like he got to prove it to each one of us.

Q. Is there any offense you played this season that you can compare to OK in any way and trying to prepare for the Big 12 offense?
JOHN ATKINS: Missouri was kind of fast tempo, but they also, they ran a little bit. But Oklahoma was kind of like, they got their own -- they in their own category. You can't compare anybody to Oklahoma right now.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: I mean, I really -- I just really did. I'm going to think about it too much. I'm thinking, okay, now, when they come on the field, you have to be with it, no matter what. Whoever plays.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: A person on the team I really like? Bellamy. Let me see. I like all of the Atlanta guys. It's really amusing. I like these guys out there.

Q. Is there anybody that sort of controls the weight room, mixed tape, sound track?
A. Roundtree. Roundtree does.

Q. Did you get to meet with them at all?
JOHN ATKINS: When I was coming down, I thought he was leaving. I was coming down there for a while.

Q. You guys coming to town?
JOHN ATKINS: Yeah. That's big. That's real big.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: When -- like the screen pass? Oh, yeah. It look like -- it's acting like how he was in college, right. Exactly. Here you go.

Q. -- five different times.
JOHN ATKINS: Like, they never learned. It looked like it to me. Like they big.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: It's more like the composure of the other team. This going to take you a long way, like. See what happened when we got the first time. We got beat bad. That's not our game. We have to stick with our system because that really helps us a lot.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: Second time I played him, it was more like, okay. Now like, I got to get it back. Like get the story back on.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: We just okay. Now, we got to go out and stick to the game plan. We always had a game plan. It just a little more stray from that first game.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: I do sometimes, but it still feels unreal to me. Like okay, I never been here, I never been like, okay, this is Media Day. It's big, but I still can't believe it to this day. Because I just think, okay. Just be humble, just be humble. I was always in the shadows, I think. It's a -- how you doing?

Q. Good. Hey, so, when did you you guys know -- the guy that's a really young guy, I wonder when did you realize he's potentially a special player?
JOHN ATKINS: You just see him running around in the locker room. He's not like a freshman. You know, how freshman come in always talking. He was talking but he's okay. Laid back and cool, so it's kind of like, okay, you kind of know this guy's going to be special in practice, too. You also see it in practice. He's a great player. He may throw and stuff, he like --

Q. Yeah. Did he -- is there something about his personality that allows him to -- Inaudible?
JOHN ATKINS: He's a competitive person. He didn't actually win anything. He's like, okay, now you see -- like, when he -- he's like, okay, it's time to go now.

Q. What about Roquan, what about him?
JOHN ATKINS: He's still in the game. Fast and smart. He literally watches tape. He was willing to learn. He's coachable.

Q. Earlier, we were talking about his strength. He got here, and went down to Georgia. He was so rare --
JOHN ATKINS: Yeah. I did.

Q. So, when he got there, what was your impression?
JOHN ATKINS: When I got there, he wouldn't stop talking like, to me, anyway. He's joking in a way. But after a while, I just start, okay, now he going to talk now, so I kind of like -- he's kind of like, I let him talk now.

Q. Are you surprised how good of a season he had?
JOHN ATKINS: Not really. Once you in this defense, he buy in. There's no limit to how good you can be.

Q. Yeah. Thank you.
JOHN ATKINS: You're welcome.

Q. -- talked about how Stetson is playing.
JOHN ATKINS: Oh, Stetson, he's been running around on us. And it's -- then you have him. You don't want it happening in the game. They been practicing, they been quarterbacks every week. They been doing a good job of it. Because now, they really can't identify. Like, okay, Mayfield is back here now. He run around fast. And, you don't want to hear Coach say reload it.

Q. How much has the coach -- like what is the role?
JOHN ATKINS: Quarterback rush, like one-on-one straight of pocket. Once you straight of pocket, he can hurt you even more running the ball.

Q. Are you guys embracing that challenge now that he's a Heisman Trophy winner.
JOHN ATKINS: It comes with the territory. You never know when you going to play a Heisman Trophy winner. He's different. He -- and he is. He's a great athlete. Now trying to get respect for him.

Q. You play him the last couple of years?
JOHN ATKINS: I don't think so. He's already been in his own category because of how special he is.

Q. What else do you see from their offense?
JOHN ATKINS: Offensive line, they big; they move you. They average five yards a carry. That's big. They want you to get three yards a carry. That's a challenge, because me and my brother, they talk about he's an offensive guy, but the running back is really good. Like that is some great like players.

Q. What was the moment that you realized he's good enough to be in the playoffs, in the Rose Bowl?
JOHN ATKINS: It started in camp, right? Late in camp, and we kind of go, okay, now we can roll with this team. This team -- going to run the ball, like sometimes we stop in the back. But sometimes we offense going to do it, right? Then we here the next two days and we got to change that.

Q. -- defensive play, offensive play, there's been sort of like highlight of play?
JOHN ATKINS: It's in -- it's in a lot of plays. I can't just single out one. It's been a great year.

Q. Was the win most satisfying, just because it's one of those good games?
JOHN ATKINS: It was. It was big, because it's also the next game, too. That allowed us to be here. We didn't take that, we probably wouldn't have been here. So I felt like, it was big. Okay? Now that you know you can do this now, it was like, you go to like the Rose Bowl, and there to play for the next championship.

Q. -- he's been training for like three days.
JOHN ATKINS: I heard about that.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: I could not. We came down here in style.

Q. You all had like a four-and-a-half hour flight.
JOHN ATKINS: Four and a half. Actually we could lay down. If you in first class, you can lay down.

Q. First class, you get used to it.
JOHN ATKINS: You do. I been in first class all year this year. It's different from any other plane. You can put the seat back. You can lay down. I never seen that before, but it was like --

Q. Especially for big guys like you. I am 5'11" and I barely squeeze in there.
JOHN ATKINS: I don't, but I used to. I kind of don't anymore.

Q. Last year, Georgia -- reached the height you reached to be here. How much of it is surprise and how much of it is, you know, to be expected after making a few weeks in?
JOHN ATKINS: It's all about building a legacy. Like you said, doing it on your last year out, it's really big, because they thought this was, okay, this is Georgia and being able to do this, building your legacy here, it's big.

Q. (Inaudible question.)
JOHN ATKINS: I wish I did. Yeah.

Q. Then you guys are -- Inaudible -- put your hat on?
JOHN ATKINS: It was. Thank you.

Q. Media room, library or whatever?
JOHN ATKINS: Yeah, I remember that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297