Question: Are you less than 100% now, or are you back to –
Roy Roundtree: “I’m 100% now. You know, I just went out there, and it felt good, just being back in the huddle with Denard and those guys, and you know, I just can’t wait.”
Question: Is there sort of a mental hurdle here as well, that you’re going to have to sort of think about ‘Oh, is my knee going to be ok when I’m out there?’
Roy Roundtree: “No, once the doctors clear me, I know I’m fine. I was just running on it last week, and cutting on it, running routes, and I actually got hit, and didn’t feel anything; and I just feel good about it.”
Question: Which knee is it?
Roy Roundtree: “My left knee.”
Question: You might have been asked this already, but how did you know? Did you feel something, or…?
Roy Roundtree: “Well I was actually practicing on it, and then all of a sudden I was just walking back to the huddle, first week of camp – Thursday – and it just went out on me, and then I just felt like ‘Ok, it’s swelling up, and I need to get it checked on.’ So that night I went to get an MRI and had surgery the next day.”
Question: Did you like crumple, or –
Roy Roundtree: “No, I just felt it like ‘Aw, I can’t walk no more’, like ‘Y’all have to fix me or something’. It was dumb because I kept practicing on it all week, and never thought it was anything, and that Thursday it just went out on me.”
Question: When that first happened? Did you think ‘Oh, are you kidding me, I’m going to miss Alabama’?
Roy Roundtree: “At first. Like, when they said your MRI’s are back, and you might have to have surgery, I’m like ‘Aw, don’t tell me that, not on my senior year.’ But then they were like ‘Well, you’ll have microscopic surgery, so it won’t be that bad.’ So I’m like ‘Ok, cool.’ So like the fourth day after surgery I was already back walking.”
Question: They told you it wouldn’t be serious, but still, going under the knife with just a couple weeks before the game had to have been scary for you.
Roy Roundtree: “Yeah, it was scary. Actually, my parents were really worried, and I was like ‘Yeah, y’all don’t have to come up here. I’m a big boy. It’s no worry, I’ll be back.’”
Question: Was there a point where you were worried that your season might be over, like when it first happened, or…?
Roy Roundtree: “I mean, I knew it wasn’t too bad because I was running on it all week, and like I said, just all of a sudden it went out on me, and I really couldn’t bend it. And, you know, that’s when I reacted to Smitty, our athletic trainer. And you know, he got me right.”
Question: What about the opportunity about going down here? Bright lights, national stage, this is the game of the weekend. What goes through your mind?
Roy Roundtree: “Well, it’s a big game. That’s why we all came here to Michigan; we expect to go down there and do well. And I feel like Coach Hoke and the coaching staff is really getting us ready.”
Question: When Junior left, there’s a void that someone has to step up and fill, to help Denard at the receiver aspect. Do you challenge yourself that way?
Roy Roundtree: “Oh yeah. I talk to Junior every now and then, throughout camp. I spoke to him, see how he was doing. And you know, I’m a senior now, and I feel like I’m ready, and I’m the most experienced on the wide receiver corps. And it’s no pressure to me because I’m used to it.”
Question: Do you expect Devin to play a lot?
Roy Roundtree: “We’ll see. I mean, Coach Borgess, he has different packages of when he’s in there; and, I mean, he’s done a great job throughout camp. So I feel like he probably will play a lot.”
Question: You got two freshman on the depth chart at receiver, and two more tight ends. Are these guys doing a pretty decent job in fall camp?
Roy Roundtree: “Oh, yeah. They had to show out for Coach Heck to get freshmen to get in the rotation. And I feel like for the young guys, you know, it’s game week, and they’ve really been in the play book, and they have to know every single thing in the play book to get out there to play that game.”
Question: Is this game week different for you than others – just than other openers; does it feel different?
Roy Roundtree: “It feels different because this is my last first game of college football, and, you know, we’re playing the defending champs, and this is a big test for all of us. And, come Saturday, we will see what we’ve learned and put in work all summer.”
Question: Last year, you guys played a big time non-conference game like this against Notre Dame, and you had the catch at the end. Do you play that back at all? Do you think about that catch?
Roy Roundtree: “It never gets old, you know? It’s just something that’s always going to be something special to me, and to the team – my teammates. And just, you have to get ready for Alabama, man, because you know they’re going to bring it every play.”
Question: What have you seen in their secondary on film?
Roy Roundtree: “Very, very athletic. You know, they’re fast, they come down, they hit, and they cover well. I feel like I know Coach Sabin is going to have the defense ready, because that was a big standpoint of them winning the national championship last year.”
Question: Is it hard to prepare for them because they lost so many guys last year?
Roy Roundtree: “Not really, because they always get top recruits, and with that coaching staff that they have over there, I feel like they’re going to prepare them—just like our coaching staff over here is going to prepare us to get ready for them.”
Question: So it’s a situation where you almost have to look more at tendencies rather than personnel.
Roy Roundtree: “Yeah, I mean, probably, because tendencies – you know, that’s the major thing that you look at on film, and I know they have a couple of starters back in secondary. I know Dee Miller and Lester, you know, coming back from starting defense last year on the secondary—so I feel like those boys are really going to get the younger guys ready, just like we’re getting our younger guys ready.”
Question: Obviously this is Coach Hoke’s team, but Coach Rodriguez brought in Denard and Kovacs, your two captains, and he brought in yourself, and a lot of them – and Toussaint – a lot of prominent players. Do you feel like he has some fingerprints on this team?
Roy Roundtree: “Last year, you know, Coach Hoke coming in and stating that this is Michigan, and us younger guys looking up to the seniors, and the seniors led the team last year and just got us ready; and I feel like Coach Hoke does a great job, because we’re all his sons in his eyes.”
Question: Do you think about Coach Rodriguez and his role at all in helping to bring this team together?
Roy Roundtree: “Not really, you know, because once you have the new coaching staff, you have all different new type of things to do and adjust to. And once Coach Hoke came in, we all bought in.”
Question: Did you hear from Rich last year throughout the course of the season?
Roy Roundtree: “No, I mean, unless you watch CNN, then you see him probably Friday night in the hotel. But you know, that’s the only time we really saw him on TV. But now he’s down in Arizona, and I wish him the best.”
Question: I meant did he reach out to any of you guys?
Roy Roundtree: “Oh, no.”
Question: Can you talk about Denard and how much he’s grown, and how he’s throwing in camp. He said he needs to no throw off the back foot and that sort of thing. Have you seen that stuff out of him?
Roy Roundtree: “Oh yeah. He worked on that all summer, you know, and it shows with him being a team leader this year and being a team captain. I’m very proud of him coming in as a freshman—me as a sophomore, you know, he looked up to me. And now he’s a senior and he’s the leader of this team, and I look up to him. So I feel like he did a great job all summer working on his mechanics at quarterback.”
Question: Can you talk about Rawls a little bit? If he does end up starting on Saturday, what kind of runner is he?
Roy Roundtree: “Rawls, he’s a downhill runner. He’s a big back, and he’s fast, so you know when Rawls gets in the game – he doesn’t talk much, so I feel like he’s always focused once he’s on the field, so he’s going to do a great job.”
Question: A lot of people give you guys a great chance to win this game. How does that affect you? Inspire in any way?
Roy Roundtree: “No, I mean, everyone has their own opinions, you know? We know who we have, and we know our coaches are preparing us, and it’s Michigan, like I said. We expect to win, and that’s what we’re going for.”
Question: Do you think you’re the underdog? I mean, you guys are the underdog, but do you think you’re the underdog?
Roy Roundtree: “No, I don’t think we’re the underdog. Our record is 0-0, you know – “
Question: Kovacs said you guys were the underdog.
Roy Roundtree: “This is the first year I feel like we’re just 0-0, you know? They’re the defending champs, and we’re the Sugar Bowl champs coming back, so we’ll see.”
Question: How do you block all that out? Are you just not going to watch TV, or read stuff this week?
Roy Roundtree: “I’ll watch TV, I always watch TV. ESPN, College Game Day, all that, I watch it. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve been here a long time.”
Question: A lot of people feel like they’re going to try to stack the run and make Denard beat him with his arm. What does that do in your mind to inspire you about ‘we have to get it done through the air’?
Roy Roundtree: “Well, Denard has faced a lot of defenses over his time, and him coming back this year, I feel like Coach Borges is going to have him ready. And throughout practice we have different situations, so I feel like whatever they throw at us, we’ll be ready for.”
Question: Do you feel like you’re 100%?
Roy Roundtree: “Yeah.”
Question: Everything’s working perfect?
Roy Roundtree: “Yes, sir. “
Question: You guys have a lot of young guys in the three-deep. How do you make sure they don’t get over-excited? Just because it’s a lot of freshmen.
Roy Roundtree: “Yeah it is a lot of freshmen; but, you know, they have to contribute. And that’s the biggest thing Coach Hoke said before camp started—a lot of freshman are going to have to play to help us. And I feel like they’ve been going through camp for three weeks now, and I feel like they’ve adjusted, and come Saturday—of course everybody’s going to be hyped and nervous at the same time for them, because this is their first time being out there—but I feel like they’ll get comfortable, they’ll be fine.”
Question: As a senior, will you do anything special to sort of get over that, because it’s not just a season opener, it’s –
Roy Roundtree: “I mean, all the upperclassmen in different positions, we talk to them, and make sure – like during practice, make sure they’re reading these routes, reading these routes. Ao I mean, I’m most likely – like Amara and Jehu – I test them while we’re out there, you know? Like Jehu, he’ll get frustrated, so I’m like ‘Listen, you have to calm down, because you know what you’re doing; you’re just reacting too fast’. It’s like, yesterday I told him that, and later on in seven on sevens he did great, so he’ll do fine.”
Question: You mentioned Amara. He’s on the two-deep. What have you seen from him and what can he provide this year?
Roy Roundtree: “Man, I feel like he’ll provide a lot, from a wide receiver standpoint, because our depth is not deep at that position, but I feel like he can contribute.”
Question: What have you seen out of Funchess as somebody who is listed as a tight end, but sometimes will split out and catch a few balls?
Roy Roundtree: “Funchess is an athlete, man. You see his hands? The size of his hands is crazy. He’s really learned a lot. He still has a lot more to learn before the first game, but y’all have probably seen him out there also.”