Deon Cain has bounced back from last year’s suspension to have a solid sophomore campaign in leading No. 2 Clemson with 19.4 yards per catch average. Cain hauled in 32 passes for 621 yards. He also tallied nine touchdowns, second on the team.
Cain spoke to the media earlier this week as he answered questions about his season, playing in the Fiesta Bowl and No. 3 Ohio State.
Q: Are you antsy having to wait until New Year’s Eve to play a game? I mean if it were up to you would you like to just go ahead and get this first one out of the way next week?
Cain: “I mean not really just being patient and just taking this time to I guess progress our team so really this is a good thing for us to get back to the basics and learn everything so when we come back to play this game on the 31st then we will be fundamentally sound and ready to beat Ohio State.”
Q: Is it almost like training camp to get back out here right now?
Cain: “Yeah it is I mean starting basically from day one really and then just progressing on from that but our offense is looking pretty good team wise everybody doing good when we do good on good everybody’s competing so really we’re having a good time out there.”
Q: How excited are you being here after last year having to sit at home and watch those two games? Now that you get to participate again, and you’ve got yourself back in this position to help the team win, what’s your mindset?
Cain: “I mean it feels good to be out here again and competing so really now just staying focused on getting to the game and then executing once I get there.”
Q: You could be a guy that could be a difference maker this year because of what 19 yards per catch. Do you feel that you can do that in these kinds of games, you can be that guy?
Cain: “Yes sir just really anything the ball is coming my way just trying to make an opportunity so really I just know my role right now is anything right now I just know when the ball is coming my way I just need to make a play really.”
Q: Are you looking at this too as an audition? There are very few practices left with Mike (Williams) and Tay (Artavis Scott) to maybe get your spot ready for next year?
Cain: “I wouldn’t say it’s an audition I just know just the next man’s up and now I’m just learning from behind Mike and really just learning everything that he’s telling me right now and just applying it to the game and then mix it in with my kind of play so really I’m just next man up and just step up and make plays for us next year.”
Q: What gives you the confidence that you’ll be that next man up in that spot?
Cain: “My play right now and experiencing the game and that’s kind of basically it.”
Q: On an individual level so far did you meet your expectations on how your season went?
Cain: “Yeah I came in really just really trying to figure out how many plays I’d play but I made extra yards and I really want to say I made more touchdowns and I’m just excelling from here really just trying to keep going past just set goals really.”
Q: Do you consider yourself the heir apparent to the Sammys, the Nuks, now the Mike Williams and the Artavis Scotts? Are you the next guy up?
Cain: “Yeah, I mean I’m my own person really. So I’m just trying to make my name stand out as much as I can so really every day I come here to work and then when I’m in the game just go out and compete and play the best that I can.”
Q: This Ohio State secondary, you can thank Sammy Watkins for how good they are. After that 2014 Orange Bowl they needed to rework some things. What do you see out of those guys?
Cain: “Oh they’re a great secondary. They’re lean, they’re fast, they’re strong so really it’s going to be a great competition for our wideouts to really go out there and compete with them so it’s going to be a high standard for us to really go out there and play great on a big stage like that.”
Q: Do you think they may be the best one you will have seen, and how much is going against your own secondary every day going to help?
Cain: “Really, I see them as going against our secondary. Our secondary is lean, fast and strong too, but really their scheme is just all that man coverage they play and just they’re disciplined and how they got different athletes all around their secondary really just a good thing for us to show scouts or really just anybody who’s watching that as a receiving core we’re great squad.”