Malik Gumbs Q&A
By ODU Athletics
ODUSports.com will continue to do Q&A interviews throughout the spring semester. Today's feature is of senior defensive lineman, Malik Gumbs. Gumbs transferred to ODU from Nassau CC last season.
Coming from New Jersey, what made you want to transfer to ODU? Different environment, the weather is better, even though over the past couple of months the weather has been different, with all the rain and stuff. My number one reason was the weather.
You were a captain for the Nassau Community College football team before transferring to ODU. As a rising senior, how will you look to lead your teammates next season? I would lead them by performing on the field and try to be vocal leader. Last year we had Nate Barnes, Andre Simmons, Taylor Heinicke, and Jack Lowney, so as a senior I need to step up and be more vocal.
You also earned first-team all-conference honors at Nassau. Can you translate that success to the Monarchs’ team next season? I believe I can, this year I think I will have a lot of opportunities to be on the field and play, so yes.
How do you think the level of competition will change with the program’s move to Conference USA? It’s a big step, but I think we will be able to do because we work hard on the field and the off season training really helps and the coaches truly believe in us and we are doing a lot of hard work on the field.
What is the biggest challenge the defense is going to face in this new conference? Better competition. Last year we played five FBS teams, a lot of competition playing those big schools. Moving up to a bigger conference just challenges us and increases the competition.
Are you competing for a starting spot at defensive tackle? If so, what are you doing to improve your game? I am competing for a spot against a couple of people, but overall I just need to focus on my technique. I am not a big guy, I am kind of short, so technique is really important in order for me to be the best that I can be.
What are your personal goals for the upcoming season? I just want to help my team win, hopefully earn all-conference, but overall be the best player that I can be.
Talk about the atmosphere at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Does the noise really help you wreak havoc on opposing offenses? It gets pretty loud, so it does help with the opposing offense.
Favorite thing about ODU: It’s relaxed atmosphere.
Favorite vacation spot: Dominican Republic
Favorite professional sports team: Denver Broncos
What will you look to do with your diploma in criminal justice? I want to look into becoming an FBI agent or work for the government.