April 18, 2011
Cornerback TJ Cowart certainly stood out for the Monarchs last season. Fourth on the Monarch defense in tackles with 58, including a team-leading 40 solo stops, Cowart had a season-high 13 tackles against VMI, 11 stops at Monmouth and 10 tackles against Georgia State. Additionally, he led the team with 11 pass-breakups, including a trio of break-ups in games against #12/13 William & Mary, Gardner-Webb, and Georgia State, and led ODU with three forced fumbles.
Heading into spring ball, head coach Bobby Wilder noted that "T.J. had a tremendous off season and he will clearly have to be our best defensive back going into the CAA. He'll have to cover the best receivers and do another great job of run support, which he did last year."
Q: What are your thoughts about last season's results?
A: It was a pretty good season overall. We have a lot of things we need to improve on as an offense and defense. An 8-3 record is acceptable for your second year.
Q: Going into the spring game, what are you most looking forward to?
A: Just looking forward to getting better. Not just me, but as a group. The last three years I have been here the defensive backs have been the group that needs more work to improve. I think we are looking to come together and get ready for the season.
Q: What changes have you noticed from this spring and last spring?
A: One of the changes I've noticed since I got here in 2008 is communication on the field. It's been a big thing.
Q: Describe your role on the team this season?
A: I'm trying to be more of a leader and communicator on the field. I want to lead by action.
Q: What's different about CAA play? Expectations?
Q: What are your goals for this season?
A: It's a hard conference. To me, it's the best conference in FCS football. We're going to have to compete every game because anybody can be beat on any Saturday. We're looking to go in there and compete every game. That's what I want to do no matter who we play.
A: My personal goal is to be more of a special teams player on the kick-off return. On the defensive side I want to make more interceptions. I want to at least have five interceptions and over 50 tackles. I just want to help the team be successful.
Q: What do you enjoy more: the big hit or a pick-six?
A: Well, I haven't had the opportunity to get a pick-six here. Until I have that pick six, I'm going to have to go with the big hit.
Q: Which style of corner do you prefer to play: shut down corner or big hitter?
A: Shut down corner. When the other team is doing there game plan I want them to say we can't throw to No. 22's side.
Q: What does Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) mean to you?
A: Just go out there and compete, do your best and be successful.
Q: What improvements did you make in the off-season workouts?
A: We learned a lot. Not just football wise, but growing as a team. We went bowling with each other and did other things to bond. Personally, I think I got way faster and stronger than last year.
Q: Favorite NFL team?
A: I like the Eagles.
Q: Favorite NFL player?
A: Charles Woodson. He just goes out there and plays his game and I like that.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: In the off-season, I go to the student recreation center and play basketball with the team. Basketball is one of my loves so you know I have to get in the gym when I get a chance.
Q: Most memorable moment so far as a Monarch?
A: It was a big thing for me when I signed that letter of intent. I knew it could be here at ODU that I could change something. Not just football, but change the lives of others with things like community service.