Q&A with Duke Football: Shaka Heyward
DURHAM- The Voice of the Blue Devils, David Shumatesat down with main linebacker redshirt Shaka Heyward for a brief question and answer session.
DS: The chance to play in North Carolina, you were part of it, playing in this state, living it. What has this rivalry meant to you over the years?
SH: It meant a lot. It was a fierce rivalry. I was only able to beat them in my freshman year and that obviously leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You walk around Durham and hear all these bad things about Duke and good things about Carolina, it’s more than that. It’s just a fierce rivalry between us, I’m just looking forward to the game.
DS: We talked about you as a leader for this team, as a captain. How did you embrace this role throughout the first half of the season?
SH: It’s just trying to live in the present. I try to encourage the team to live in the present, to be as good as possible day in and day out, because I know when we do that we are a very good football team.
DS: When you look at the linebacker position, you’ll probably have the most contact on the field. You’re always there trying to make a tackle. What kind of mentality does it take to play this position?
SH: It is enough to be a man among the boys. As a linebacker on the field, you have to be a captain and just a fearless leader. The better you are, the better the team will play. The more you are locked in, the more you study the game plan, the more the defense is going to flourish there.
DS: You get used to playing these night games at home, 8:00 kick for the game against North Carolina. How do you fill the day before you come to the stadium?
SH: Yeah, so we just have our own routine. The coach gets us started with a good routine. Just take advantage of every opportunity in the hours and have a straight mind, have a straight body before the game.