Louis West Interview Henderson State - Offensive Guard 8/28/08 By: Tony Conty Tony Conty: Help our casual readers out - where is Henderson State? Louis West: Henderson State is in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It’s about an hour away from Little Rock. Tony Conty: What is your current height, weight, and projected 40 time? Louis West: I’m currently 6’8”, 370 lbs. I didn’t get to run at the Pro Day, but it’s 5.3 at least in between a 5.3 and 5.4. Tony Conty: That’s pretty athletic for someone of your size. How do you manage to maintain such a high weight and assure that it is good weight when we have seen so much hydration issues in camp become career or even life-threatening? Louis West: Actually, I lost a lot of weight just eating right. I’m trying not to take in to many carbs and I am drinking lots of water. I try to drink at least a gallon of water. That’s about it. It helps that weight come off. Tony Conty: What advice, if any, have the trainers at Henderson given you about your current size? Louis West: I’ve dropped a whole lot of weight and I feel a whole lot better. Tony Conty: You are pretty much the Top D2 Offensive Line prospect. Describe the task of fighting through the “small school” label. Louis West: Oh, man, it’s a struggle, but you got to keep pushing through. I keep pushing through. I feel like we put our pants on the same way. No one is more of a man, I think it’s just a thrill to play against a big school coming from a small school because they underestimate us. Tony Conty: Looking back on your early career, what would you say you have improved the most? Louis West: In my early college career? Since I came to Henderson? I came here at 445 lbs. My thing is that I lost a whole lot of weight and I feel a whole lot better. Tony Conty: You finished 6-2 last year and still finished fourth in the Gulf South Conference. Did you expect it to be so competitive? Louis West: I knew. Our team is nothing but competitors. I wanted us to finish higher than we finished. We lost a few games that we shouldn’t have lost, but that’s something to learn from and build on. Tony Conty: What should we expect this year from the Reddies? Louis West: We’re going to shock the world, baby! We put a lot into it. We have a lot of key players and not that many injuries. Everyone is working really hard. I feel great about my team and we are as good as we were last year. Tony Conty: Central Arkansas presents a challenge this weekend. One of the best Quarterbacks in the nation, Nathan Brown, will pressure you all as the offense to score a lot of points. Are you looking forward to the challenge? Louis West: We’re going to put up points just as well as they are. It’s going to be a great game. Tony Conty: Describe what the off-season is like for a player like yourself. Louis West: Running, running, running. This off-season, I put my all in to it. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of things back from it already. My off-season, I work my butt off. There were so many days where I couldn’t get to sleep because I wanted to get something to eat. My off-season, I work from 5 in the morning until 5 in the evening. Tony Conty: Not bad. You are at least 2nd team in most pre-season D2 polls. Do you enjoy the added pressure that comes with that notoriety? Louis West: That makes me want to work harder to be 1st. I think that I work hard to be 1st. That’s a lot of pressure. Nobody wants to be 2. No one remembers 2. Tony Conty: Which pros at your position do you admire? Louis West: I have no specific one that I really, really like. I like Jonathan Ogden. I like his style and the way he plays. He’s just somebody that I like to watch. Tony Conty: In studying tape on you, we found your best technique as a Run Blocker was displayed against West Alabama. If you had to submit one tape of yourself to showcase your skills, which one would it be? Louis West: I’d have to say West Alabama, too. Tony Conty: OK, good. I might know what I’m talking about. Talk about your relationship with Coach Maxfield. Louis West: Oh, man, I love my coach. I can go in his office any time or call him any time of night and talk to him. That man will help with anything if he can. He would be someone that I look up to, like for real, look up to. Tony Conty: You will have 4 returning linemen in total this year. Have you all developed a comfort level with each other? Louis West: Actually, we’re all together right now as we speak. We hang out together, eat, barbecue, and do everything. Tony Conty: Who are the most dominant defensive players that you have faced in your career? Louis West: I’m not good with names or whatever. When we played a D-I school like Northwestern, they had some really strong linemen. In High School, I went against Glenn Dorsey. He was good! Tony Conty: What do you do to get away from football? Louis West: I go to the lake. Our Quarterback from last year has a boat and we go out there and relax. There’s not much to do in Arkadelphia, so you just end up going to the gym. I’ve been living in the gym and on the treadmill. That’s all you have to do out here. There’s nothing to do out here but football to be honest with you. Tony Conty: What were your thoughts as you watched the Brett Favre media circus unfold? Louis West: There was a lot of attention from the media but Brett got what he wanted. I like Brett Favre. He has been successful in all kinds of situations. When I heard that he was changing to the Jets, I knew that he would still look good, but it’s almost as if he still belongs with Green Bay. I just bought Madden 2009, and it was tough looking at him in a different shade of green. Tony Conty: Do you think that the focus on character in the NFL is working? Louis West: I feel like what you do should reflect on you and not the league. When you’re young, you make mistakes, but there comes a time for the foolishness to end. Tony Conty: Self-promote. Why should teams draft you next year? Louis West: I’m hard-working and dedicated. Getting drafted is my dream. I have no life outside of football. I am focused on what I want. I have many goals and I continue to accomplish them. If you tell me something is wrong, I’ll work on it. I sometimes get embarrassed and work on it alone in front of mirrors for hours. That’s the work that I am always willing to put in.