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2021 NFL Draft: Introducing Quincy Roche, Miami’s feared pass rusher

NCAA Football: Temple at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In today’s NFL, you can never have too many talented pass rushers. If your favorite team is looking for an edge defender who is no stranger to overcoming challenges and making big plays, they should already be all over Miami’s Quincy Roche.

One of the top edge rushers going into the 2020 college football season, Roche recently spoke exclusively with MCM about his decision to transfer from Temple to Miami, how he approaches his pass-rushing plan, and why pre-season recognition means absolutely nothing to him.

JM: You posted 26 sacks in three seasons at Temple. Despite the success you’ve experienced there, you decided to transfer to Miami for your senior season. Walk me through the thought process behind that move.

QR: I just spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to spend my last year of college. I’m going into my senior season and I was just doing a lot of thinking. I’ve done a lot of great things at Temple but I thought transferring elsewhere gave me a better shot at securing a future for myself.

JM: It’s going to be a big senior season for you. What are you hoping to improve on?

QR: I’m just trying to become a better pass rusher. I’ve also been working on my ability to play in space. It’s the little things that make a big difference. That’s why I’ve been working on playing with lower pad level. I’ve spent this off-season fine tuning the little things.

JM: It’s such a big season for you, and I imagine the virus has unfortunately slowed down your transition to Miami. How can you prepare yourself during this time to make sure you hit the ground running?

QR: It’s all about staying ready. I was lucky enough to get some time with the team before the pandemic started. We held voluntary workouts. We had a week of spring ball. We had a good portion of the winter together. I’ve had some time to start building that camaraderie. You just stay ready so you never have to get ready. I’ve always believed in that.

JM: I love that. Gregory Rousseau and yourself may form the most feared pass rushing duo in college football this season. Have you had a chance to meet him? You must be excited to build some chemistry with him.

QR: Yeah, he was one of the first guys that welcomed me to Miami. He’s such a genuine guy. He’s an even better football player. I’m just excited to line up across from him and play with him. We’ll see what we can do this year.

JM: What’s been your initial impression of the coaching staff?

QR: I love the coaching staff. They’ve made a great impression on me. They’re players coaches. They’re the type of coaches that allow their players to have a personality. That’s big to me. They let us do our thing. I appreciate that. I’m just really looking forward to putting everything together and stepping out there on the gridiron.

JM: How would you describe your pass rush arsenal?

QR: I like to keep things simple. I don’t over-complicate things. A lot of my moves that you’ve seen, I’ve used them before. I do have some variety though. I just try to take what the offensive linemen gives me. You’ll see film of me using some power, you’ll see film of me beating guys off the ball. I can also beat them around the edge.

JM: Do you have a go-to move?

QR: I wouldn’t say that I do, no. I just take what they give me. I’m really just paying close attention to the offensive linemen to understand what his tendencies are. They like to throw a change-up once in a while. Every offensive linemen is different. I really just take what they give me.

JM: What are three traits that a successful edge rusher must possess?

QR: A good get-off is first and foremost. I would say good hands and an ability to bend would round out my top three. You need to have those traits. I’m gonna add a fourth one (laughs). Every good pass rusher must have a high motor. Those four things are key right there.

JM: I love that. Who are some of the best offensive linemen you’ve come up against so far?

QR: Mike McGlinchey immediately comes to mind. Matthew Peart is a good one. Peart just got drafted by the New York Giants. Charlie Heck is another one. Heck just got drafted by the Houston Texans. I played against Josh Jones while he was at The University of Houston. I’ve played against Quenton Nelson (laughs). I’ve played against some guys, man. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to play against some terrific O-linemen.

JM: That’s an incredible list. Jim Nagy, The Director of the Senior Bowl recently mentioned you as a potential candidate for the 2021 Senior Bowl. What would that invite mean to you?

QR: It would be big. With all due respect, pre-season recognition really doesn’t mean anything to me. Until I get out there and play football, it doesn’t mean anything. I appreciate the love but I could have a really good year or a really bad year. Right now, I’m just focusing on building camaraderie and chemistry with my new teammates. I’m trying to make sure that everything clicks so that when I go out there, I’m able to give it my all.

JM: That makes sense and I can respect that. I’ve really appreciated your time today. What can Miami fans expect from Quincy Roche in 2020?

QR: They can expect me to be a guy that brings his hard-hat to work every day. I’m always gonna put my head down and get to work. I’ve always been that type of player. I’m going to bring my leadership ability with me to this Miami locker room. I’m just trying to have fun and win some football games.