GoDuke.com: How was day one of spring practice and how anxious was the team to get back out on the field?
Kenny Anunike: "Day one was awesome. We put in a lot of great work. You'd see guys flying around, the energy was there. We couldn't wait to get back on the football field, even after the bowl game. You could definitely tell that nobody's complacent. We don't feel like we've arrived yet. We're still hungry, we still want to keep winning and still thirsting after a winning season and making the ACC Championship - those are the goals."
GoDuke.com: What are some of the team goals, as well as your individual goals for this spring?
KA: "In my individual goals and everybody else's individual goals, if everybody picks a few things and gets better at them, think about how much better we will be as a team. That is the theme - get better - because we were good last year but let's get better than last year and see where that will put us. Let's see what will happen if we each get better at a few little things here and there, see what the product will be after that."
GoDuke.com: How important is the spring in terms of developing younger players?
KA: "The spring is crucial. That's when you get all the install, you get your alignments, your steps, foot work, everything down right before you go into camp. You should be learning but refining and getting ready for the season. This right now is the raw part where you've got guys in there who have never played college football. The older guys like myself, you've got to teach them certain steps, teach them different alignments and teach them different plays. Most of all, teach them the mentality that we have now. And especially on defense, tenacious on D. You've got to be mean. We try to indoctrinate those different things in the young guys so that come camp time, they're ready to go."
GoDuke.com: Heading into your sixth year, how are you preparing to assume even more of a leadership role on the team?
KA: "Like Coach Cut[cliffe] always says, 'Leave a place better than you found it.' And I think last year's seniors, who were truly my class last year, did that and left the place better than they found it. And now it's our job as seniors to do the same thing that they did for us - leave this place better than we found it. And that means getting more wins. It means taking care of our business off the field and on the field."
GoDuke.com: Although the recent coaching staff changes do not directly affect your group, how have they impacted the program as a whole heading into the spring?
KA: "I think the guys Coach Cut brought in and moved up have definitely helped to revamp the team and give us new energy, new insights. I trust Coach Cut. He always brings in great personnel, especially my coach, [defensive line] coach [Rick] Petri, coming from Miami. He's taken our defensive line to new heights. I'm confident in Coach Cut's recruiting abilities, and I think he's got great guys in great positions to help us succeed."
GoDuke.com: What is the atmosphere in the locker room this time of year?
KA: "It was awesome. Going back in there after this first practice, guys wanted to go back out and play some more. You can just see there's a hunger among the guys in the locker room right now. Yeah, we went to a bowl game, but we didn't win it so we're still hungry. We want to win our bowl game this time and we hope to go to the ACC Championship. Definitely, you can just tell that the ambiance in the locker room is through the roof. Guys want to win, guys want to compete and guys just want to get better all across the board."