Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Q&A: 2013 signee Kasey Gaines
By Josh Moyer
Defensive back Kasey Gaines (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) committed to Penn State in September and signed with the Nittany Lions as the 10th pledge of the 2013 class.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound prospect will enroll over the summer and compete at cornerback. He said he hasn't received a playbook, just a workout routine, but he's hoping to hit the ground running. He recently spoke with NittanyNation about his expectations for this season, the biggest adjustment on the field and moving more than 700 miles from home.
NittanyNation: I know you said that it hasn't really hit you that you'll be on campus in about three months. So does that mean you try not to look ahead and just focus on high school? Or do you think about suiting up inside Beaver Stadium a lot now?
Loganville, Ga., signee Kasey Gaines said Penn State will move him to cornerback to take advantage of his speed.
Kasey Gaines: Well, I think about suiting up every day and playing for Penn State every day. The thought of me leaving home hasn't really hit yet, but as far as playing and getting involved football-wise, I think about it every day and I'm excited to start a new chapter of my life.
I'm excited to move forward, and I'm happy it's at a place I really want to be at. I'm glad I made this decision; I think it's the right one. ... Everyone dreams about playing in the NFL, well, I've always dreamed about playing Div. I college football.
NN: You'll be playing at a position you're not as familiar with. Penn State initially wanted you as a safety, but now it's cornerback. How long ago did that change, and what kind of adjustment will that be?
KG: I want to say it was when I went to the Ohio State game and had a little meeting with coach [Ted] Roof, and he said they'll probably look at me as a corner. Obviously, he left and when I sat down with coach [John] Butler, he said I'm going to be a field corner, as in away from the boundary.
They said the bigger body usually goes to the boundary-side corner, so they wanted me at field corner because of my speed. It's going to be a transition a little bit, but it shouldn't be too difficult. It's just different techniques. Basically, the biggest thing is just like man-to-man stuff from me being at safety my whole life. I could just play the ball and the whole field, so man-to-man is going to be the biggest transition.
NN: Speaking of Roof, what was it like when he left? He was your recruiting coach, so did Butler just kind of take over since he'll be coaching cornerbacks anyway?
KG: Yeah, Coach Butler definitely took over as soon as Coach Roof left. He was the main contact with me, and he was down here like three times before signing day. So, I love Coach Butler. I got really close to him at camp because he was the one coaching me. I just love his enthusiasm, and I'm really excited for him and this new position.
NN: I saw you were recently tweeting about not having any fried chicken places in State College, so I know you'll have to deal with a lot of small changes here. But what's biggest change at PSU?
KG: Well, definitely being so far away from home is going to be different. Things that we do and things we like are different from up there, like fried chicken as a small example. I love fried chicken, and I think one of the players told me on the team there was none up there. So, I'm just like, 'Oh man, really?'
So I don't know if culture is the right word, but some things are different up there. It's going to take a lot of getting used to and just adjustment as a lifestyle. I'm literally going to be on my own far away from home, so fitting in will be the biggest thing.
NN: What are your expectations for your freshman season?
KG: I'm sure it's going to be difficult and a challenge, so I'm expecting to take that on and work hard and stuff like that. Definitely, I'm going to try to earn my spot wherever that may be, whether it's scout, special teams or starting. I just want to have a valuable role on the team.
NN: So, what are your thoughts on redshirting, then, if the coaches want you to do that?
KG: Well, I look at it as a positive, actually. I look at it as a chance to get better and kind of get ahead and get a jump-start on school. I'm not saying it'll be easy not going on the road and suiting up, but it's a chance to get better and get a head start.