BALTIMORE, Md. — With the departure of standout center Clarence Swain, head coach Lee Hull and the Bears will look for leadership from rising junior Dominique Woods.

Woods started in 11 games last season and helped pave the way for one of the league’s top ground gainers in Herb Walker Jr. (1,408 yds – No. 2 in MEAC)  Woods, who moves from left guard to the starting center position, is expected to be the heart and soul in the trenches for the Bears this fall and he took some time after practice to discuss the upcoming 2015 season and talk about his motivation to repeat as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions.

MSU: Talk about what it meant to win a share of the 2014 MEAC championship.

DW: “To win a share of the MEAC championship was literally a dream come true. It was a dream come true because it is every player’s dream to win a championship. From little league all the way up to college it is the goal of the team to win a championship. It’s such a big deal because a lot of players go through all levels of football and don’t know the feeling that comes with the triumph of winning a championship.”

MSU: Talk about the experience you gained last season.

DW: “The experience I gained last season really helped me mature into the system that Coach Hull has put in place. To have another year under my belt really helps me, because now I have more of an understanding of the complex offense that we have. In each of the 13 games played last season, I took a new lesson from each game that made me a little bit better as a player. ”

MSU: Talk about your role as a veteran for the upcoming 2015 season.

DW: “Playing next to Darren Pinnock and Clarence Swain for the last two years has really taught me how to lead and what it takes to win at this level. Now that I have been battle tested and learned a lot of new things. It’s my job as a veteran to relay the knowledge that I’ve gained over the last two years. Now it’s my turn to show the younger guys what it takes to win and show them how to lead, so when it’s their turn to lead they will be ready.”

MSU: What do you feel is the best part of your game?

DW: “I feel the best part of my game is my run blocking, because I love the aggressive nature of the block. I feel that my pass blocking is not far behind my run blocking because I try to take the aggressive nature that comes with run blocking and use it in pass protection. I do this so that i can show the younger guys that you can be aggressive in pass protection as well.”

MSU: What are you working on improving during the spring?

DW: “In order to improve my game this spring I have been working to increase my strength and my knowledge of the game. The reason I want to improve in these areas is because then I will have nearly flawless technique and a combination of overpowering strength — this is what I will need to be an outstanding offensive lineman. I’ve been working extra hard in the weight room and constantly studying the playbook and the different defensive fronts.”

MSU: Talk about your relationship with the coaching staff.

DW: “I have a pretty good relationship with the entire coaching staff. I feel as if they all have my best interest in mind and they are always pushing me to become a better football player and a better person. Our coaches are also cool to hang around even outside of football, it’s not always X’s and O’s — our coaches are genuinely good people as well as good coaches.”

MSU: Talk about the adjustments you’ve had to make now that you are playing center.

DW: “The adjustment moving from guard to center is actually a little difficult because playing center comes with an entire set of responsibilities that has to be learned. I’ve been wanting to play the center position since I’ve been at Morgan, because i just enjoy playing the position. The only major adjustment that I have to make is making sure I have a good snap, because I like to go full speed every chance I get — I just have to remember to get the ball off first. ”

MSU: Talk about the chemistry with the rest of the offensive line.

DW: “The chemistry between me and my fellow offensive linemen is great. Everyone likes one another and enjoys playing together. We’re still working out small wrinkles in our communication. We are gelling together nicely as spring continues, we are becoming brothers in arms and our chemistry is growing and improving day by day. ”

MSU: What’s your main motivation for the upcoming season?

DW: “My motivation for this upcoming season is to become the best offensive line and offensive unit in the conference as well as a top contender in the country. One of my personal motivations is to be an all-conference selection. I want our offensive line to be talked about as the most dominant, aggressive and technique sound offensive line around. That is my motivation for the upcoming season.”

MSU Athletics Media Relations


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