Picou ready to get job done to help defense
Coaches, teammates laud DT’s work off the field
Tennessee’s Quay Picou has never wanted his size to limit his opportunities.
The 6-foot-1, 277-pound junior realizes he doesn’t possess the prototypical stature of a major college defensive tackle.
“I ain’t got to be King Kong or nothing like that. As long as you get the job done,” Picou said on Tuesday. “A coach once told me he don’t care how rocky the ocean is, just bring the boat in. You know what I’m saying. So that is how I look at it in everyday life, whether it’s football, school or anything. If I go through any trial or tribulations, no matter what, just bring the boat in baby.”
Picou is making a push for a bigger role on a team in need of replenishment along the defensive line. The Georgia native appeared in seven games last season, finishing with five tackles and one quarterback hurry.
In terms of gauging his progress this spring, Picou is taking a more mindful approach.
“Getting more comfortable and confident really. Because I feel like if you believe you can move a mountain, you can move a mountain. But if you go out and be a little timid and get defeated in your mind then you can’t accomplish anything,” he said. “So I have learned really if you get things squared away mentally then I can accomplish anything and that really goes for all my teammates.”
Although Picou credited the work of new strength and conditioning coach Rock Gullickson for helping “transform some guys,” he said spring practice has been a challenge.
“Honestly feel like it’s been a reality check for me and a lot of other guys because ain’t nothing like being in football shape. You can be in the gym and you can be on that turf field there and can run as many sprints as you want, but you ain’t in football shape. It’s going to be a little different for you,” Picou said. “So I can honestly say that being in football shape has been a rude awakening for some guys. It’s really taught some guys when the going gets tough, you just have to put your head down and go baby.”
Picou has been lauded by his UT coaches and teammates for the strides he made in the offseason. He’s been more vigilant about doing the right things off the field to improve his performance on the field, which he believes is a product of maturity.
“I would say when you are a freshman and first get here some guys you figure you know it all and sometimes it hits some guys a little later,” Picou said. “I think we all went through phases where we understood that you can’t always eat what you want to eat, you can’t always stay up all night playing video games. You have to take care of your body and you have to put the right things in your body in order to see the good that comes from that.”
Picou has enjoyed working with new defensive line coach Brady Hoke. Because of injuries along the defensive line, Picou has been getting more reps and even more individual time with Hoke.
“It’s been a fun experience because he really gives each guy the opportunity to get to know each other and he really just took us under his wing and we learned from each other,” Picou said. “He allows us to just be ourselves and play ball really.”
Picou played it coy when asked exactly how much weight he gained in the offseason. “I might have put on a little something,” he said with a grin.
As he prepares for another season contending with towering offensive linemen in the SEC, Picou embraces an “if you can play ball, you can play ball” philosophy.
“What I have learned is to play to my strengths. I am not the kind of guy that sits there and holds on some mountain. You play to your ability,” Picou said. “So if I’m quick, I be quick and things like that. Really just playing to my ability and stuff like that. I don’t really focus on going out there and addressing someone taller and heavier than me or things like that.”
Tennessee’s Quay Picou is making a push for a bigger role on a team in need of replenishment along the defensive line.