Countdown to Kickoff
Catching Up with Javier Arenas



RollTide: Talk about what it’s like waiting for a punt. You’ve got the whole team, 11 guys coming at you. What’s going through your mind at that point?
Javier: Basically it’s just focus and excitement at the same time.  I know exactly what I have to do when I catch the ball. I’m just eager to make the first guy miss and then just take it to the house.

RollTide: You’ve had quite a few big returns already this year. What does that do to help the offense and what are the most important things about being a punt or kick returner?
Javier: In terms of helping the offense, it sets them up with good field position as well as providing them with momentum.  The most important thing, first and foremost, is fielding the ball. You have to square up on it, hug it in and that’s the most important thing. Then from there your ability takes over. That’s why you’re back there, you know what I mean, so catching the ball is the most important thing.

RollTide: What makes a good return? When do know you have a chance to break a big one?
Javier: To me I think I have a chance every time, but when you make that first guy miss, it provides a lot of momentum. It works just that quick-you get momentum and confidence and in that split second you know it’s going to be a nice one, a big return.  Sometimes we’ll have a blue return or a right or left return and you have a wall set up for you and that always gives you a good chance too.

RollTide: Talk about your hobbies off the field, what you do to relax, and who you hang out with off the field.
Javier: I like to play Madden football.  That comes second after my schoolwork. I do a lot of studying, reading, things like that. I talk to my mom back home, my youth pastor, my mentor back home. I talk to my brother who plays at Nebraska; we talk for a second and just compare and contrast things as far as our colleges and games and stuff.  Those things are first, talking to my family and school then playing video games.

RollTide: You’re a guy from Florida, talk about what it was like going down to Jacksonville to play Florida State.
Javier: A lot of people talk about proving things, not specifically guys on our team, but guys from the state that they’re playing against they’ll talk about proving things. Not me, I play like that every game. I’m going to give 110 percent. I’m going to play with intensity, mental intensity. To me the revenge thing is a distraction. It was just another game to me; it really is. I grew up loving Florida State, and I was in awe thinking about playing against them. At one point during the week I thought about it and was like yeah, we’re playing Florida State. I thought about it for a second, but that didn’t distract me at all. I just saw it as another game.