Feb. 28, 2000
Berkeley - Each week leading up to spring football practice, California Associate Athletic Director Kevin Reneau is conducting an interview with a key member of the Cal Football program. This week, Reneau sat down with Cal's massive offensive tackle Langston Walker, a key component in the team's hope to display an improved offense in 2000.
KEVIN RENEAU: LANGSTON, TELL US ABOUT YOUR OFF-SEASON GOALS.
LANGSTON WALKER: My goals are to get a lot stronger and also work on my footwork. I'm up about 10 kilos (22 pounds) on my squat to about 575 pounds. I'm trying to get to 600 pounds, which would be great for a person my size. I'm also doing a lot of individual work in plyometrics and reaction-type drills which will help my quickness and footwork.
KR: PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT. DO YOU GET TIRED OF THOSE TYPE QUESTIONS AND WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS IN THE WEIGHT DEPARTMENT?
LW: The weight thing gets repetitive. I know I have to work on my weight. My ideal playing weight is probably around 320 pounds, maybe 315. I just need to push myself and try to lose around 20 pounds to get to that level. It's mainly about concentrating on what I eat, avoiding real fatty foods. I also have to avoid eating late at night. But that's difficult because I'm up late studying a lot.
KR: AT 6-8 AND AROUND 340 POUNDS, YOU'RE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PLAYES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN BIG AND DOES THAT TYPE OF SIZE RUN IN YOUR FAMILY?
LW: Yeah, we have a pretty big family. My dad is about 6-2 and my mom is 5-9. But, she has a father who is 6-5 and a brother who is 6-3. I was a bit of a late bloomer. As I entered high school, I was pretty much regular size, about 5-8 or 5-9. It seemed like every summer in high school, I'd grow about three inches. I'd come back to school and everybody would say 'What happened to you?'
KR:DO YOU LIKE BEING AS BIG AS YOU ARE?
LW: It has its advantages. There are both pros and cons. I have to buy my clothes at a Big and Tall store. And I can't always fit in every car. But, I always get shotgun.
KR: HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE YOUR INDIVIUDAL PLAY LAST SEASON/ WHAT TYPE OF GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF?
LW: I'd probably give myself a "C+" I did some things well, but it could have been a lot better. I had about eight false starts last season and I want to elminate them this coming season. It's just a lack of concentration, because of all the things going through your mind at the line of scrimmage. I have to stay focused.
KR: WHAT ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE LAST YEAR?
LW: We did make a lot of mistakes. So much of the offense rests on our shoulders. If we can give a guy like Kyle Boller time, we're going to be very successful. The fact that we didn't play as well as we would have liked last year is a big motivating factor for us this off-season. The intensity in the weight room and during workouts is just phenomenal right now.
KR: NOW THAT YOU'RE MOVING INTO YOUR JUNIOR SEASON, ARE YOU ACCEPTING MORE OF A LEADERSHIP ROLE?
LW: I try to lead by example. I'm not much of a yeller. I leave the yelling to Reid Diehl. But, I try to work hard and I think that's a part of the leadership thing.
KR: YOU'VE HAD THE "LAID-BACK" TAG ON YOU SINCE YOU'VE BEEN AT CAL. IS THAT ACCURATE?
LW: I've head that a million times. That's the type of person I am - pretty quiet. I feel like the best contribution I can make is by concentrating on my own responsibilities. If I'm worrying about what somebody else is doing on the field, that's going to impact on my own performance, so I don't tend to be one who tries to tell others what to do. But, that doesn't mean I don't have intensity. When you look at the hours I'm putting in the weight room, about three hours a day, and the amount of time I spend watching film, I think it shows that I'm taking things pretty seriously.
KR: WHO DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU'RE IN THE FILM ROOM?
LW: I study the players I'll be going against next season, looking at their strengths and weaknesses, so I can be prepared when we play them. I also study films of guys like Kyle Turley and Orlando Pace. Those are guys that Coach (Ed) White worked with and they are great NFL players.
KR: ARE YOU BETTER AT RUN BLOCKING OR PASS BLOCKING?
LW: I would say pass blocking because I have quick hands and quick feet. I also think I have good athletic ability which allows me to make up for any mistakes I make.
KR: WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE COMING SEASON?
LW: I'd like to earn some All-Pac-10 honors. I also want to help the team get in a bowl game. And a good bowl game, not some rinky-dink bowl. I think I had a good freshman season in 1998 and then a little bit of a slump last year. I want to be a dominant player this year.
KR: WILL YOU PLAY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OR THE LEFT SIDE NEXT YEAR?
LW: I'm working on both sides right now and I'm not sure where I will line up. I want to play the left side, because it's more of a challenge. You're out there all by yourself and I like that type of challenge.
KR: DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT THE STARTING UNIT MAY LOOK LIKE NEXT FALL?
LW: We'll three positions are pretty well set with Reid (Diehl) at center, Brandon (Ludwig) at a guard and me at a tackle. It's too early to say how the other positions will work out, but there's a lot of younger players who look strong right now, particularly Nolan Bluntzer and Mark Wilson. There's also Chris Chick and the two new JC players who are coming in the fall.
KR: WHAT KIND OF YEAR ARE YOU EXPECTING FROM THE O-LINE GROUP?
LW: I'm really impressed about how hard this group is working. We have all the parts. We just have to put it together. We may not be rated very highly, but that will be a motivating factor.
KR: WHO WERE THE TOUGHEST PLAYERS YOU FACED LAST YEAR?
LW: Both defensive ends from BYU, No. 93 (Byron Frisch) and No. 99 (Setema Gali) were good players. I think they'll be very high pro draft picks. Erik Flowers from Arizona State and Larry Triplett from Washington were both small quys with great quickness. The toughest, though, is Andre Carter. He puts it all together with speed, size, strength and how he studies the game. He's like The Freak. You think you have him and all of a sudden he's by you and you're wondering what happened.
KR: WHO ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS ON THE TEAM?
KR: WHAT ARE YOU MAJORING IN?
LW: I'm majoing in American Studies and have an interest in the advertising and promotional field.