CHARLOTTE — Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey sat down with reporters to discuss the upcoming football season, Rex Culpepper’s recovery from cancer, and his legacy during ACC Kickoff. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.
Q: Talk about Rex Culpepper’s recovery from cancer.
A: It’s truly inspirational. He’s still working out with us. He’s stronger than ever. He’s built like an ox. He’s just been a true inspiration with the way he handled everything. He comes from a great family. His parents are awesome. His parents always come by so I see where he gets it from, but it’s really been a true inspiration. When he told me he first had cancer, I thought he was joking. He’s always joking around, and I thought he took this one a little too far. It wasn’t until he was on that plane going back to Florida that it hit me. But when I heard he was cancer free, it was incredible. He’s like a brother to me. I’m so happy.
Q: You had to play a perfect game to beat Clemson. How did it happen?
A: We didn’t play a perfect game by any means. Everyone was just doing their job. If you look at it, it wasn’t perfect. We took care of the ball, defensively we did a good job. It’s football. Anything can happen, really. We were well prepared for that game. You look at the season, we were in every game. One possession. A lot of top 25 teams, on the road, too. It was a tough schedule. It spears volumes about how we were as a team last year. We didn’t get a lot of respect, but the ones who did were the teams we played.
Q: What’s the biggest difference for you heading into this season?
A: The experience is by far the best thing you can have. You can have athleticism, but how are you going to know how you’re going to play until the lights are on and you’re on the big stage? Personally, freshman year from now, it’s a huge difference. I’m more relaxed. The game’s slowed down for me. It’s fun for me again. The first few years, it was nerve racking for me. But I’m enjoying it now again.
Q: What are you doing this summer?
A: I’m just locked in. I’ve got two classes i’m taking. I’m working at Merrill Lynch. And a lot of football. Working out. Working out two times a day. I’m trying to watch as much film as I can. I’m trying to make as much as I can this last season, try to leave a legacy.
Q: Is there pressure to get to a bowl game?
A: People always say you have to go into the season and get six wins. That means we expect to lose this game, lose that game. That’s never been my motto. I want to win every game. We just need to get some younger guys to step up. We’re on the cusp. We’ve got big things coming. Especially in the future, as well. I’m excited to see the direction that this program goes. Unfortunately, I’ve been on the back side of it, but I’m hoping to be on the good side.