Q&A with Kevin Ogletree
by Carlos Valle
Junior wide receiver Kevin Ogletree is back at practice for the Cavaliers after missing the 2007 season due to a knee injury. As a sophomore Ogletree earned honorable mention All-ACC honors after leading UVa with 52 catches for 582 yards and four scores. He talks about his return to the field and spring football with VirginiaSports.com.
Question: You had a breakout season your sophomore year and then tore your ACL and missed all of last season. How frustrating was that?
Ogletree: It was tough but it’s over now and I know it happened for a reason. I just made the best out of my circumstances.
Question: Coach Groh talked a lot about your work ethic and how it was inspirational to the rest of the team. Did you have that all along or did that take some time to develop?
Ogletree: For the first week I was saying to myself, Wow this is bad. Is there any other alternative?’ But once I came down to reality and accepted what had happened, I turned it on. I knew I had to look at this as a positive and get something out of it. So I started working and I started to better myself in a lot of areas.
Question: You never red-shirted before your injury so you had the opportunity to sit back and learn. Would you call that a bit of a blessing in disguise given the circumstances?
Ogletree: Definitely. It helped me realize how much football means to me and how much of an opportunity I have out here. I had a chance to back up for a second and see that. I would be a senior this year. It was a change because I really feel like I am different from what I was before. I know what I want to do. I know how hard I want to work. I know what I want to get accomplished.
Question: How good does it feel to be catching footballs again?
Ogletree: It’s one of the best feelings; just being able to do something that I’ve been doing my whole life and not have to worry about anything. It was a rough year not being out there. A lot of things led up to right now and its just a good feeling.
Question: How anxious are you to get back on the field and actually play a game?
Ogletree: I can’t wait. I think about that a lot. Obviously, we are practicing for something. Actually, we are practicing for our next team every time we come out here. And our next team is USC so every time we come out here, that’s what we’re working for. We can hear their fight song playing [on the practice field]. We are keeping it in our heads and we are trying to get prepared.
Question: Do you think it will be difficult adjusting to a new quarterback in Peter Lalich?
Ogletree: He’s developing a comfort level with us. It’s going to take some time but he is calm and collected. That’s what type of kid he is. We told him the quarterback is a leader and we need him to step up and that is what he is trying to do right now. It is good to see his maturing process.
Question: Tight ends have always been a big part of the offense here and Virginia will play without star tight ends Tom Santi and Jon Stupar this year. How do you make up for their loss?
Ogletree: I guess that since they caught so many passes, the receiver group as a whole, has to step up. But we have some good tight ends now that we are working with who are going to help us win some games.
Question: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Ogletree: I’m trying to get my golf game together.