Q&A With Clint Sintim
by Raj Sagar
Senior linebacker Clint Sintim is one three returning starters at linebacker on the Virginia defense. In 2007 he finished third on the team in tackles with 77 and led the nation in sacks by a linebacker with nine. The Cavaliers will play the annual Spring Game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Scott Stadium. Gates open at noon for the Spring Football Festival. Admission and parking are free.
Question: What did you think of the Sports Illustrated story on Chris Long that included you?
Sintim: I thought it was well-written and a very interesting story. It really gave people a personal view of how Chris Long really is.
Question: You led the nation in sacks by a linebacker last year with nine. What factored into that?
Sintim: There were a lot of opportunities out there last year. Having the best pass-rusher in the nation (Long), as well as one of the best young talents in the conference in Jeffrey Fitzgerald gave me opportunities to make a few plays.
Question: As a three-year starter, how important is it for you to be a leader on this team?
Sintim: It is going to be very important. Trying to assert myself as one of the guys that people look to for leadership is something I am going to try and do very early on.”
Question: With three starters back at linebacker, how well do you guys know each other and can anticipate things because you have a feel for each other?
Sintim: I have the utmost confidence in (Antonio) Appleby and (Jon) Copper and I know they will always be in the right place. We study together and we work together, and we are all very confident.
Question: What impresses you the most about this team?
Sintim: We have a lot of guys this year that are working very hard. We are going to have a good number of opportunities for some of the younger guys to come in and make plays, and they really have been making strides and working hard every single day.
Question: Who is a player on defense that might surprise people this year?
Sintim: I would say either Matt Conrath or Brandon Woods. Woods is a guy who has been here for a little while, but has been patiently waiting, and now he has finally gotten his opportunity and is making the most out of it. I am really excited to see what he can do come USC.
Question: What has been your favorite UVa football moment?
Sintim: The whole of last season was so memorable. There were a lot of close games we won, and the kind of bonds guys made with each other will last forever. Winning the amount of close games we did really made last year special.
Question: What was the toughest part of growing up with four sisters?
Sintim: Not trying to get into fights to protect them. I love all of them, and I love my family very much. I take care of them and they take care of me. Now it is a lot easier since I am an UVa football player, they just have to say “my brother plays football”, then they won’t get hassled as much as before.
Question: Aside from football, what is the biggest impact attending UVa had on your growth as a person?
Sintim: I have grown in general as a person. I am obviously better from an education standpoint, but I have also learned a lot away from the classroom. Also, relationships with different guys and understanding how to interact with different people on different levels is something I’ve gained from the college experience.
Question: When Chris Long checked in his hotel room for the ESPN Awards Show, they said he needed to use an alias so agents would not bother him. He checked in as Clint Sintim. If you were to go to the awards show, who would you check in as?
Sintim: He was on a different level as far as notoriety. I didn’t even know he did that until I got a letter from some hotel. Hopefully I will be fortunate enough to have that kind of opportunity when the time comes. Right now I’m just thinking about getting ready, and winning games this year.
Question: Do you usually watch the NFL draft…will it be different this year with one of your best friends (Long) expected to go so high?
Sintim: I am a lot more excited this year. I have never had anyone I am as close with as Chris has the opportunity to be selected so high. I am very proud and happy for him and I wish him the best of luck.