Catching up with QB Tanner Price

By Tyler Robertson | Apr 17, 2012

 

Midway through his collegiate career, Tanner Price talks about his future plans for him and the Deacs

Demon Deacon Quarterback Tanner Price is halfway through his collegiate career at quarterback. The 20 year-old rising-junior has broken many football records, but few know about his long-term goals, motivations and off the field accomplishments.


Understanding fans and students alike are left wondering about the man behind the helmet and what to expect next season for Deacon football, I took the initiative to sit down with Price and ask questions ranging from what fans should expect, what his long term goals are and why he is so lazy off the football field.  After the conversation, there’s a lot to draw from the multifaceted athlete and his newly mastered “shag” skills, his NFL aspirations, his charitable side, and his involvement in the Christian group RUF.

Though a commitment to reach the ACC Championship game and lock-in a BCS bowl berth may seem like steep goals for the Deacs, Price is determined to change the “stigma of inferiority” mindset that in the past has plagued the team and its fans and prevented them from believing.

Seven touchdowns, eight interceptions your first season to 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions the next season, what’s been the difference?

Biggest thing was just maturing and the experience I gained. My freshman year we had a really young team, I mean everybody came back from that team and started for us this year. I think everyone started maturing and I think that’s why I was able to make strides personally.

 

With that drastic improvement you’ve set a bevy of records for Wake Forest already including most passing yards up to this point, what personally do you want to get out of your time here at Wake Forest playing football?

I just want to keep improving each year and continue to make strides. After each season I want to look back and think what can I do better? What can I improve on? Where can I grow as a quarterback? That’s my goal and whatever happens, happens. I’m not too worried about setting records or anything. My main goal is to improve as a quarterback and leader and just to win games.

 

Spring ball is getting ready to end fairly soon, what are you focusing on to get better?

This year what I’m really focused on, is knowing my hots and my check downs, getting the ball out quick and knowing my outlets. It’d be naïve to think I won’t be pressured next year, be a little rushed at times, because we have a young offensive line. So I’m going to prepare for that and I’ll try to pick up their slack by knowing where to go with the ball.

 

What will be a successful year for you and the Deacs next season? What can and should fans expect?

To start, improving from last year. My goal personally is seven plus wins. And playing for the ACC Championship. If you strive for that, good things will happen and you’ll win more games that way.

 

You really think we can get to the ACC Championship with seven wins?

Well, I think 8, 9 or more wins will definitely do it. But, we have to beat Florida State, Boston College and Duke. I think with winning the games we should and games we know we can win, we’ll get there.

 

What do you think the soft spot of the team is right now that might prevent you beating teams standing in the way of an ACC Championship?

The biggest thing within our team is the mindset. We talked about this in sociology, but it’s called a “stigma of inferiority” where people start believing that they’re not as good, then as a result they don’t play as well. Then as a team we have this belief that we’re Wake Forest, we’re average. We can never compete with the Florida State’s, the Clemson’s and the Virginia Tech’s. The biggest thing is getting the team to believe we can compete with them and we have the talent and ability to play with those teams. We can consistently be a nine-win team and a competitor for the ACC Championship. So, it’s really a mindset and an energy you have to have within the team. I think that’s our main focus.

 

In one interview last year you talked about a possible road block when you said you wanted to “keep momentum on offense” and prevent “stalling,” how do you think you can manage that with four starters being replaced on the offensive line and a new offensive line coach?

It’s gonna be tough, but our [new] offensive line coach has done a terrific job getting these guys ready because it is a young offensive line. We’re losing four starters who did an unbelievable job last year so they have some big shoes to fill. I really think our coach is getting them ready and preparing them well. So far this spring it’s been good, they still have a lot of room to grow. In the offseason they’ll work hard because at the end of the day our offense is dependent on our offensive line and without them we can’t do anything. I think they understand their role and where they stand come [the season opener] against Liberty. The big thing for us is encouraging them and getting them to believe in themselves.

 

You talked about your personal goals for the team. What about for you? Do you see football in your long-term future?

I mean, that’s the dream, the dream is to play in the NFL. Whether or not that happens, I’m not worried about it right now, I’m just focused on our football team and if we continue to have success here maybe football will be an option after, but I’m just focusing on Wake football now.

 

What is the pressure like on you to make sure you play the best you can as well as make sure the Wake Forest football team is relevant and in the national spotlight enough to where you draw the attention of NFL scouts?

There definitely is that pressure for any starting quarterback to win and that’s really all it is. I try not to put too much pressure on myself because it really doesn’t lead to anything positive, just causes you to be uptight and not play loose. I don’t worry about the future too much, but just let them unfold the way they will. The biggest thing for me is just putting in the work that I need to put to get in to where I need to be. If you really prepare well, things should play out. Whatever happens, happens. As long as I know I tried my best, I’ll have no regrets. I think things will fall into place.

 

At the very least you’ve graduated from a great school, right?

That’s true and that’s a big reason why I chose Wake was for the academics knowing that football can only take you so far, with a great education like I’ll have coming from Wake, I can do a lot.

 

Let’s move from football for a second. Many of your fans and fellow Wake students don’t know much about you believe it or not. When Tanner Price isn’t playing football or dealing with the rigors of the school work that all Wake Forest students have to endure, he is doing what?

I’m a pretty lazy guy when I’m not doing football. There’s a lot going on with meetings, film, tutors and school. I usually take naps or play video games or watch some Netflix. I’m pretty lazy. I love going to the movies, I’m really into bowling. Just hanging out.

 

Really? I don’t think people feel at ease thinking about you as lazy, are you sure you don’t want to go something else?

Haha okay. Well, I enjoy hanging out with my dad, I consider myself a family man. My sister just started school at Elon, so it’s been nice to have her close so I can see her on the weekends. I also go out with the football guys. I’m involved with RUF, the campus ministry, so I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with the guys in there, so yeah.

You have a charitable side, too, don’t you? You recently gave tours to elementary kids from local schools, even taking time to sit with them at lunch. Talk about that day.

Yeah, any chance I get a chance to work with kids, I’ll take up the offer. It’s just fun to work with kids because at that age they’re just impressionable and they look up to you and to have an opportunity to reach out to them kind of make their day, makes my day as well. So I just really enjoy working with kids, any chance I get, I’ll take it.

 

What’s your favorite Wake-related activity?

I’m not really sure, I haven’t had a chance to go to Wake ‘n’ Shake or those activities because I haven’t had a lot of time.

No shag on the mag?

Haha, no. I recently just learned how to shag though, so I should have gone to [that school activity].

Who taught you how to do that?

Some girl taught me, I always wanted to learn. I thought it might be a good life skill, so she taught me and I should have tested out what I learned.

Who is Tanner Price, the Wake Forest student?

It’s a lot of work. I try to get a lot of work don’t, but with practice, lifting, classes and tutors, it’s tough to want to come back and do homework. I can be lazy in the classroom at times, but my overall grades they’re alright. I’m doing a pretty good job. I made Academic All-American so it’s not too bad, but not as good as a lot of the students here.

  • What should the fans expect? Keep in mind these are the same fans that thought you wouldn’t get to a bowl game at the start of last season and you surprised them. The same fans that then radically changed and had the belief that the team would get by Vanderbilt and it didn’t happen.

 

I touched on this with our team, but the mindset of our team needs to get over the fact that a six win season is enough, making a decent bowl game is enough. I think that needs to change. I think that our players and fans need to have confidence in Wake Forest football and have a belief in our team that we’re competitive and be one of the best in the nation. I believe that we’re going to have a great season this year and I think they can expect us to be in a bowl game and have improved from last season.

  • Do you see football in your long-term future? If you don’t make it to the NFL,

    how will your life change?

 

I mean, that’s the dream, the dream is to play in the NFL. Whether or not that happens, I’m not worried about it right now, I’m just focused on our football team and if we continue to have success here maybe football will be an option after, but not just focusing on Wake football now.

What is the pressure like on you to make sure you play the best you can as well as make sure the Wake Forest football team is relevant and in the national spotlight enough to where you draw the attention of NFL scouts?

There definitely is that pressure for any starting quarterback to win and that’s really all it is. I try not to put too much pressure on myself because it really doesn’t lead to anything positive, just causes you to be uptight and not play loose. I don’t worry about the future too much, but just let them unfold the way they will. The biggest thing for me is just putting in the work that I need to put to get in to where I need to be. If you really prepare well, things should play out. Whatever happens, happens. As long as I know I tried my best, I’ll have no regrets. I think things will fall into place.

  • At the very least you’ve graduated from a great school.

 

That’s true and that’s a big reason why I chose Wake was for the academics knowing that football can only take you so far, with a great education like I’ll have coming from Wake, I can do a lot.

  • We’re all rooting for you out there as usual, anything you want to say to the fans?

 

Just to keep a positive attitude toward Wake Forest football and stay loyal. Even though things don’t go as fans would like it, just remain confident in the team. Cheer for the Deacs no matter what happens. I have a lot of respect for fans who will be Deacon fans no matter what.


 

 

 



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