Q&A: Iowa State TE E.J. Bibbs

Very few people outside of Ames, Iowa, knew the name E.J. Bibbs before the start of the 2013 season. This fall, the Iowa State tight end enters his senior season as a member of the Preseason All-Big 12 team. A junior college transfer, Bibbs had 39 receptions for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns during his debut season at ISU. During Big 12 media days, Bibbs took time to chat with ESPN.com about the tight end position, his role in the new offense and how things have changed for him heading into this season.

With the spread offense coming in, teams going to four receiver sets, was there a point you felt your position was getting outdated, that you might have to change positions?

Not at all. My position is being physical and aggressive. If I need to line up out wide I can line up wide, if I need to come inside and put my hand in the dirt I can do that. Whatever helps, whatever makes my team win.

As far as creating mismatches how can you help Quenton [Bundrage] and he help you?

We call it 2-9-11. Aaron Wimberly, 9 [Bundrage] and 11 {Bibbs]. We count on the three of us but it’s not just about the three of us, it’s the whole team and offense coming together. Q helps me out, I help him out, Aaron helps us out, we all help each other. It’s our Big 3.

How have things changed for you, comparing where you are at this year compared to last year at this time?

Last year, it’s a huge difference. I was coming in from juco, you’re excited, you have your head full and you realize the guys in the Big 12 can compete. You’ve got to get stronger and you’ve got to compete. Coming in I was so nervous about getting playing time and I got playing time. Then during the Tulsa game I started and after that I got into the flow.

At what point did you realize you could compete in the Big 12?

I knew I could compete. It’s just about learning and picking things up. Most guys don’t understand in the Big 12 it’s physical and you have to realize what you’re doing. It’s all about the little things.

When did you realize you could excel in this league?

I think it was the Texas game, it got me going, I got that flow and I was hearing from the quarterback [Sam Richardson] ‘Hey, I’m coming to you, be ready.’

How are you liking the new offense?

It’s great. I’m flexed out, coming inside, moving around, you know just messing with the defense a little bit.

Do you like being able to show your versatility?

I love that, I love being out wide, being able to create a mismatch for the defense, especially linebackers. That’s my specialty, I love running routes and catching the ball.