Q: Brian, welcome to the Spartan Nation officially.
A: Thank you.
Q: How much did getting a chance to play with your big brother matter to you?
A: That was definitely a big factor, but at the same time Coach Dantonio and his coaching staff really kept me coming back. I tried to base my decision by taking my brother out of the picture because he’s only gonna be there for so long. Michigan State has good coaches but Coach D is really a good person, which is more important to me I think than being a better football coach. So that’s why I kept coming back.
Q: Your bother has an excellent relationship with Coach Dantonio that’s more than just football. Did it mean something to you or matter to you how your brother talked about him?
A: Yeah. Part of the reason why my brother went there was because they wanted him. Some places offered him later. But that’s one of the things that stuck out to him, that they wanted him at the beginning. It was always kinda cool to see that with them. You could tell they were really interested and not just doing it to compete with the other schools recruiting-wise. But it was definitely a big factor that I noticed at an early age.
Q: You’re not getting this offer because you’re Jack’s brother; it’s because you’re good. Did it mean the same to you that they were in on you early and you’re one of their top guys they felt they had to get?
Q: For me I wouldn’t say it was as important, but the schools that offered me the earliest…Iowa and Michigan State were the first two…they were in it right until the end. And then Ole Miss was probably my second favorite, probably with Iowa. I mean, they kinda came in later but… I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that played too much of a factor in it, but that’s what made it so hard to walk away from places like Ole Miss and Iowa. They had pretty good people down there too and up there. So it was tough to make the decision, but with Coach D and having my brother there and all that stuff, it just make it that much easier.
A: You’re very humble. Could you talk about your parents for a minute, just brag about your family?
Q: Um, I don’t know. We’ve never really been showboats, if you wanna say that. I would kinda venture off that way when I was a little kid, but I’d get smacked in the head by somebody saying, Keep your head on your shoulders. So I’m thankful for having the parents that I have. The family that I’m from, that’s kind of our attitude. I’m never gonna be the guy clapping after a play or anything like that. Just get ready for the next one.
Q: Because it’s natural to compare you to your brother because you play the same position, how are you different from Jack and how are you similar?
A: I would say our mindsets on the field are similar. We’re trying to hurt the guy across from us. There’s nothing really nice about football. You can preach, but you can’t play our position and I think that’s one thing I think we both have. I like to think I’m a little more technical than he is. So that’s what I like to think.
Q: On the field you’re tough like your brother but then off of it you’re kind and just a soft spoken gentleman. Does that come from mom and dad or just personality?
A: Everyone in our family has a different personality, I feel. Jack’s always been kind of a shy kid. I like to think…my parents tell me I’m the most obnoxious out of the three. So I get that title. But I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer that one really.
Q: Have you thought about your major? Do you know what you wanna do, Brian?
A: Yeah, I’d like to major in business somewhere, like that. Management or restaurant hospitality, something like that along those lines.
Q: A lot of guys simply see football as a means to get to the NFL. But the classroom matters to you. Would you talk about that part of who you are as a person?
A: Well, it’s obviously a goal of mine to get to the National Football League, as I’m sure it’s everybody’s who has the option of playing at the next level. But at the same time it doesn’t always happen. So I understand that. I hope and pray it’s not me, but you gotta have a backup plan. I wouldn’t necessarily say a backup plan, just something that I’m gonna be interested in even after playing football. So it’s really important to get a degree and be able to move on after my football life is over.
Q: We talked on the show the other day with Enoch Smith Jr. who said you were doing a good job of recruiting him. So are you on the phone recruiting guys, trying to get them to come with you now?
A: Yeah, I didn’t really wanna start recruiting anybody until I was committed to a school. I thought that would kinda look bad…commit and go visit other places. That’s not me and that’s not what my family really stands for. So this commitment, I’m going to Michigan State. There’s no other schools right now that…I mean other schools are still talking to me, but I’m a Spartan. There’s nothing changing there. Once I gave Coach D my commitment, me and Chase and now Enoch, we’re Michigan State rivals. Everyone who has an offer we’re reaching out to everybody trying to see now, Are you interested in the Spartans? If not, I mean that’s fine. But we’re trying to get on the guys who are. All three of us came from the Chicago land area. I don’t think we’re just gonna have three coming to East Lansing from Chicago. I have strong faith that we’ll have at least a couple more guys from our area coming up. So we’re trying to talk to them and get to know them and build relationships with future teammates.
Q: You’re a strong leader. You lead by example. Have you always been a leader in sports, even as a kid?
A: Um, not really. Not that I don’t think of myself as a leader… But I’ve never really said, I’m gonna be the guy. You guys follow me. I just go about my business. I feel like I’m doing it right, I’m doing it the right way. I just find myself in that role usually. I don’t mind being there. I feel fine taking ownership when you need to put your name on something.
Q: One of the things that impresses me about you is you’re a thinker. You’re very intelligent. How much does your brain and your thinking ability help you on the offensive line where it’s brute force strength?
A: I just think knowing your offense and knowing the defensive schemes you’re going against, it’s that much easier if you know everything. You watch film and they have trends, have certain ways they go about doing their stuff. You catch on to that stuff a lot easier watching it the second time than it is the first time. You study hard in the film room and you know what’s coming before they even do it. So it’s easy to go about that that way.