Q: Practically since you’ve been born this has been your goal. Has it hit you and when did it hit you? And talk about dealing with this and having reached such a big goal.
A: I’d say no, it hasn’t hit me yet. It was such a big game…it seemed like a couple hours ago. So I really don’t think it will hit me until probably sometime this week when things really start to settle down…the adrenaline, the game and everything. Being able to capture this Big 10 Championship was such a big, huge moment for us Seniors. Me, Dan France and Bullough were talking about after the game who could have thought coming in as freshmen that we’d be playing Ohio State for the Big 10 Championship game, going to the Rose Bowl. So it’s been a very great journey for us and we’ll continue to go on to the Rose Bowl.
Q: You had mentioned last night that at last year’s Banquet Coach D said you guys would be the ones to be at the Rose Bowl. Was there a moment last night when it hit you that he really said that and it’s all kinda coming true at the same time?
A: Yeah, you know, he said it throughout the year…Coach D said, You’ll be the ones…at the Banquet and stuff. He didn’t say it at the Banquet, he told us all throughout the summer and during the year. You’ll be the ones, you have to believe it. I think as a season we have such big goals, you have to believe what your head coach says. We all believe Coach D, we’re always behind him. When he stood there in that Banquet I really believed every word of it that it will happen. Us Seniors made commitments to the younger guys to make those dreams come true, which it happened this year.
Q: When Dan went down in the game, was there anything that you guys on the O line said? It seemed like that was right about the point when the offense kinda kicked back into gear.
A: Yeah, you know, Dan France is a huge part of our offensive line. His personality…some people think he’s crazy when he talks and stuff. When he went down we grouped around him and he told us, I’m fine, don’t worry about me, push through. So when he went down we really wanted to make sure that all that hard work he put in all year and stuff was not gonna go down losing. So when he went down we kinda gathered ourselves up, we said we can push forward, we got this and we can move the ball.
Q: I know the past 6 weeks has been tough for your Dad. I was standing near him in the final minutes last night and he just couldn’t stop smiling. What was the exchange like between you and him after the game?
A: It was great. After the game…I gave him a handshake after the game and tried to reach to my Mom and stuff. My brother was there too actually. So, my whole family was there. It was a very special moment for me and my Dad and my brother. My whole family as well, because when you have something that happens to you early in the season…seeing my Dad talked about and stuff…that did not bother him. He came to every game that he could this year. It was a very special moment for me and my Dad. I was just glad he was there to watch me play. It’s a father-son thing, so it’s special.
Q: I don’t know how much you’ve been able to watch Stanford this year, but they have the reputation for being a physical pro-style team…physical on defense, likely to run the ball. Talk about that matchup.
A: Well, I didn’t really watch much of Stanford but Coach Roushar, one of the old coaches here at Michigan State, he always wanted us to watch Stanford’s offensive line , how they play tough. I think one of the greats they’ve had, DeCastro, he plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and stuff. So I remember one of my earlier games with Coach Roushar back then, he wanted us to watch the Stanford offensive line because that’s how he wanted us to play eventually…nasty football. One thing we know about Stanford…tough, physical team. I’ve barely watched any film or anything yet. On Wednesday I gotta turn in a 12 page paper and be done with school. So once that’s over with I’ll focus on Stanford.