The Western Michigan University football team looks to snap a three-game losing streak as it travels…
Interview: Ameer Ismail
Initially I was told I might play so I came in and did my best. Redshirting is fine. I just wanted to be prepared to play in case I did not redshirt. In college I am just taking it one day at a time.
How has the transition to college football been for you?
It was tough at first, being away from home and attending classes. It is going well now and I'm just getting ready for next year.
Do you have a major in mind yet?
I'm taking pre-business classes right now. I'd like to get into business in some capacity but I am not decided on a field yet.
What has been your impression of the MAC?
The MAC is very tough and it is everything I thought it would be. Everyone is so up tempo around here. It is very emotional during games. It has been tough, our record doesn't show our talent. We need to close out the season with some wins and get to the .500 mark. I think our focus is better than earlier, we're bouncing back. I think we will do better and carry it on to next year.
Some say without your injuries in high school you'd have gone to Michigan. Can you address that?
I believe things happen for a reason. My place here will be a meaningful one. I'm happy here. Without the injury who knows where I would be?
Remind us what the specific injuries were
My senior year I broke my left fibula in the 5th game and in my junior year I tore my ACL in my right knee in the 5th game. I couldn't seem to get past the 5th game (laughing).
Are you 100% now?
Yes, I'm fully recovered and fell good out there.
What are you currently at for height and weight?
6-2 and 223 pounds right now, I've dropped a little weight this fall.
Who are some current Broncos you've really been impressed with this year?
Jason Babin is one, I'm glad he is on my side. Philip Reed is another one, he has a ton of heart and I look up to him a lot. Also Mobolaji Afariogun, he gives 110% on every play. Those are a few but there are also many others.
What do you consider you best attribute on the field right now?
I'd say running up the middle, my physical toughness.
What needs the most work?
My quickness. I want to improve my footwork and my first step and my side to side elusiveness.
What was it about Western that convinced you this was the place for you?
The proximity was part of it. Coach Darnell is a great guy and runs a good program. I thought I fit in well. I was recruited by coach Knowles and he was great to deal with. I came here for my visit during the Western-Central men's basketball game and had a great time. Josh Behrens was my host.
Who else did you seriously consider?
Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Northwestern and Notre Dame
Any childhood favorites growing up?
In college football I liked Michigan, Florida State and UCLA. In pro sports I liked the Raiders and Kings.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Hang out with friends, go to movies and eat as much of grandma's cooking (laughing). I also study and ride my bike a lot. I'm always doing something. I also enjoy working with kids. I referee some rocket football games in Holland. They are 5th and 6th graders. I umpire baseball games in the summer and I'm also a mentor for disabled kids. I take them to lunch and show them a good time. I like to do a lot of volunteer work.
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