If you’ve been a little football starved since the regular season ended, I bring good tidings. Bowl practice at Mississippi State continues beginning tomorrow, and it’s open the rest of the week. If you’re in Starkville, stop by. If you’re not, just click over here on occasion, where we’ll have all kinds of notes, quotes and observations.
In the meantime, who better to get us through the final football-less day than senior defensive back Corey Broomfield?
He is this week’s Q&A, seen here.
Question: What was it like seeing your teammate Johnthan Banks win the Thorpe Award?
Answer: It’s great. I remember our freshman and sophomore years, we were writing down goals. I wrote down Thorpe, and he was like, ‘I think I’m gonna do that, too.’ He wrote it down and I’m glad to see one of us actually achieved it, so it was a great feeling watching that last night.
Q: You being a Florida native, how much family did you have at the Gator Bowl two years ago?
A: Probably about 20. I’ll probably have a little more this time. It’s funny, that’s actually my mom’s hometown. It’s where she’s from. It’s truly a home game.
Q: What’s it like for the group of DBs to see Banks win the award?
A: It’s great, especially for the younger guys, to see all that hard work means you can one day be called the best DB in college football. Coach Smith, he really instills that in us to always believe that you are the best and you’re capable of being the best. Him doing that was a great achievement.
Q: All the success lately, are you getting used to the bowl stuff?
A: Yes, it’s our third bowl game in a row. The same coaching staff going to a bowl game. We’ve been successful in the past, we know how to do it. Everybody trusts and believes in the process, so it’s gonna be a good experience.
Q: What do you try to teach the younger guys?
A: It’s just kinda hard for them to focus, that there’s actually gonna be a game. We’re gonna play a game and you just lock in and you get a chance to really know your opponent. By the time the ball hits the foot, everybody should be prepared. We should be calling out their plays. Everyone should be executing on a high level. The main objective is to win the game.
Q: Is it almost like camp?
A: No, it ain’t nothing like camp. Coach Mullen and the rest of the guys do a good job of making it a lot less like camp. It’s fun. It’s a rewarding experience for us, a chance for us to have fun and be rewarded for a good season.
Q: Coach said the seniors won’t do much the first few days. Does that mean you’ll be coaching the young guys?
A: If we’re not practicing, yeah, I’m gonna do my best to hopefully help the other guys out so in a year or two years we might see Jamerson Love winning the Thorpe Award. … I’ll be coaching everybody. Linebackers, safeties, D-line, I love it.
Q: So, are you graduating?
A: I graduate December the 15th. I can’t wait, can’t wait. Counting down the days.
Q: Got your cap and gown?
A: I ordered it last week. I forgot what day I gotta pick it up, but I’m sure I’ll get it.
Q: What’s the plan after that?
A: What’s the plan? I’m gonna find somewhere to train. I ain’t given up on football just yet. If not, I’ll probably be coaching on the sidelines somewhere.
Q: Are you gonna stay up here and train?
A: I really have no idea. I doubt I’ll be up here. I’m gonna get somewhere warm where I can get these fast-twitch fibers back firing.
Q: After four years, are you still hearing Melvin Smith yell from the sidelines?
A: Yeah, all the corners, we’ve all got a real tight relationship with Coach Smith. We understand completely where he’s coming from when he says something. I know a lot of you guys might not understand him, but we see eye to eye. That’s what makes Coach Smith different form other coaches. He really works hard to build a personal relationship with each and every one of us. If you can’t say that Coach Smith isn’t a father figure, then you didn’t buy into the process. If you’re a benchwarmer or a player, you can say that Coach Smith did a good job of being there for you.
Q: Name one of these young guys we’re gonna see who has a chance to be a superstar.
A: Superstar? Tiger Jiles. Cedric Jiles, no doubt. From camp, day one, we all said it. Like, wow, he can really play. If he wasn’t played behind a Thorpe Award winner, a second-team All-SEC guy and a four year starter, maybe he would’ve played this year. But when you’ve got those guys in front of you, it’s kind of hard to get on the field.
Q: These last few weeks, a lot of people have talked about the pass defense. Looking at it on film, have you been able to point out what the issues were?
A: No doubt. You just gotta lock in and keep focus each play. I think a few times we lost focus. It carried over from the LSU game, then we cleaned it up Arkansas, then we came back for the Egg Bowl and we didn’t really play to our level. Thank God we’ve got another chance to go out there on January 1st in front of the whole nation and we can show that we’re the best secondary in the nation.
Q: What do you think of the Big 10/SEC matchups?
A: I mean, you can just look at the past. I’m not gonna talk about scores from past games, but you can just look at the trend and whatever you come to the conclusion as, that’s what you can make.
Q: Have you watched Northwestern at all or know much about them?
A: They’re always playing in the morning, so I’ll catch a few plays. I saw their running back a few times breakin’ loose. He don’t look like he’s a Big 10 player, so we’ve gotta get ready for him. Other than that, I really haven’t had a chance to watch them.
Q: Denard Robinson didn’t look like a Big 10 player, either.
A: No, he didn’t. That’s what they say. If you’re fast in the Big 10, it’ll stand out. If you’re in the SEC, you’re just another player. I guess that’s the difference.