Interviews with LSU Players (01/05/08 - BCS Media Day)
Q: What was the biggest part of your ability to maintain focus as you spent several years as a back-up?
Matt Flynn: I don't know. I learned a lot, a lot about myself. I learned a lot about patience during that time. I think that experience that I had, that years spent as a back-up have really helped me this year. Being patient has been the key, not only with me but with the team as well.
Q: It was mentioned that you considered transferring from LSU. Did you talk about that with any of your teammates?
Matt Flynn: No, no. I won't talk about that situation with any teammates. I mean, anyone in that situation would think about it (transferring). It is going to creep into your head a little bit. I did think about it but I signed up at LSU to be a Tiger. I'm never going to talk about that with a teammate as I would not want to be a distraction for them or the team.
Q: Did you speak with Jimbo Fisher (former LSU offensive coordinator) about your situation?
Matt Flynn: No, because in my mind I never got to that point, I never seriously thought about transferring. I mean I wanted to be playing but I just knew that if I kept plugging along that good things were bound to happen and I am just fortunate to be in the situation that I am in now (playing in the national championship).
Q: Do you feel added any pressure following up for Jamarcus Russell who was the number one pick in the draft last year?
Matt Flynn: I made it a point to not put any pressure on myself. I made it a point to just go out there and play like I had nothing to lose. My job is to go out and try to make plays and to allow the guys around me to make plays. My main thing was not to put pressure on myself because all that would have done was make me play poorly. If I did feel pressure then I just tried not to show it.
Q: Has Coach Crowton made a lot of changes to the offense this year?
Matt Flynn: He just brought his style of offense. He has coached a lot of schools and has been around a lot of offenses. What he wanted to do was to highlight all of the different athletes we have. We have so many weapons on offense. He just wanted to install an offense that would get the ball around to everyone. I think it has really paid off this year as you have seen how many fourth quarter games that we have won and it's because of so many fresh bodies we have out there. Not one player has to carry the load more than the others.
Q: After your loss to Arkansas in the regular season finale; did you guys feel you had a chance at making the National Championship game?
Matt Flynn: I don't think anyone really thought it would happen but we knew we had a chance. That was one of the most painful losses we have had and I think we talked about that this week. It was tough to go out that next week and prepare for the SEC Championship game. This team is full of grown men, tough guys and we knew we had to put it aside and get ready for the next game.
Q: What do you think of the Ohio State defense?
Matt Flynn: I know that they are extremely good this year. They are the number one defense in the country for a reason. I watched a lot of film on them and they are a big, fast and tough defense and they can really play well together. They play their schemes well, and they take chances at smart times. All of their blitzes are very timely and done at the right time and probably the biggest challenge this team (LSU) has faced this year.
Q: Why is this team so good in the clutch, making play after play in those situations?
Matt Flynn: I think the seniors are definitely the reason why this team is where it is right now. One word to describe to this team is tough, and we have showed it all year long. We have a never give up attitude which is something that has been engrained in your mind from the time you first get here at LSU. Guys here just know how to win and we don't accept winning. We know that even if we are down ten points in the fourth quarter we still feel in the back of our mind that we are going to win the game.
Q: On the routine of waking up and handling media responsibilities instead of practicing
Early Doucet: Actually, it's kind of good. We get to have our morning free from practice and wait until the later part of the day to practice. It's a good thing to be a part of as a team. We just want to come out here and give our message for the team about how we're going to go out there and give a complete effort.
Q: On if the team is doing anything to stay lose such as video game tournaments or card games
Early Doucet: We have the WII in the players lounge, so guys get on the bowling and tennis games. Myself, I've been relaxing in the room and getting myself mentally prepared for this game because it's the biggest game of most of our careers. I just want to make sure I'm at my best and prepared mentally.
Q: On what question he is the most tired of hearing throughout the media interviews
Early Doucet: I think it's the one about Ohio State being slow. I'm not buying into that. I think they're a very talented team. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here. I think when people come up to me and try and get me to fall into the thing about Ohio State being slow and the SEC being really fast and how we're going to blow them out the game, I'm not buying into that.
Q: On what he learned about Ohio State since arriving in New Orleans that he didn't know before
Early Doucet: When we had the FCA breakfast, the linebacker (James) Laurinaitis, I didn't know he was that big. I got a chance to see him. I didn't talk to him, I just saw him on a pass by. I didn't realize how big he was.
Q: On missing the Tulane game in the Superdome earlier in the year due to injury, but having a chance to play here for the BCS Championship Game
Early Doucet: It's a great feeling to go out at home on a national stage in this type of game. I don't think you'd want it any other way. Being a home-town guy from Louisiana and playing for the home school, it's the perfect way to go out.
Q: On if he heard the argument of whether or not LSU deserves to play for the BCS Championship Game having two regular-season losses
Early Doucet: Not really. But I really feel it was our destiny to be here. For things to go the way they went, us losing to Arkansas, Pittsburg beating West Virginia and Oklahoma beating Missouri, it all fell into place the way it did and I just think it was meant to be.
Q: On if playing at 'home' can sometimes be a distraction
Early Doucet: Not really because I feel Coach Miles has everyone on the team understanding that we're here to get a job done. We're going to play hard and give the fans something to cheer about. But at the same time, we want to focus on the task at hand, which is coming out and winning this game.
Q: On LSU's quarterback situation
Early Doucet: I think Matt (Flynn) is going to be the starter, but (Ryan) Perrilloux is going to get a chance to play. It's a great situation to have. You have two great quarterbacks that can come in and play effectively and not have a dropoff.
Q: On his health for the BCS Championship Game
Early Doucet: I'm definitely healthy. I'm 110 percent for the first time in a long time.
Q: On if having the long layoff between the SEC Championship Game and the BCS National Championship Game having an affect on his recovery
Early Doucet: Yes, definitely. It's allowed me to get back, just continue to rehab and get the strength I need to play at 100 percent.
Q: On what a healthy Early Doucet brings to the LSU receiving corps
Early Doucet: I'll just say leadership. Having an older guy who's kind of been through the ups and downs and having the young guys see how to handle those situations. Me being out has actually been a blessing in disguise because it allowed the young guys to get those reps and that game-time experience that allowed them to not make as many mistakes as they were making early on in the season.
Q: On this game being a chance for him and his recruiting class to leave its mark in LSU history
Early Doucet: Coming in, a lot of people thought my reason for coming to LSU was because of the (2003) national championship. It wasn't something I was a part of, so having the opportunity to play now, you get to say you're a part of this national championship team and people will remember that forever.
Q: On if the large media contingent is the largest he's seen
Early Doucet: Not really. I was there for the SEC Media Day and it was something similar to this. It's just a great experience and I'm just glad to be a part of it.
Q: On if the media attention is a distraction from the game itself
Early Doucet: Not really. The guys that we have on this team, we know what we're here to do and that's to play in the National Championship Game. So we won't get distracted or let anything deter us from reaching our goal which is to win the national championship.
Q: On if he feels there will be a 'home' advantage playing the game in the Louisiana Superdome
Early Doucet: I think it'll be somewhat, but I don't know what the ticket distribution works. It could be half LSU and half Ohio State. But that really doesn't bother us. The main thing is to come out here and play fundamentally sound football.
Q: On what it's like to play for LSU head coach Les Miles
Early Doucet: I think he's a great person first of all. He preaches to his players just to work hard. When you have guys believing in their coach and want to play for him and want to do well for him, I think that just makes the team that much more special.
Q: On the gap between the last game and the National Championship game
Jacob Hester: You find out you're in the National Championship game and it's still not a month away. It's kind of hard to deal with, but we broke it up in a good way. Coach Miles gave us a couple weeks off, and then we went six practices, then went home for Christmas. We finished our practices after Christmas, but still it's now three days away and it feels like forever from now. Waiting so long is something I'm not used to. I think they should move it at least a couple days closer, say on the 4 th because you watch all the BCS games and you still have a couple days to play.
Q: On being invited to the Senior Bowl
Jacob Hester: Coming into this year, I couldn't have told you that I'd be invited to the Senior Bowl as a running back. Before the first game, I thought I'd start as fullback and that would be my job. After the Auburn game, I got invited to the Senior Bowl as a running back. It's a great honor and something I've always wanted to do and I'm going to take full advantage of it. I'm sure I'll play running back, fullback, I'll play nose guard if they want me to, I don't care, as long as I can have a good showing.
Q: On facing Ohio State
Jacob Hester: They don't make a lot of mistakes, if any mistakes, especially missed tackles. And for a running back who likes to make people miss and get yards, it's going to be a challenge for us. They're very sound and have a lot of speed at the linebacker position. Their defensive line is probably their strength. Every guy out there has a lot of sacks. It's going to be a challenge for our offense to run the football. They remind me a lot of the Auburn defense. They have fast defensive ends, really good linebackers that flow really well and don't miss a lot of tackles.
Q: On his LSU experience
Jacob Hester: The people at LSU, from the head coach down to the last guy on the team. It's like no other place that I was around when I was recruiting. I think LSU sells itself. It's funny because I actually committed to Texas. That's where I wanted to go, but at the last minute, I changed my mind. Coach Saban never stopped recruiting me, so I called him and I committed the next day. Any team who starts off in August, their main goal is to get to the National Championship, especially when you're highly ranked and in the conference that we're in. Everybody wanted to get back to this point. Anytime you get a chance to play for a national title 60 miles from your house, you definitely want to take the opportunity and do well. From where I started, not a lot of people knew who I was. I played fullback for a couple years and then got a chance to play running back and not a lot of people liked that either. I got my shot this year and tried to make the best of it. It's just been great. LSU has given me everything I ever wanted and I'll always remember everything they did for me. Not only Coach Saban for recruiting me, but also Coach Miles for giving me a chance to play.
Q: On his obsession with Elvis
Jacob Hester: I can remember being three years old and my dad and mom playing it in the car and I fell in love with it. I started watching his movies on his birthday on TNT. My wife actually gave me a whole room in my house with nothing but Elvis, it has everything you can imagine Elvis in it. It's funny because every time I go home, all my relatives know I love Elvis, so they always give me something new. Even if I have it, I've got to act surprised. I have a bust of Elvis' head. My wife hates it, but its up in the office.
Q: On the two loses in overtime
Jacob Hester: It's tough to lose any game, but when you go into three overtimes and you just miss out. One was on fourth and two and the other one we missed a two point conversion, that's tough. That's probably the toughest thing I've ever had to do is swallow that last loss. Thinking we were out of [the National Championship] game and not going to have a chance to get back was tough, but we're the only team who can say we didn't lose in regular time. When we lost, on the field I didn't think we had a shot at [the National Championship] at all, but my brother is sort of a sports guru. As soon as I got out of the locker room, he'd already figured out what would have to happen to make it happen. And when I saw it wasn't that many things, I figured we had a chance.
Q: On his performance this year
Jacob Hester: I was sure not happy about the last one. I got the ball three times and scored two 60 yard touchdowns. I wasn't too happy that I didn't keep getting the ball. I felt like I couldn't control the game, I didn't have a big impact. I scored two touchdowns against Tulane, but I still don't feel I've had the kind of game I wanted to have, so I definitely want to have a good game this time.
Q: On playing the National Championship game in Louisiana
Jacob Hester: There's a little bit more pressure, just because people are going to say you have the home field advantage, but that kind of goes out the window once the game starts. Ohio State travels better than anybody in the country, so they're going to have a good bit of fans there as well. It's nice having this game in the Superdome. It's a place that we're comfortable with. But you can take a crowd out of a game depending on how well you play. The locals are really excited that we're here. Even last year at the Sugar Bowl, everyone was telling us how happy they are that we're here. Us being here is really going to help the economy and other things, so it's really a good thing.
Q: On Matt Flynn
Jacob Hester: If it wasn't for [Matt Flynn] this year, his leadership alone, we wouldn't be where we are today. We've got some young guys in the huddle, when things aren't going right, sometimes we get some bickering. Matt and I always try to settle them down.
Q: On LSU's luck this year
Jacob Hester: It seems like as long as I've been at LSU, that's how we've been. We shoot ourselves in the foot and somehow win in the end. That's just how the way it's been.
Q: On if he remembers wearing corrective shoes and braces when he was three
Glenn Dorsey: I recall one time I cut up my cousin's arm because she was holding me. That's really about the only time and I know they told me I used to just sit around and watch everybody else play and stuff like that so that's all I really remember about it because I was so young.
Q: On if he remembers what they looked like
Glenn Dorsey: I remember what they looked like. They were brown boots with a chain in the middle.
Q: On if he had one day when he remembered thinking 'Why me'?
Glenn Dorsey: That was so long ago I really don't remember. I just know I wasn't able to go out and play and stuff like that. I do remember one time when I couldn't go out there and I think we were playing hide and go seek or whatever, something like that and I was just up on the porch chilling, watching everybody else play. So I guess that was tough.
Q: On where he was going to hide
Glenn Dorsey: Man, I was slim. I was slim. I didn't start getting plump until about middle school.
Q: On if the parents of other kids were concerned about his size
Glenn Dorsey: Oh, yeah. They used to weigh me in before every game. Because in my mind I was slim, I couldn't understand why they used to weigh me in. I used to have to, they used to strip down to my underwear before every game and weigh me in before every game. I always made it, though.
Q: On if it was the day of the game when he was weighed
Glenn Dorsey: Day of the game. I'm talking 20 minutes before the game was supposed to start.
Q: What was the name of the team?
Glenn Dorsey: St. Amant Wildcats (Pop Warner team)
Q: What position did you play?
Glenn Dorsey: Fullback. I played Fullback and Linebacker.
Q: On if he would want Coach Miles to put in a tackle-eligible play for him
Glenn Dorsey: Right now he can but towards the end of the season, no. I probably wouldn't have been able to get out there with all the injuries I had. But that would be fun. I might be able to make some highlight reels or something like that.
Q: On if he remembers wearing the shoes as a different person or just as a point in life
Glenn Dorsey: I just remember it as a point in my life. Everybody has a point in life where they've got to overcome things and I guess that was my biggest point to overcome something. That's why I don't let nothing get me down. I mean, you're going to have ups and downs in life but you've got to push through it and it's the way you bounce back from those little things that make you who you are. So that's the biggest thing I try to remember.
Q: On if anyone has told him since he's become a special football player that at one time all he could do was sit on the couch and look outside
Glenn Dorsey: All the time, especially my grandmother. My grandmother used to tell me that all the time because I used to spend a lot of time with her. The way my family is, we all go to my grandmother's house and play around because she had the biggest yard. So we used to go over there and play around all day. Actually, she used to tell me I would just sit in the house and ask her a million questions about everything. She said she would recall some times she used to have to look stuff up in the dictionary. And she said sometimes she wouldn't tell me the correct thing but I thought it was right, just to leave her alone. It was fun.
Q: Who is his grandmother and does he still have to check with her after games to critique his performance?
Glenn Dorsey: Pearl Nabor. Sometimes. She's kind of slowed down with it a little bit but when I was younger I used to always have to come answer to her, why I didn't do this or why I didn't do that. She's always helped motivate me. I still enjoy talking to her. Every time I get to go home I call her on the phone. She always has words of encouragement. I say, 'Grandma I'm tired,' she says, 'Baby, you've got to keep on pushing and things happen for a reason but like I said, you've just got to be able to bounce back from little things and not let nothing get you down.'
Q: On if his grandmother, Pearl, offered encouragement this season
Glenn Dorsey: Yes, without a doubt. Because like I said, she doesn't see LSU star defensive tackle. That's not her. I'm still the same old 'Putt-Putt' who used to crawl to her when I was a baby. She understands that it gets tough at times and you have a lot of pressure on you but she calls me and we sit down and watch football. We sit down side-by-side and just talk about everything she tries to help me with.
Q: On what he tells kids at the YMCA when he talks to them
Glenn Dorsey: I enjoy that because Gonzales (La.) is small and a lot of times the kids, they start watching TV and they see guys from these big-time cities and these bigtime states and they think, "I've got to be from somewhere big to have a dream." I just try to tell them to dream big no matter what because I was in their shoes a couple of years ago. I even went and talked to my high school and I told them I was in their shoes four years ago. I was sitting in those desks, wishing those teachers would get off of me, asking why is she messing with me, the same things. That's why I try to tell them to dream big and don't let nobody tell you you can't do nothing.
Q: On a game like this, you typically hear a lot of talk about quarterbacks and running backs but in this one you are hearing about both defenses
Glenn Dorsey: The stars on offense make the touchdowns, the long runs, the perfect throws, the long catches and stuff like that. But it's time to see the defensive guys get a little pub, get a little recognition. It's cool either way because you don't have to get recognition to get your job done. I'm just taking it with the territory and just enjoying it.
Q: On bowl games typically being high-scoring, does he expect that to happen in this game
Glenn Dorsey: I feel like you have to be on your toes for every game. I'm not sure if it's going to be a high-scoring game. It's going to be a tough game. They have a lot of great athletes. They are a lot faster than what people are giving them credit for. When I watch film, I see a running back who can run clean over you, who can make some juke moves, who is really faster than what people give him credit for. I don't know what everybody else is watching but I see a real good football team that we're going to have to face Monday night.
Q: Have any guys from the 2003 National Championship team talked to you about what to expect in this game?
Craig Steltz: A little bit. They've said to go out there and enjoy yourself. It's going to be hard-working practices. (They say) to go out there, have fun and enjoy yourself.
Q: What does it mean for you to play a game of this magnitude in the Superdome?
Craig Steltz: It's huge to finish off your career as a Louisiana native to play for LSU and then in your hometown of New Orleans is something you'll never forget.
Q: Does this atmosphere feel any different than some of the other games you've played at the Superdome such as against Tulane and in the Sugar Bowl?
Craig Steltz: A little bit. We're facing Ohio State, playing for the National Championship, playing in your hometown of New Orleans with a great group of guys.
Q: Can you talk about how big a role this senior class played in getting this team through a lot of ups and downs?
Craig Steltz: It was a season filled with adversity and with two triple overtime losses. If you don't have leadership on your team and a team that stays focused, a lot of times your team falls off. We played countless games without our starters, without Glenn Dorsey, without Early Doucet, Matt Flynn. Guys stepped up and made plays and that shows the character and leadership of the seniors.
Q: How banged up do you assess the team is as opposed to the last month of the season?
Craig Steltz: Anytime you get through a season and you're fighting your butt off and guys get banked up, nicked up and tired, hopefully you can play in the SEC Championship injury free, but we were a little nicked up and like I said, guys stepped up and made plays. That's what makes this team so special.
Q: Have you guys ever sat together since the Arkansas game and said you guys are lucky to be in this situation?
Craig Steltz: I think we're extremely fortunate with what happened. A week later to have a chance to play for a national title talks about the character of this team. We thought we had lost it all, but we still had a chance to play in the SEC Championship. We had a lot of focus in that game. It was a tremendous game, we were a little nicked up and the guys kept on fighting. We had an opportunity to come back after that game to play in this was pretty cool.
Q: Was it tough to think you guys might have lost it all?
Craig Steltz: At the start of the season you set goals and you want to accomplish all of them. We were in the position to accomplish all of our goals and play for a national title. To lose our last game at Tiger Stadium and the way it happened in triple overtime, it was pretty unfortunate for us, but, we stayed focused, won the SEC Championship. I've never seen anything as crazy happening with both of the teams losing and to have the opportunity to jump back in the national game.
Q: What has this week been like for you?
Craig Steltz: It's been a tremendous week. To have the opportunity to be with your family and friends and be in New Orleans to play for the national title is a great experience.
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