Nov. 20, 2008
Q. Mo, I think last year when you went to the last home game, you weren't sure you were coming back. You know what it was like going through it once. What was it like that time and do you think it will be the same this time?
But I think this time it will be a little different because I know that this is it for me. I'm closing the book on Maurice Crum (at Notre Dame). So I think it will be a little more emotional this time around.
Q. Coach (Weis) was saying as coach he doesn't know how people are going to react, different people react in different ways, the underclassmen have to help them get through it. Can you talk about how you will feel on Saturday?
I think to each his own for every guy how they handle the situation. But one thing that is sure, everyone is emotional.
David Bruton: Yeah, like Mo was just saying, we both were in those shoes where we were the underclassmen playing for the seniors their last game, trying to send them out right. It's kind of a respect thing. And we have respect amongst teammates. Everybody respects each other. There's no doubt in my mind that everybody will play their hardest to send us out the right way.
When it comes to how I'm going to feel after the game, it's just going to hit me. It's going to be my last time playing in that stadium, for sure. It's something that I didn't think would come so quickly, especially these past few years have flown by, and now it's to my last home game.
My mom is telling me she's going to cry. My dad is saying he's going to cry. We'll just see how I'll react after the game, whether I'm smiling or tears are in my eye.
Q. Mo, coach was also saying you don't know about Syracuse with the coaching situation. You were part of the team that played with a lame duck coaching staff. How hard is it to play in a situation like that?
I think it's really up to the leaders of the team to what direction the team goes in. If the leaders are up front saying it doesn't matter what the situation is, we still have games to play, then that's the team that's gonna come out fighting and swinging regardless of the situation.
Q. Do you look at where you might go regarding Bowl prospects? How important is it to win another game so you not only guarantee a winning season, but maybe get to a little better level of Bowl game?
David Bruton: Yeah, I'm not really worried about it. We know we still got games to play and games to win. That will bode well for us in achieving a better Bowl.
Q. David, you were in a class without any four star or five star guys according to the services. The class itself was ranked low. You have a lot of starters, contributors in your class. I asked coach on Tuesday who was the biggest surprise. He said you were. I wondered if that statement surprised you? Did you surprise yourself in the player you turned out to be? How do you look at that?
Q. He talked to you about being a skinny track guy. Talk about the physical transformation out of being a skinny track guy. Also I think your family, your little boy, is a big inspiration for you.
But the physical thing, I came in like 175. By the end of the summer, I was like 218, 219. Now I'm like 210. So I've put on 40 plus pounds since I've been here. I look back at pictures, my senior year in high school and right now, and I'm like, `How the heck did I end up playing football? I should have definitely stuck with track.' There was no way I thought I would be able to play football and gain weight.
But things happen. It's funny to look back on that.
Q. How would you like your class to be remembered at Notre Dame?
Q. Is your son going to be at the game?
Q. David, looking back at the way your class was assembled, it could have fallen apart, guys going their different ways. What do you remember getting to know those guys in the class?
I've known (Pat) Kuntz throughout the whole recruiting process. I would see him everywhere I could possibly imagine going. He was always there.
The guys that I got to know, guys that I got to be around during the recruiting process, I just understood what type of guys they were. They understood what type of guy I was, what type of university this is. That's why we chose here.
Q. Do you think at all the adversity you guys went through before you even showed up on campus naturally brought you guys closer together?
Q. What are you going to remember most? What is going to be the enduring memory of Notre Dame when you think back to your time here 15, 20 years down the road?
David Bruton: I believe I have three: the first time I got to play versus Pitt my freshman year, my first chance starting, and like Mo just said, being voted as a captain.
Q. Coming out of last week a lot of guys were talking about a win is a win, doesn't matter by 3 or 30, whatever. At some point, to get this program to where it needs to go, do you need to look at it as a win is not a win, but we need to go out there and impress people, win by 20 points or more?
Guys may be looking three games down the road trying to worry about Notre Dame. So once that game comes, naturally we always get everyone's best shot.
Q. Do you see that as a place this program can go: instead of holding on, you go out there to get up on a team and put them away?
But at the end of the day, a win is a win, whether it's by 1 or whether it's by 30. But when it comes to like Bowls or, you know, being noticed, of course you want the style points, so...
Q. How did you learn you'd been named captains? Did coach announce it in front of the team?
Q. Mo, were you expecting to be named captain? Did you think you had a good chance?
Q. How do you expect Syracuse to react this weekend with their coach being fired? I believe you had a similar situation two years ago with North Carolina.
Q. I'm asking you, what do you expect from a team? I guess they have nothing to lose, including their coach.
I think for them nothing else will make their season versus beating Notre Dame. I think that would almost validate their whole season, everything that's going on.
So, again, those guys, I think they'll be ready to go and extremely dangerous.
David Bruton: Just concurring with what Mo said, we just got to be ready. They can be dangerous if we let them hang around. They've got talent throughout their team. You know, they're all on scholarships, too. On any given day, anybody can get beat. We just have to be prepared, be ready, give them our best shot, as they will us.
Q. Of course, you have to prepare for their best shot, but do you also think it's possible you're going to get their worst shot under the circumstances?
Again, anything can happen, and any situation can present itself. We just got to be able to see and adjust and, between David and myself, make sure we get everyone aligned and rely on our fundamentals.
Q. Mo, can you talk about Brinkley.
I think he's an every down back. I've seen him block and I've seen him catch. I think he's a pretty good back.
Q. You've played some pretty good backs this year. How would he rank in there?
Q. David, I'm doing a feature on Mike Anello. Every time we say that to every player, there's a smile. Why?
Q. When you first saw him, were you like, How could this possibly be?
Q. Who is the better gunner?
Q. What do you think, Mo?
David Bruton: No, no, not faster. Smaller, but not faster (laughter).
Q. Were you fired up following Anello's blocked punt last week?
Q. Mo, you were kind of chuckling when David was talking about his transformation. How have you seen him grow?
But now looking at him come up, make some really big tackles, stick his nose in there, he's made a complete transformation. He's one of the guys that I've watched grow up and I'm extremely proud of.
Q. When did you first think he would be able to develop into the player he has?
Q. David, how has Mo helped you?
He's also been one who's pushed me to study film and keep my nose in the playbook, be mentally sharp. Just in case he can't make a call, that I'm able to make a call. If it's not him, it's me. If it's not me, it's him. He's kind of helped me develop that mentality that I've got his back and he's got mine.
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