Spartan 2014 LB Byron Bullough Preparing for Senior Season With his Eyes on East Lansing
Hondo S. Carpenter
Spartan 2014 LB Byron Bullough Preparing for Senior Season With his Eyes on East Lansing
Q: Byron, how are ya?
A: Iâ€™m great. How are you, Hondo?
Q: Is there a position you havenâ€™t played?
A: Yeah. Well I havenâ€™t played quarterback or offensive line or D line. I donâ€™t knowâ€¦
Q: I think athleticism is the name of the game with you, eh?
A: Yup, definitely.
Q: Are you enjoying a Traverse City summer? Have you been jumping off the rails at all?
A: Yup, I have actuallyâ€¦a little bit. Just working out, enjoying summer, getting ready for the upcoming season.
Q: With your familyâ€¦it starts way back. Boy, youâ€™ve got some great grandparents.
A: Oh yes we do, definitely. Itâ€™s an honor to be a part of my family. Itâ€™s something special to be named a Bullough and I just hope to carry on the tradition of our name.
Q: Letâ€™s talk about your momâ€™s side. Thereâ€™s some football players over on that side of the tree too, brother.
A: Oh definitely. My grandpa played at Notre Dame, played in the CFL. One of my uncles played at Notre Dame. They won a national championship while they were there. And of course my Uncle Bobby played at Michigan State and had a few years in the NFL as well. So yeah, that side doesnâ€™t get looked at quite as much as my dadâ€™s side, but itâ€™s spectacular as well.
Q: Your dad deserves credit. Heâ€™s done a great job with you three boys. But I donâ€™t think your mom gets enough credit either. Sheâ€™s an amazing woman.
A: Sheâ€™s great. She always talks aboutâ€¦ She always wants to get talked about in interviews and stuff because she always sees my dad get talked about and stuff because obviously he was a player. But oh yeah, my momâ€¦sheâ€™s great. Sheâ€™s tremendous.
Q: Are you able to step back and look at the heritage, not football but family, and really appreciate where youâ€™ve come from?
A: I definitely do, all the time. Itâ€™s something special and itâ€™s just an honor to be a part of my family. Not only the football aspect, but weâ€™re a great family and it feels great to be a part of it.
Q: Your grandpa was joking with me about how he always has the grandkids bring their reports cards to him and how you were upset one time because you werenâ€™t in school yet.
A: Oh really? Yup.
Q: And little Byron goes, Pa. I donâ€™t have a report card to bring you. Youâ€™re in Paâ€™s heart, you know that?
A: I do. I love my grandpa.
Q: How much do you weigh right now?
A: I am 220 and I plan to maintain that weight throughout the season. Iâ€™m not trying to gain any weight, just stay where I am throughout my senior year at 220.
Q: When the seasonâ€™s over do you plan on bulking up before you come to Michigan State?
A: Definitely. Once the seasonâ€™s done there I feel like my body will be ready, ready to go, ready to take on some more pounds. Iâ€™ll be able to maintain the speed. Iâ€™m not sure what my goal of my weight is going into Michigan State yet, but Iâ€™m definitely gonna try and bulk up after the season.
Q: Do you prefer outside linebacker, inside linebackerâ€¦do you have a preference? Or do you just wanna play?
A: No, I really donâ€™t have a preference. I just wanna get on the field as early as I can and make a difference for the defensive team. I really donâ€™t have a preference inside or outside.
Q: How about this 2014 recruiting class youâ€™re a part of? This is the best first 12 starts Mark Dantonioâ€™s had since he got here.
A: Oh, itâ€™s awesome. Iâ€™m thrilled to be a part of it. Weâ€™re close, we talk all the time. Itâ€™s exciting. Itâ€™s fun. Iâ€™m really excited to play with these guys.
Q: Youâ€™re really reaching out to the other recruits. Because you were the first commit do you maybe see that as your role as a leader or is that just natural?
A: I could take the position as that could be a leader role, but I just try to pride myself as a leader even if I wasnâ€™t the first commit. Iâ€™m just trying to lead the guys to coming to Michigan State so we can have an even better recruiting class coming in.
Q: How would you describe your commitment to the weight room? I talked to someone thatâ€™s connected to your school and they called you a freak in the weight room. Is that true?
A: Well, I donâ€™t know if I would call myself a freak, but I try to get in there as much as I can, put in the work and just get out of it as much as I can.
Q: Are we gonna hear you singing with Riley any time soon?
A: Nope. I donâ€™t have that skill that he does. Me and Max kinda lack those skills, but Rileyâ€™s talented in a lot of ways.
Q: What are you concentrating this summer on getting better at for your Traverse City team net year?
A: You know, I just wanna be more of a playmaker. I just wanna be more aggressive, whether itâ€™s blocking or tacklingâ€¦ Really just being the leader of the team is really what I wanna do. Lead on and off the field, doing everything right that I can and just try to make plays for the team, really. I donâ€™t really have one specific area that Iâ€™m focusing on. Thereâ€™s so much room for improvement that thereâ€™s so much to focus on. I wouldnâ€™t wanna focus on one thing.
Q: Byron, has it seemed like forever since you committed and youâ€™re still a year away?
A: No, I try not to think about it as much because I still have one more year left of high school football. But itâ€™s definitely too hard to not look forward to it. It does feel like forever, but the time will come soon enough. Right now Iâ€™m just focusing on what I can in high school.
Q: What do you think you do best?
A: I think I have great athleticism and ball skills to go up and get the ball against anyone. Also, I feel like this year Iâ€™ll be bigger than most of my competition on the field. Iâ€™ll be able to show my strength and really, really get into people. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m looking forward to doing this season.
Q: Someone asked me how I would describe you and I said you are part Max and part Riley, but youâ€™re all Byron. Youâ€™re kind of a mix of both of their skills, thus making you your own person. Would you agree with that?
A: I would, I guess. Yup, I could agree with that.
Q: What are your expectations or goals this season for your Traverse City team?
A: Playing at St. Francis, storied tradition, winning state championships is always the goal, number one. Last year we had a tough season, one of the toughest in years. It was embarrassing, it really was. This year our senior class is gonna be strong. Weâ€™re determined. Weâ€™ve got goals. Weâ€™re just gonna take it day by day, game by game. But ultimately the goal is to win a state championship and go undefeated every year.
Q: Are you out there working the phones trying to get those last 6, 7, 8 guys to join you at Michigan State?
A: You know, I am. I just try to talk to as many guys as I can, building relationships with them. In our group chat on FaceBook with all the commits and a few other guys, thatâ€™s a great way to get in contact with guys. Iâ€™m just looking forward to seeing whoâ€™s gonna join our class. Whoever joins is gonna make a great decision and become a Spartan.
Q: Grades are very important to you. Youâ€™re committed to school, arenâ€™t you?
A: I am. I try to do as best as I can. My grades were not as well as they should be this year, I think I had a 3.6 overall. But heading into my senior year I just looked atâ€¦ 4.0 is the goal. I feel like I should get that.
Q: The best athlete in the Bullough family is that little sister of yours. Put some pads on her and put her out there as a cornerback, huh?
A: Oh, sheâ€™s definitely special. Itâ€™s incredible to watch her run. Itâ€™s really something. She doesnâ€™t really talk about herself at all too and she doesnâ€™t make a big deal out of it. But sheâ€™s really special.
Q: Tell everybody what she did. She did something amazing.
A: The track team won the state championship, first ever, girls state championship. Iâ€™m not even sure how many state championships she won, but I think it was two. She just broke a ton of school records. I donâ€™t know the numbers. But it was crazy. And only as a freshman.
Q: We better see her running at Michigan State, eh?
A: Weâ€™ll see. Thatâ€™s up to her.
Q: Are you able to enjoy summers or are you pounding the weight room and the film, getting ready for the year?
A: Mm-hmm. Definitely. I am able to enjoy summer. Living up here in Traverse City, itâ€™s beautiful. We live on Grand Traverse Bay. Getting out on the boat is really a common thing, so itâ€™s really fun. But really, thatâ€™s secondary to the workouts that go on heading into the season. But Iâ€™m definitely able to enjoy summer.
Q: Do you take time off on being careful on what you eat for the Cherry Festival?
A: Nope, I donâ€™t worry about that.
Q: Do you enjoy the Festival or are you like most natives and just stay away?
A: No, Iâ€™ll go enjoy it for sure. I see how some people here are irritated by all the people because itâ€™s not the biggest area and a bunch of people coming and crowd in, so itâ€™s hard to get around. But Iâ€™ll definitely go down there and enjoy it. Itâ€™s fun. Itâ€™s a great week.
Q: Have you golfed The Bear yet at the Resort?
A: No, I am not a golfer. Iâ€™m the worst golfer in the family probably. So no, I havenâ€™t.
Q: You know thatâ€™s gonna kill Max when I just made fun of him.
A: Yup, I know.
Q: What does being a Spartan mean to Byron Bullough?
A: Being a Spartan is just incredibly special to me. Itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve wanted to become since I was a little kid. Playing in the Big 10 has been something that Iâ€™ve always hoped for. Just to know I have the opportunity to represent Michigan State and represent the Big 10 in what I do is really awesome. Being a Spartan is just something Iâ€™ve always wanted to do. Thatâ€™s all Iâ€™ve got to say really. I canâ€™t wait to represent and be a Spartan.
Q: Byron, proud to have you in the Spartan Nation. Thanks for your time, as always.
A: Thanks Hondo, I really appreciate it.