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.