Georgia Tech inside linebacker Brad Jefferson has one game remaining in his collegiate career: the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. where the Yellow Jackets will face Air Force, which also runs the option.
For those of you have never had a chance to talk to Jefferson, also known as “Gladiator,” he’s got a wide smile and a big, booming laugh. He’s a pretty funny guy with a mean streak on the field.
Jefferson sat down with a few of us media folks for a question and answer session on Monday (some questions and answers paraphrased):
Q: Have you ever been to Shreveport?
A: No this is the first time, that’s why I’m really excited to go. We’ll get to see new places. I’m enthused about seeing new faces.
Q: What do you know about Air Force?
A: It’s like playing against Georgia Tech. It’s going to be a battle.
Q: Will it be a repeat of the spring and preseason, playing that offense every day in practice?
A: It’s going to help both of us out because both of us played against the same team. It’ll be better practices.
Q: If you get a chance to tackle Roddy Jones’ younger brother, Darius, are you going to take it easy on him?
A: I’m going to do to him just like I hit Roddy in spring. [everyone starts laughing]
I’m just kidding, Roddy. Let him know I’m just kidding.
Q: After playing in the Orange Bowl last season, is playing in this bowl somewhat of a disappointment?
A: We’re excited about any bowl. Any game is big for us.
Q: It seems like the focus is going to be on the offenses.
A: It’s definitely on us. It’s a battle of offense. We’re going to see which defense can stop them.
Q: What does this mean to you, this being your last bowl?
A: This will be the first bowl game we can win in a long time. That’s big for me.
Just knowing that this is it, this has got to be a big game for us.
Q: Have you gotten over the loss to Georgia yet?
A: That’s going to stick with me for life. That was my last game against Georgia. It’s stuck to me, I’m not going to lie.
Q: Of the younger players that got some snaps this year, which ones do you think will contribute next year?
A: Isaiah Johnson…he really stands out. He’s playing young. He’s going to be just like Julian Burnett. When he first came in you could tell he was young but Julian improved. Jeremiah Attaochu is going to be a beast.
Q: How has he improved?
A: Just him working on his pass rush. During practice, he’ll stay after practice working on his pass rush. His hands and speed. He’s got good hands and footwork. He’s put that together.
Q: Who is going to be the next you?
A: Whoever steps up can be me. When I come back just let me know which one it was.
Q: How do you think Jemea Thomas will do next year after redshirting this year?
A: He’s definitely going to contribute. He’s a great athlete.
Q: With one game remaining in your career, what’s been your favorite memory?
A: Getting my first sack [N.C. State]. That was a big memory for me. I had to wait four years for it. But it came around. That was a big thing for me. I needed that.
Q: If Attaochu gets one more sack he’s going to tie you for the team lead.
A: I don’t mind. When they first came in I take them under my wing. I can say “I’m the one that taught them that.”
Q: After the bowl game what’s next for you? I assume the NFL is in your plans, but if that doesn’t work out are you thinking about coaching?
A: I’ve got to come back and finish my degree. I have four more classes left. After that, I just have to see.
– Doug Roberson, AJC