Bedford on 2010: ‘People started to look for excuses’

Here’s the second part of an interview with former Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford, who returned last week from a six-month stay in Europe, mostly spent playing football in a league in Spain (link from an excellent story by colleague Doug Roberson).

Here’s the link to Monday’s blog, in which he spoke highly of his successor Jay Finch. Some other notes from Bedford:

1. He said he felt optimistic going into the 2010 season because of the talent level and the hard work that had been put in over the summer. However, he said, “I think there may have been some sense of entitlement that came with what we accomplished [in 2009]. A lot of guys felt that maybe because they played a certain role the year before, that was something they were entitled to retain. I don’t know that the team attitude was there quite as much as it should have been.”

As a result, the team didn’t handle itself well in the face of trial.

“Two years ago, when the breaks went against us, we didn’t look for excuses,” he said. “We knew we were going to win the game. It was how we were going to do it and correct the problems from there. Last year, I got the impression more that, when something went wrong, people started to look for excuses and looked for ways to wash their hands of the situation.”

2. While in Spain, his weight dropped from a high of 285 pounds at Tech to 215. He said the Spanish custom of eating a large meal at lunch and less at breakfast and dinner helped him melt off pounds.

“I definitely feel different,” he said. “It was nice being able to run around again. I felt a little bit like I did in high school.”

After his European tour, particularly the legs in Italy and Germany, he put on 10 pounds and he’s now around 225. His lighter weight enabled him to play defensive end and linebacker as well as offensive line for his team, Los Osos Rivas. Bedford came to Tech as a walk-on defensive lineman.

“The caliber of lineman in Spain isn’t quite what it was here,” Bedford said. “I had a lot of fun chasing quarterbacks.”

When he wasn’t practicing – practices were held 9 to 11 p.m. to accommodate teammates who worked full-time – Bedford was an English tutor, studied Spanish and did a lot of reading. He put away Moby Dick among other classics. While being free of Tech’s academic rigors, he was hoping to not let his brain atrophy before law school.

“Between being immersed in history everywhere in Europe and taking the time to catch up on my reading, I hope I managed to avoid doing that,” he said.

3. A visit to Tech last week led to some reminiscing and the realization that his career is over. He said he won’t miss being 60 pounds over his natural weight, but there’ll be plenty he’s sad to leave behind.

“I talked to some of the old coaches and other guys in the locker room,” he said. “It hit me that I’m not going to get getting ready to play this season, I’m not going to be standing in the huddle looking at all the faces around me. It did occur to me I’m going to miss and experience what I’ll experience sitting in the stands.”

His visit (he spoke with offensive line coach Mike Sewak and quarterbacks/B-backs coach Brian Bohannon, among others) left him encouraged about the season ahead.

“I think they’re going to learn from the mistakes we made last year,” Bedford said. “I think there’s a lot of reason for optimism with this team.”

4. Among former teammates he keeps in touch with regularly are guard Will Jackson and former tackle Nick Claytor, who left Tech after his junior season but went undrafted in April. With the lockout preventing teams from signing undrafted players, Claytor has been taking classes at Tech.

“He seems to be doing O.K.,” Bedford said. “I think he’s going to come out of this O.K.”

5. Bedford will enroll in the fall in law school at the University of Florida with the idea of studying patent and intellectual property law. He studied aerospace engineering on top of football at Tech, but doesn’t expect it to be any less difficult.

“If Georgia Tech helped in one thing, it’s not to fall in the trap of thinking something is going to be easier than it’s going to be,” he said. “I’m trying to take the cautious approach.”

That said, he plans to make it back to Atlanta to attend Jackets games and tailgate with his father Dean as much as his schedule allows.

Said Bedford, “I love Georgia Tech as much as any person I know.”

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26 comments Add your comment

PerimeterCenterJacket

July 12th, 2011
11:59 am

What a blessed life he’s living! This guy has all the tools to run for office one day, in my opinion. Good for him.

Go Jackets!

Bill Donaldson

July 12th, 2011
12:03 pm

Sean is a classy guy. Ham on, Sean!

Golden White

July 12th, 2011
12:32 pm

Pay attention recruits . This an excellent example of a student-athlete . He get’s the golden ring . Football paid for his education . The NFL is not in his future but the good life is .
Hard work and studying for a better life . These are nice credentials to have .
Thank you Mr. Bedford for coming to Georgia Tech . Best wishes at UF .

Jacketdad

July 12th, 2011
1:08 pm

What a class act! Sean Bedford is a perfect example of what a student athlete should be. It would be great if all college student athletes could follow his example.

JM

July 12th, 2011
1:09 pm

It’ll be great to have you in the stands. Thanks for all the effort.

Taco

July 12th, 2011
1:39 pm

Claytor left early? What an idiot. Don’t drink the Kool Aid. Stay in school, for free.

Student Athlete

July 12th, 2011
1:58 pm

Sean,
Best of luck in law school, you may be in Gatorville, but your heart will always be on the “Flats.”

collegeballfan

July 12th, 2011
2:05 pm

Claytor could barely stay a starter but left for the NFL. Why? Makes no sense.

O’Leary had a DL leave for the NFL. Assistant coach walks into O/Leary’s office and says: ” Blank is leaaving for the draft.”
O’Leary says: “What draft? We have an all volunteer Army.”

StingerSplash

July 12th, 2011
2:08 pm

Sean Bedford is exactly what Homer Rice had in mind when he instituted the total person concept.
Guys like Bedford, no matter what school they go to, need to be celebrated. Not the washouts and wastes of potential that some others wind up becoming.

Georgia Tee

July 12th, 2011
2:11 pm

Sean would have been a class act even if he had played for the dawgs. It sure is refreashing to know there are still quality student-athletes out there. Keep up the good work and you will succeed.

GT Anchorage

July 12th, 2011
2:17 pm

I had the pleasure of studying with this guy (among others) my Senior year in the Aerospace program. He is one of the brightest people I have ever met. I could barely keep up with the AE classes without playing a sport. He is going to succeed at anything he tries. Patent lawyer is a great way to go for an AE major. There is a lot of money to be had in that field, especially with the Aerospace job market as bad as it is right now.

Eagle Eyrie

July 12th, 2011
2:49 pm

Sean Bedford, you make us all proud.

Jacket Backer

July 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

Great kid…. Just another of many reasons why I’m always proud to be a Yellow Jacket!

Ramblin'Reck

July 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

Thanks for the great interview.
Very proud to call Bedford a fellow alumni.
AE work on that is all ACC, class act.

Coach

July 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

Amen to all of the above. Thanks, Sean.

GT Girl

July 12th, 2011
4:58 pm

Thanks so much Sean! It was great watching you play. You’ll be a great lawyer too.
Go Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

July 12th, 2011
6:03 pm

I wish more kids were like him. I hope I raise my son to be like Mr. Bedford.

Cuttysark

July 12th, 2011
9:57 pm

The epitome of a Student/Athlete. Best of success on your future in the law Mr. Bedford.

Buzzzed

July 12th, 2011
10:39 pm

Claytor is having to pay for school and he can’t play ball. Damn, basically kicked himself off the team. Bad move.

Sean, work as an engineer for about 5 years (10 would be better) before you become a lawyer in the that field.

gt4ever

July 12th, 2011
10:45 pm

Hell of a guy… It’s kinda sad, with all the bad trash talking I do about CPJ’s recruiting…. This kid is the “real” reason for college football… It’s not going to win you any MNC’s but he is a real asset to society… I think I will stand back and reflect on how important winning college football games are in the whold scheme of life… Not very important! I just wish we could beat UGA, once in a while… :)

gt4ever

July 12th, 2011
10:46 pm

Why would anybody want to be a Lawyer…. Jeez, one step below a used car salesman!

really

July 12th, 2011
10:56 pm

really? u guys are making fun of a student-athlete who wants to become a lawyer? And how old are we gentlemen?

Stinger 2

July 13th, 2011
3:39 am

Good interview and good luck to you Sean wherever go go in life.
I do hope that the 2011 team will learn from the mistake of the 2010 team that making excuses is not the answer to correct problems. Just play smarter and play as a team not as individuals.

Jimmy

July 13th, 2011
7:49 pm

First a nerd, now a Gator?? Two reasons not to like this guy!

nerdtalk

July 13th, 2011
9:29 pm

gt4ever – you’re right he is a class act guy. Not trying to be snide and correct you, but Bedford was brought in by Gailey, and played two seasons under him. Give some credit to Paul though as he moved him to center.

Wes Durham's Gigantic Bottom

July 14th, 2011
1:52 am

He lost 70 pounds from his playing weight at Tech…..steroids anyone? Also, my dumper is bigger than his.