Getting to talk to Ohio State and Clemson players face-to-face? Sign me up! That was the opportunity I was offered just a few days before Christmas and of course I immediately jumped on it. For those that don’t follow me on Google+, I got to participate in the two-day Orange Bowl Digital Media Press Conference this past Monday and Tuesday via a Google+ Hangout with other fans. I talked directly with players on both sides and got to ask them questions about the upcoming game. It was certainly exciting and interesting to be so up close to the players. Over the two days, Clemson players Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Brandon Thomas and Vic Beasley were among the players that participated in the Hangout portion of the press conferences. For Ohio State, Carlos Hyde, Michael Bennett, CJ Barnett, Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort and Corey “Philly” Brown participated.
On Monday I talked to Thomas, Watkins and Bennett. I asked offensive lineman Brandon Thomas how Ohio State’s defense stacks up on tape compared to other top defenses they’ve faced this season, such as South Carolina and Florida State. The audio doesn’t come in well here, but this is his answer:
Fortunately the audio comes in quite well when I talk to wide receiver Sammy Watkins. I asked him to compare Ohio State’s secondary to the secondaries he faces in the ACC. He said the styles and aggressiveness of each are certainly different:
The final player I talked to on day one was defensive lineman Michael Bennett. I asked Bennett how it feels for him to reach the Orange Bowl after all that has happened around the football program the last few seasons. Bennett said it feels great after going through a few different coaches and to finally have stability and a plan around the program.
I can imagine that Bennett would be a great interview. Seems very thoughtful and meticulous when he answers questions. Glad I got to ask him a question.
On day two I only attended the first part of the press conference and I talked to only Ohio State players. The first one I talked with was offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. I asked him what his biggest learning moment was this season, not only as a player, but as a person. Mewhort said it was definitely the Michigan State game.
I liked Mewhort’s answer and he was definitely my favorite to talk to out off all the players I spoke with. Later in the hangout you’ll see him joking around with his teammates. He seems like a fun guy to be around and would love to have a full interview with him.
Later in the hangout I spoke with wide receiver Philly Brown and I asked him what the mood has been like around the team since the B1G Championship Game. Brown says it has been pretty good and he feels the team really learned from the experience.
One last moment we were able to catch was the team getting a picture together after the press conference. You could definitely see they’re a tight nit unit and you get to see everyone’s favorite strength coach Mickey Marotti. I love his personality! Props to Matthew Laferty for getting this great screenshot below.
I certainly had a great time participating in this unique opportunity and I’m glad to have shared it with you.