Senior defensive end, Chidera Uzo-Diribe and I took a short jaunt in the rain (ed. note: the rain was actually just a drizzle and it stopped before we were done, and we stood still for the interview. Very still...) and had a nice little conversation about the Colorado Buffaloes and the 2013 season. It doesn't come across in the transcription of the interview very well, but he really perked up when he started talking about getting to a bowl game. And without further ado, here it is:
DG: Hey, how's it going, has media day been fun for you so far?
CUD: Oh definitely, this is a really fun experience I'm having, being around all the other Pac 12 players has been a great experience.
DG: Okay, tough question first: You've been through 3 coaching staffs. Why have you stuck around? What about CU keeps you there?
CUD: I always tell myself, and my parents as well, I committed to the school first and foremost. I'm here for my education, football just happens to be my second priority. I'm here to finish my degree and I wouldn't want to finish it anywhere else.
DG: You're now the senior leader on a defense that has a lot of young guys, many of whom were thrown into the fire last year, how are they dealing with that and improving?
CUD: Well it definitely helped them, getting the experience last season, they now know what to expect, what to look for when it comes to games. Now we're looking at those young guys as seasoned veterans to not make those freshman mistakes anymore.
DG: You talk about the leadership role you've taken on, what have you personally focused on this offseason?
CUD: Just to pull the other defensive linemen with me. I know my success is going to be based on those guys and I want to make sure that they're in the best shape, that they're all working hard and watching film every day so that way we can all get better as a group.
DG: Nice. I'm from Dallas and I remember watching Jim Jeffcoat play, how has it been having him step in as a coach and what have you learned from him? And have you gotten to watch game film of him?
CUD: It's amazing. Having him as a coach, there's nothing he hasn't seen, he was in the league for about 15, 17 years, he's seen it all. So it's definitely great to have a guy like him as my coach. As far as game film, I haven't been able to see any of his, but I'm going to need to have him crack out some film.
DG: You've got a great name, and a name that has to get you some good nicknames. What's your favorite one?
CUD: Just Chiddy, that's what's been going on for about forever, people call me Chiddy so I roll with that one.
DG: I'm sure you're going to remember a lot about your time on the field, what about Boulder, what about CU are you going to remember, what's going to stick with you?
CUD: Everything, the environment, it's so beautiful. I adapted to the snow pretty quickly out there. But Boulder's my home, I call it my home now. It's a beautiful place.
DG: Any games you're looking forward to more than the others?
CUD: Right now, every game is a big game for me. I'm looking at every game as the same, but being a California kid, I really like that SC/UCLA game here in LA.
DG: Any personal goals this season?
CUD: Just bowl eligibility. Just help this team make a bowl fame. As a senior, that's all I can ask for and I hope we make that goal happen.
DG: What do you have to do personally to get the Buffs bowl eligible this year?
CUD: Make plays and help lead my teammates to do the same thing.
DG: Any freshmen you've seen stuff from this offseason?
CUD: Definitely. Jimmie Gilbert, he's a freshman defensive end, he looks like he's a good talent. Chidobe Awuzie a DB, Tedric Thompson has also looked good at defensive back. And the young offensive linemen that we brought in, those guys are big boys and they're willing to work.
So, that's the end of the player interviews. They were both great and happy to cooperate. And I had a nice time. Also, the food was pretty good. And I got a cool Pac-12 notebook. Don't worry, the Mike MacIntyre interview is forthcoming. Also, we got more input from Uzo-Diribe during the sit-down with MacIntyre, which is looking like it's going to have to be published in two parts. It was really long!