Lawrence Vickers: All of them. But probably one of the big ones will be Texas A&M. I'll play against one of my good buddies, Johnny Jolly, a D-tackle. We went to high school together, won conference together, won district together. We were like A and B. That's going to be exciting for me.
Q: What's the best thing about being a Colorado Buffalo?
LV: The pride and tradition. We have a little saying: The pride and tradition of the Colorado Buffaloes will not be entrusted to the timid or the weak. I love that. We're only accepting warriors, people that want to pay the price to be here. We have excellent tradition here.
Q: Which Colorado Buffalo would have the best chance of keeping up with Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest?
LV: I would say, Tyrone Henderson. He eats a lot for his size.
Q: In your career here, which defensive player have you least liked to get tackled by in practice?
LV: There's a bunch of them. Brian Iwuh, Thaddaeus Washington, Aaron Killion, Medford Moorer, Tyler Brayton, Gabe Nyenhuis. Lionel Harris hits hard. Pretty much a lot of them will come up and sting you at times.
They already know that when I'm coming, I'm coming to pop. So they gotta bring the pop. So we both bring it, and sometimes we're kinda like, ‘Woo. You hit me kinda hard that play. Slow down a little.'
Q: What about from a player on an opposing team? What's the hardest hit you've had?
LV: I've never had a hard hit yet. Maybe once. CSU. I was going in the flat. I think it was (Eric) Pauly. Joel (Klatt) turned me around, and I caught the ball turning. He hit me and fell on top of me and knocked the wind out of me. That was probably the hardest, but it wasn't that hard. It just knocked the wind out of me.
Q: What's your pre-game routine
LV: I go out before the game, and I smell the end zone grass. I get me some grass out of each end zone and I rub it on me. And I chew on it a little bit just to let me know how it's going to taste when I get there.
Q: Where did you come up with that?
LV: I've been doing it since the 8th grade. My dad said, ‘If you want to be somewhere, you've got to see what it feels like to be there. You gotta taste it, you gotta feel it, you gotta smell it.' That's what I started doing. I started going in the end zone, no matter where we were at, and I'd pick up a little turf and rub it on me. Chew on it a little bit. The grass, I'll swallow the grass. I start to get that feeling. As soon as I fall in here, this is what it's going to taste like.
Q: Who's had the biggest influence on you in your life?
LV: Eric Bieniemy, since I've been in Colorado. I was used to being the head guy, always been a leader since I've been young. When I was in sixth grade, I played on the eighth grade football team, when I was a freshman, I played varsity; when I was in Pee Wee, I played Junior Pee Wee. I always played ahead of (my age), which enabled me to come to college and be ahead of a lot of people. But Eric Bieniemy, what he did was he was going to break you down until you have no more. Then build you back up stronger. You know, like tear every little piece of you down and get you back strong. When he rebuilt me, he rebuilt me back mentally and physically.
But I had a lot of mentors from high school and people in my neighborhood. Kanavis McGhee, he was one of my high school coaches in ninth and 10th grade (at Wheatley HS). He graduated from Wheatley, and the same middle school I went to. He always stayed by me and kept me focused because he said he seen something inside of me. He said I could better myself if I kept my head on the right track. Pretty much, I followed his footsteps. We grew up in the same neighborhood, the 5th Ward, same elementary, same middle school, same high school, same college. Hopefully, the same NFL team.
My father, grandfather, God, mother, uncles, brothers, aunties, sisters. A lot of people (have influenced me). Growing up in my neighborhood, you don't see too many people get a chance to get out. And around the time I started coming up was when the dropout rate started getting higher, and the drug rate started getting higher. All these young teens in prison for all these things. So now when I come home, there's a lot of love and support. There's block parties. People want me to succeed. I've got a lot of people backing me, and that's a good thing.
Q: Which player on your team is going to surprise people the most this season?
LV: A lot of people. Starting on the defensive side of the ball, Matt McChesney, James Garee. Vaka's going to surprise a lot of people. Brian Iwuh's going to surprise a lot of people. Thaddaeus Washington's going to surprise a lot of people. J.J. Billingsley, Akarika Dawn, Lorenzo Sims, Terrence Wheatley. There's a lot of people getting chances to play now. And they're out here working hard.
On the offensive side, Daniel Jolly, Mike Duren, Ron Monteilh, Evan Judge, Dusty Sprague. Gonzo's (Marcus Gonzales) going to surprise a lot of people. Got a couple young guys, Reggie Joseph, Patrick Williams. O-line, Mark Fenton, Terrance Barreau. We call him Mister. Edwin Harrison, Clint O'Neal.
As far as our backfield: The whole backfield. Best backfield in the Big 12 is the Colorado Buffaloes.