When Siler Speaks, Everybody Listens

In just his sophomore year at the University of Florida, Brandon Siler has become a true leader for the Gators both on and off the field. He reminds you of those old E.F. Hutton Investments commercials --- when Siler speaks, everyone listens. Monday he spoke to the media about the bowl game and other subjects.

Q: How do you feel about going to the Outback Bowl in Tampa?

SILER: It's a lot better than going to Louisiana.

Q: Is the ninth win a big number for this team?

SILER: We lost five games the previous years, we are at three now, so that's how we want to finish the year. I think it is more of the loss category I would pay attention to. Having three losses instead of four losses is big for us. It's big for everyone looking on to say that we improved.

It's kind of the start of next season and finishing out a good season. If we go out 9-3, the seniors know they started something good here at the University of Florida. Next year we will take it to the next level and hopefully win some championships.

Q: Would a win help build for next season?

SILER: I would think so, going into the off-season. Only three losses shows we are getting a lot better. The three losses will show everyone in the nation we are getting better."

"This is a statement game and everyone wants to win it. I think we are going to be serious and take practices serious. In the beginning we lighten up but as the game approaches we will get real serious."

Q: Have you improved from your freshman year through your sophomore year?

SILER: I feel I have improved from year to year. I was more of a leader stepping up and taking charge of the defense [this year]. We strived at having more of a team concept on defense. It wasn't for me to step up as much as a lot of people playing well around me, especially the defensive linemen, they played great this year.

Q: You are leading the SEC in fumble recoveries, what makes you so good at that?

SILER: I run as hard to the football as I can. I never stop. Some of it might be a little bit of luck when the ball pops out but as long as I keep myself around the ball those things happen and I can get on top of it.

Q: What goes on in the bottom of a pile when fighting for a fumbled ball?

SILER: Everything. I am the meanest nastiest dude down there in the pile that's why I come up with it. Pinching, scratching, kicking, anything it takes to get the ball. I've never been bitten. I got punched a bunch of times but you block all of that out. Sometimes we talk trash (under there) and say, "You can punch me all you want but you aren't getting this ball."

Q: The Gators beat two BCS teams and two conference champs (UGA and FSU). What does that say about your team?

SILER: It just shows how tough the SEC is. It gives you that much more respect for the conference that we beat three different conference champions and weren't the SEC champs. It gives you that much more fire, more push that we beat teams like that. It's sweet and a compliment to us.

Q: You finished strong against FSU after a game at South Carolina that was winnable. A few plays in two games (LSU and USC) and this team could have been 10-1. What does that tell you?

SILER: After the South Carolina game we were looking at each other and didn't know what happened. Then beating a team like Florida State like that brings your team back up. We beat a good team and it shows what kind of team we are.

It's always a play here and there, that's why you have to play the whole game. Two years ago, my freshman year, we lost all five games in less than two minutes. There is always a play here and there and you wish you could make those plays.

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