NIU Week: Julian Vandervelde Q&A

Julian Vandervelde wants to be known for something other than setting a record for the most cheese fries eaten on a recruiting visit. He will get a chance to do just that, as he will start at right guard for Iowa's 2007 season opener as a redshirt freshman

Q: Coach was joking that you set a cheese fries record.

Julian Vandervelde: I did, as a matter of fact. That was interesting. That was my official visit. Coming out of high school, I was maybe 315 pounds. They take you to Lone Star and say go crazy, so I went crazy, and he hasn't let it go yet.

Q: It doesn't sound like he will let it go.

Vandervelde: That is not going to drop. I have stayed away from the cheese fries since then.

Q: How did you break that?

Vandervelde: How? Coach Doyle. If he saw me with cheese fries like I used to do, he might kill me.

Q: You don't want to make him mad?

Vandervelde: No you don't. Will power alone may not be enough, and its nice to have him standing there.

Q: What is your favorite snack now?

Vandervelde: Snack? Gosh, I don't know.

Q: Carrot sticks?

Vandervelde: I actually did over the summer. I bought a bag of those and when I got hungry I munched on those.

Q: How hard was it to change your diet habits?

Vandervelde: It was a little bit of a chore to change some of them. I was a big ice cream and snack food guy. That was really hard for me to break. Downtown, we have Whitey's downtown, a Cold Stone Creamery. It is a challenge of will. When you think about what you have to come in here and do every day, it makes it easier.

Q: What's it like to be on field to make new name for yourself?

Vandervelde: It will be nice. Just go out and show that there is another part of me that I can show off. Just like with the singing and cheese fries, I am hoping that the guys won't let me forget this either. It's a great experience and I want it to stick with me.

Q: When did your learn that you were going from a grey shirt to a scholarship last summer?

Vandervelde: I had actually gotten home from a road trip at 6am, on a Thursday or Friday morning last year and I got the call from Coach Morgan at 8am that same morning as I was falling asleep that they had a scholarship open up and asked me if I wanted to come. I thought about it at first, because the gray shirt is a great thing. Sometimes God opens a door and if it's there and it's what you have always dreamed of, which this was, I had to go through it.

Q: What part of camp did you switch from right guard to left guard?

Vandervelde: I think it was after the open practice, after the open scrimmage was when they switched me from left to right.

Q: Do you have a preference?

Vandervelde: No. It took me a practice to get my stance switched and get used to that, but I had been right guard through most of camp. It wasn't that big of a deal.

Q: What do you expect from offensive line? It's obvious that you guys are green; what do you expect Saturday.

Vandervelde: That's hard to answer. I guess I just, from what I know of myself and the guys, I just expect us to go out and really to do our jobs. So many of us have not had the experience that you kind of like to see in a line, that kind of confidence that they have. We have a different kind of confidence, confidence in each other and that will help us get through anything they can throw at us.

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