Kovacs Motivated by Doubters

Jordan Kovacs short career has been defined by proving himself. That fight still isn't over for the former walk-on, and the doubts about his ability continue to drive him. The gritty youngster discusses that, the Gator Bowl, and more.


QUESTION: Jordan, you talked about how big of a Michigan fan you were growing up. Do you have any Bowl game memory that stands out to you?
JORDAN KOVACS: Well, I've never been to one personally, but obviously the Capital One Bowl was a pretty special Bowl for us. I remember watching that a few years back, just sitting around at home. So just to be a part of it this year is going to be something special.

QUESTION: How old were you when they went to the Gator Bowl? I think it was '91.
JORDAN KOVACS: One. I guess it's been a while. No, I mean, I've always followed Michigan football and always watched all the Bowl games.

QUESTION: How did you find (about the Gator Bowl)?
JORDAN KOVACS: My roommate told me. He spoiled it for me. But obviously I was trying to keep up with it on the internet. I wanted to know where we were going and where we were playing. But my roommate came down and told me we were playing Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.

QUESTION: Do you almost have to treat this game like it's the first game of the year, considering how much time there is between?
JORDAN KOVACS: Yeah, I mean, from a -- I think the first couple weeks you've got to really heal up because it's been a long, long regular season, and the next few weeks start preparing mentally, and I think by this next week, as soon as practice starts it'll be more back to fundamentals and stuff like that. Then as you get closer to the game you start preparing specifically for Mississippi State and getting into your game plan a little more in depth.

QUESTION: You had a pretty good game against Ohio State, probably one of your better ones. Did you hear any of the talk from say Chris Speilman ahead of time? Did that motivate you at all?
JORDAN KOVACS: I heard about it, but it's nothing that I haven't heard before. Obviously that motivates me.

QUESTION: Is that something that's always driven you? Have you often been questioned like that?
JORDAN KOVACS: Yeah, I think that's something that drives every walk-on and every player really. They just want to prove that they can play.

QUESTION: Can you talk about how much the extra practices will really help the defense bounce back?
JORDAN KOVACS: Yeah, like I said, we can get back to fundamental football, and we don't have to focus on Mississippi State as much right away. We can just get back to playing better Michigan defense, and I think that's what we're going to try to do. We're going to try getting into the game plan a little further along the line. I think this extra time will help every player understand their individual role and understand the team's goals.

QUESTION: You've had some time obviously. The early start against Ohio State was very good for the defense. Can you look back and see what you guys did really well and use that going forward?
JORDAN KOVACS: I thought the front seven played great and really all game the front seven played pretty well. They had a couple long runs, but eventually I guess their running game just wore us down.
You know, I think we just played hard. We did all game, and if we continue to do that, we'll be fine.

QUESTION: Do you guys take any extra motivation from playing somebody from the SEC?
JORDAN KOVACS: Yeah, I mean, if you're a team in the Big Ten you want to play the SEC because everybody says that they're the best conference and they're the most powerful conference. You know, we've got a challenge. Mississippi State is a great team. They've got four losses in the SEC and I think they're all the top 16 teams. It's going to be a challenge, and I'm interested to see how we respond and how well we play.

QUESTION: A lot of guys have talked about how it helps your health. You weren't on the injury report but everybody is bothered by something.
JORDAN KOVACS: I mean, it's a football season. Everybody gets a little banged up, whether it's just a shoulder bothering you or your elbow or anything, could be your ankle. But I think the week -- we had a lift this morning, and I feel pretty fresh. I lifted more weight than I have all season. It just goes to show how much a week off can help you heal up.


The Michigan Insider Top Stories