Woolfolk Says EMU Won't be Overlooked

Michigan junior safety Troy Woolfolk reflects on Michigan's victory over Notre Dame and looks ahead to this weekend's match-up with Eastern Michigan. The speedy defensive back met with the media yeasterday to discuss his relationship with Eagle head coach Ron English, the unity that now exists inside Michigan's locker room, his pending race with Denard Robinson, and more.

Question:  Nobody outside of you guys had ever heard of Jordan Kovacs before Saturday; what kind of job did he do?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Jordan Kovacs was a man.  He came out there, and we didn't even lose a step.  I knew there was something special about him practice.  Because he came out there not even knowing what he was doing, but he was still making plays and once he started to get familiar with the defense, he looked like he was ready to go out there.  I was kind of scared, but I had faith in him at the same time, so I was just excited to see what he could do.  He performed really well to my expectations."

Question:  You guys haven't rotated a lot back there.  It seems like you guys played a lot of play; what is your take on that?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I think if we're good enough to go and we're not tired…we have Mike Barwis who is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the nation, so we have the ability to play all four quarters, so when you're not really tired unless you're hurt, there is no real reason to come out.  It's tiring, but it is still fun at the same time."

Question:  What do you remember about Ron English?

Troy Woolfolk:  "He was very intense.  I've been screamed at by a lot of coaches, but he was one coach that would scream at you and you would really fear him at the end of the day, so you wanted to do well.  He was a good coach and I respect him."

Question:  Will it feel strange playing against him Saturday?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Yes it will because he actually recruited me and he's the reason I'm here right now and to actually be going against him is kind of weird.  At the same time, I also want to show him that he recruited me for a reason, so I'm going to try and go hard against him."

Question:  You talked about how intense he is, but does he also kind of have a human touch away from the field?

Troy Woolfolk:  "He does.  It's hard to see.  You have to look deep down in there.  He's a nice person at heart.  I've seen him interact with his kids and his family.  So I know he has got it somewhere in there (laughter)."

Question:  Are you happy that he got a head coaching job and the fact there are not many black football coaches in college football?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Yeah, I'm glad he is representing for the African-American population.  I'm just excited to see what he can do for the (Eastern Michigan) Eagles this year."

Question:  Do you still keep in touch with him?

Troy Woolfolk:  "See I have phone problems in that I break my phone all the time, when I do that, the numbers never save, I'm going to try and get his number some time."

Question:  What is your reaction to finally making it back into the polls yesterday; to the AP poll?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I was actually shocked, because when I was seen it I was getting treatment and I was going up, I was counting the numbers and I seen Michigan and I look again and I was like that's us.  I'm glad because I know we deserve to be there.  I'm just glad everybody else knows that."

Question:  Given the season you had last year, how big was that win Saturday?

Troy Woolfolk:  "That was a great win, number one, everybody seen it and number two that was against a rival, who were what, #18, which was already good themselves, so I'm just glad that we got a chance to show the nation that Michigan is back and they are ready to have a great year."

Question:  Did losing to Toledo last year make you respect a MAC team even more than maybe you would have two years ago?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Losing to Appalachian State and Toledo makes us go into every game regardless of who are opponent is that we are going to go 100%.  Because as you see, if you let your guard down a little bit anyone is good enough to come back, this is D-1 and everyone is good."

Question:  What do you break your phone so frequently?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Number one, because I have a dog and he just likes to chew on anything, so if you leave anything around he'll take it.  When I chase him, he tends to throw it up in the air, not a good combination."

Question:  Pit bull or something?

Troy Woolfolk:  "See this is a funny story (laughter).  I got the dog and was told that it was a lab, a pure lab, but it stopped growing; it's about this big and I know labs aren't this big.  So I took him to the doctor and I found out he is half beagle.  I'm kind of disappointed, but I still love him because he's my dog.  I got a little mutt as a dog, so it's all good."

Question:  What's his name?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Julius."

Question:  Doesn't it look funny for a football player to walk around with a little dog?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Yeah it does.  It hurts my pride.  I like to walk him in the dark, because he's black and they can't really see.  So it is like I just got a leash."

Question:  How old is he?

Troy Woolfolk:  "He's about to be a year now."

Question:  When did you get him and how did you get him?

Troy Woolfolk:  "That's a good question.  My ex-girlfriend got him for me, so that's why she is my ex (laughter)." 

Question:  In all seriousness, can you go back to the first half last week, did you guys get frustrated at all; they were moving the ball pretty much at ease; what was the talk like at halftime.

Troy Woolfolk:  "They came out there slinging the ball pretty good, but we all just knew it was a matter of time…like I said our coach is a great coach, Coach Robinson to devise some kind of plan to stop them and once he did that's what set plans in motion and we took over the game."

Question:  Do you think that is a good a set of offensive skill players as you are going to see this year?

Troy Woolfolk:  "They were a great team.  I'm not going to lie.  They actually gave me a hard challenge because usually I like to cheat towards the good receiver to help out my corner, but they had two, so I was kind of stuck in the middle and I couldn't really cheat to the side.  As other teams that compare to them, I think there will be some other teams out there.  This is the Big Ten, one of the best conferences in the world.  So I'm not really sure, I think we will."

Question:  Somebody asked Rich about the music being piped in during the game?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I don't like none of the music, but I have a tendency to dance to stuff all the time, so regardless of what it is, I'm going to dance with it.  I try to block out the words and the form, but just dance along with it and keep me focused."

Question:  What would you prefer to hear?

Troy Woolfolk:  "See I'm from Texas and you all might not really know the type of music that we listen to down there and there is one song called the Stanky Leg (laughter) – yeah I know.  That gets me in the groove and I like to hear that."

Question:  Can you do a little bit?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I don't know about that."

Question:  Just to give us a feel for it, is it country, rap or what is it?

Troy Woolfolk:  "It's rap, but a different branch of rap.  It's crazy people down there."

Question:  Houston rap is different than other raps is that what it is?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Texas mostly, Houston and Dallas is a whole different breed.  We're better than everybody else in that industry.  Just throwing that out there."

Question:  Have you and Denard (Robinson) ever got into a foot race?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I knew that question was going to come up.  Not yet.  I've tried to…I tell the linebackers every day in practice to let him loose so I can try to go catch him and prove a point, but they too aggressive and that never happens.  I'd love to race him and one day we are going to plan a date for us to race to clear all the questions and doubts."

Question:  Are you going to beat him?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I'm not sure.  He's fast.  I'm not going to say I'm going to beat him.  I'm not going to say I'm going to lose, let's put it like that."

Question:  Shoelaces tied or untied when you race?

Troy Woolfolk:  "(Laugh) I keep mine tight, very tight, extra tight.  Feet turn purple."

Question:  How is this team feeling?  Tate (Forcier) said that maybe this win could be a spark for something, I don't know if special is too early to say something like that.

Troy Woolfolk:  "I think he said it perfectly.  This team, we have a more unity team.  When I first got here, I don't want to say we weren't united, but people had their own agendas… but now I feel like we are all bonding regardless of the year, everybody hangs out with everybody and we just have the same goal to be undefeated this year."

Question:  Do you think that is more that this group is just clicking or does that have to do with Coach Rod?

Troy Woolfolk:  "I think it is a combination of both, because Coach Rod implements a lot of rules for us to bond as a team.  For one example, once we are in the building, we can't be on our phones.  Because when you're on the phone you're being an individual you're not really communicating with your team.  So that kind of helps.  I also think it is us as a unit because we're not really hazing the freshmen at all like we used to.  Don't get me wrong, we got to do a little something-something, it's not crucial.  We take them under our wing versus just shying them away because they young and freshman."

Question:  You can't text either in the building? 

Troy Woolfolk:  "You're not supposed to…is (Coach Rodriguez) here? No.  People do it under the table sometimes (laughter)."

Question:  What is Tate like? I think Greg (Mathews) or Brandon (Minor) described him as sort of goofy.

Troy Woolfolk:  "He doesn't act like a star quarterback.  He acts like a down to earth goofy little kid who likes to play all the time, a little bit too much sometimes, but he's cool.  He's a nice character, nice to get along with, good person at heart."

Question:  Playing pranks?

Troy Woolfolk:  "Not pranks, but just being a funny person, cracking jokes and stuff all the time.  He's cool.  I like him."

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