Sam Webb: Will the kind of season a team is having play a role in how you look at it?
Ray Vinopal: "That really doesn't have much to do with it. Maybe seeking playing time, yeah that's definitely a major benefit. Coach Rodriguez knows what he's doing; he's been there for two years now and he is going to get it going and I think he is a really good coach. He knows what's he doing, picking the players he wants and picking the guys that he knows will come and play football and work hard. That's the kind of player I am, if I get there, I'm going to work my butt off and make sure that I succeed. He's putting his pieces in place right now and getting everything situated. You just got to have some trust that he knows what he's doing."
Sam Webb: Tell me a little bit about you as a player. What do we see when we watch Ray Vinopal on the football field?
Ray Vinopal: "It's kind of funny that you ask this question, because I do a lot of reading on the internet just with general news going on, recruiting with my high school football team and stuff, there is some blog on the internet about me being offered by Michigan. I think a lot of people see the 5'11" kid with only MAC offers; they don't know a bunch of big schools have been in my face the most and I just play fast, I play smart. I make sure I know my opponent, space I'm filling. Know if they are in this formation versus what their likely to do if they motion to this. This is what they are likely to do. This receiver runs these kinds of routes. This combination is coming out of this formation. All those tendencies and stuff that give you the edge on your competition and stuff like that. Though I'm only 5'11", about 190. I'm probably as physical and aggressive as they come. I'm not afraid to go out there from 12 yards full speed and sticking my nose in there mix it up with the big guys."
Sam Webb: You gave me your height and weight; what about your 40 time; how fast are you?
Ray Vinopal: "I run a 4.41. That's electronic."
Sam Webb: Wow. They have you listed online on some of these sites as 4.55 and 4.6.
Ray Vinopal: "The 4.55 was laser time as a freshman at an underclassman combine. I've been trying to get that changed but I haven't been able to get into contact with anyone that could do that."
Sam Webb: Which safety do you think you are best suited for, strong or free?
Ray Vinopal: "I can play either. I'm pretty good in coverage. People look 5'11" and white, but I got a 4.41 40, I can get going and I jump well too. My vertical is about 35-36", so I can cover just as well as I can come up in support run. Wherever they need me – wherever I can help the team."
Sam Webb: In your opinion what was the reason for the previous hesitation on the part of some of these schools?
Ray Vinopal: "Actually Wisconsin, they were ready to offer a long time ago, but they had a situation with the guys getting moved around on the team and they closed the safety spot. So when they first started recruiting me, it was to the point where just when I got out of school last year, I was figuring on having an offer by them pretty quickly and that's what my coach was telling me as well. He was talking to the coaches, so they had to move a guy and so they were only taking two safeties instead of three. They had two in-staters and they give favorite to in-staters – so got knocked out of there. I couldn't really you. A lot of schools have me for visits all the time and still getting invitations to come to campus and see games, hand written letters and all that stuff."
Sam Webb: Is it really that big of a deal to you when you get offered, or does it only matter that you've been offered?
Ray Vinopal: "That's what my coach told me. He was like recruiting is a game and once one drops, everyone who is interested will follow. He even told me like last year that I'm blowing up. Things are starting to get going up here. A bunch of coaches have called him already about me. He says that things are really picking up. It just happens that you got your one that makes all the fall a little later than it should have, but it happened and that's all that matters."
Sam Webb: What about timeline? You told me that'll you try to take three officials in December, but what about a timeline to make a decision; when do you want to have this all over with?
Ray Vinopal: "Obviously by signing day I'm going to be ready to go. Hopefully…what day is signing day in February or January?"
Sam Webb: Signing day is the first Wednesday in February.
Ray Vinopal: "I should have my decision made before Christmas I would think."