Veteran linebacker Brandon Hoyte has set definite goals for the 2005 season.
"My goals are simply to get better in every aspect of my game and to make sure that as a leader I live up to every potential that there may be," said Hoyte. "The outcome of the season will tell if the goals have been accomplished."
The "Quick-Thick-Nasty" attitude fits the linebacker well. Hoyte was thrust into action in his second season due to injury, and started the first game of the season against Maryland. Hoyte's physical play was apparent when he recorded eight tackles and one sack in his very first start.
"In my eyes, it is to do whatever it takes to win the game," said Hoyte of the "Quick-Thick-Nasty" slogan. "It is to work until there is no more work to be done. In my eyes, it is to go out there and just literally give it your all just like it was in the old days. You would see guys with a nose busted and all banged up, and in my eyes just an old-school player."
The captain's role is important to the New Jersey native, and he said he feels honored to be nominated by his teammates.
Before anything, you have to check yourself and make sure you are doing everything right. That's one thing I have tried to do and keep on doing," said Hoyte of his leadership role. "Quite frankly I don't know any other way to play the game. That mentality is the way to do it, and I don't know any other way but to step on the field without any doubts you are going to win the game.
"You convince people by what you do. When you are out there on that practice field going 100 hundred miles an hour and making plays, and that transpires to the game field, in my eyes that is how you convince people. Sometimes a guy needs a little talking, but I'll tell you what, if you have a guy's helmet off, that is better than talking."
Hoyte also said is impressed with the effort and the attitude of the younger players on the squad, which make his job easier.
"We have a lot of young guys who right now are really on the same level," Hoyte said. "Don't take young as a negative thing. I practice with these guys on a daily basis, and they are some of the hungriest guys I have been around. I feel fortunate to be with them."
The dependable senior has been thinking about his final season, and he's hoping to have a different ending than last season.
"It has been on my mind since last January," said Hoyte. "You have to take that mile step, and that is what I have done. The results of last season will be a motivator for every game we play."
Brandon Hoyte's performance on the field and his leadership will be counted on this season, but it will be important for young linebackers to develop quickly and become contributors also. Hoyte's leadership should push this Irish defense to new heights.