We've also added a transcript of our conversation with Hoyte for readers who cannot view the video. Enjoy!Brandon Hoyte Transcript
On if Hoyte is counting down the days to the first game.
"I can't wait. The Notre Dame website is counting it down, but in all of our minds, we're counting down. We can't wait to go. We're working really hard."
On his leadership role and what he's doing to lead this team.
"Everyone always asks me ‘what are you going to do with anyone who's inexperienced.' To me, I don't look at it as a downfall. These guys are so hungry, and I'm just really fortunate that they're hungry and they're buying into the program. It really makes my job easy. I'm just doing the same thing I've been doing the last couple of years."
On Maurice Crum and being a mentor for Crum and about his potential.
"He has unlimited potential. He's a fast player. He understands the game at a young age, which is rare. We're just really fortunate that he's stepping up day by day."
On he and fellow linebacker Corey Mays giving Crum the nickname "the future."
"That's his nickname. Matter of fact; that is his name. Just because I think he's the type of player you want at Notre Dame. He's the type of guy that makes plays every day consistently, and he's the type guy that every day you see that potential to becoming even more."
On if the defensive linemen have been occupying the offensive linemen enough for the linebackers to make plays so far this fall.
"It's been unbelievable. Our D-line has done an unbelievable job. Derek Landri and Trevor Laws in the middle are just disrupting things on the inside, and (Chris) Frome and (Victor Abiamiri) are causing so many problems when we rush that it makes our job 10 times easier."
On how the secondary is starting to come together.
"I think it's real simple. Everyone puts so much pressure on the secondary. I've always believed that it's hand-in-hand. If the quarterback doesn't have time to throw the ball, he can't throw the ball. I think we've got a lot of young guys back there that are hungry and are buying in. We've got guys who've played a lot of snaps, like (Tom Zbikwoski), who's taking control of things back there. I think we'll be fine."
On how heading into this season is eerily similar to the 2002 season, Willingham's first, where the Irish got off to an 8-0 start. Does Hoyte have a similar feeling to 2002?
"I hope so. I see a lot of guys stepping up and that's what we've got to do. The bottom line is you've got to make plays. That's the way we're going to win football games, especially on defense, make plays."
On how Ambrose Wooden has looked this fall as he's been with the first unit.
"The bottom line with him is he works so hard. He never says anything. He never talks back. He just gets the job done and that's the reason he's able to step into that role."
On if the defense is more complex than last year's defense.
"I would say because it's new it may seem more complex, but it's just the fact that it's so different, and it can give you so many different looks depending on what the offense does. As a defense we're fortunate that we've got smart guys who can adapt, where at other places you might not be able to do so. Coach says one thing and we dive right in and we're getting the job done and we can move on."
On coach Minter and working with him and if he sets up his defense to let the linebackers shine.
"We hope so. He's unbelievable. The cool thing about coach Minter is he's a good guy. He's the type of guy you're going to play harder for just because of his personality, the love and passion he has for the game, it's going to trickle down to his players."
On how Minter spends a lot of time with his defensive players in the locker room after practice and if that means something to this defense.
"The fact that he can be on your behind on the field and really get into you, once we got off the field, he's right by your side and he's on your team. I think that's important, especially today. The relationship between a coach and a player is so important. The player knows his role and he knows that the coach is only trying to do the things to make him better. Coach Minter, I think he exemplifies that."
On how much they've been going 1's versus 1's in practice.
"A lot. A lot. I talk trash to Darius (Walker) every day. It's a great look because that helps us prepare even more for Pittsburgh and every game after that. We're seeing the best there is."
On which side of the ball is winning that match up.
"I think if you talk to Brady (Quinn), he might tell you one thing. I personally think we kick their butt every day."
On risking injury with going first team versus first team.
"I think that's a credit to coach Weis. I say that because he's smart in what he's doing. We're having tough practices with 1's versus 1's, but there's always that time where you about to hit that breaking point, when you're about to hit that breaking point, he knows when to cut it back. He knows when to say ‘let's take a break' and when to get back into it. When it's 1's versus 1's, it's full go. There's no thought, ‘am I sore,' it's full go."