VandyMania Interview: Ian Gaines

After missing the 2002 season due to an illness, Ian Gaines is back and ready to make his mark in 2003. The junior from Denton, Tex. has been moved from running back to wide receiver. Gaines spoke with VandyMania at Dore Jam last Sunday about his adjustment to a new position, and his unique interests outside of football.

VandyMania: Ian, lots of fans didn't realize that the reason you missed last season was because of an illness.

Ian Gaines: Yeah, I had a stomach condition. For a while when I was eating food, it wasn't staying down very well. I was living on one meal a day, basically, and I dropped down to 175 lbs., and didn't know what was going on. The doctor found out I had two hernias between my esophagus and my stomach. I had torn a lining in my stomach, and I had ulcers and sores down in my rectum. I found out about that last summer right before camp started. So the coaches put me on a redshirt. I was still practicing, just trying to keep my skills up.

VM: Now that you're back, you've had a position change.

Ian: I'm a receiver now. I've been moved around a lot since I've been here. There's a lot of competition. We have 12 guys now, so there's a lot of guys wanting to get their hands on the ball. We're kind of a good family though, and everybody's kind of rooting for everybody else. It's a new position for me, and it's a different position, but I'm still running and catching the ball like I was in the backfield. So it's cool. I'm optimistic about it. It's a good move for me, because the running back position is very deep as well. Wherever I can play is where I want to play.

VM: I also understand that you're quite the musician.

Ian: I've been playing music since I was seven or eight years old. I've been playing the saxophone since then. I play about six different instruments now. I play piano, saxophone, guitar, clarinet, trumpet...

VM: And you've done some recording too, right?

Ian: Before I got here, I had released two CD's with my band in high school. Right now I'm working on my own album.... recording it myself and putting it on CD right now. I have some friends that I've talked to that I may do some things with after I get out of school. I do all the mixing and mastering myself. I've been trained that I can do it all myself.

VM: What's your favorite instrument?

Ian: Saxophone would have to be my favorite, because that's my first. But I also love piano and guitar. I'm also a vocalist too.

VM: This music that you do... what style is it? Whom would you compare it to?

Ian: I guess, if you listen to a lot of music, it would be kind of like Ben Harper, maybe a little Pearl Jam thing. It's all acoustic, though.

VM: So it's rock!

Ian: Yeah, it's rock, kind of easy-listening rock.

VM: So, is that what you spend most of your downtime doing?

Ian: Right now with camp and football and everything, there is no downtime! But other than that, yeah.

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