VandyMania Interview: CB Bill Alford

Junior cornerback Bill Alford is Vanderbilt's first junior college transfer in almost a decade. The 5-9, 175-pounder joined the team in the spring from Middle Georgia Junior College, and has started at corner in three of the Commodores' first five games. Alford talked with VandyMania recently about his adjustment to SEC football, and about the team's struggle to put recent losses behind it.

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VandyMania: This year is your first time to play against SEC-level competition. Has it been that big of an adjustment for you?

Bill Alford: I would say I really haven't had to make that big of an adjustment. I may not have seen that caliber of a receiver before-- they may be a little better. But to me it's all the same. They don't challenge me any more than all the others have challenged me over the years.

VM: You played at Middle Georgia Junior College for two years, and then they shut down the program. What was that like? Did you have any idea that was going to happen?

Bill: No, I didn't, but when it happened, I didn't have any more eligibility left, so it really didn't affect me. They said it was something about money in the athletic department. They didn't have enough money or something. But I don't know if that was the truth... nobody really believed that.

VM: So, you ended up out of football for about a year. Tell us the story about how you ended up at Vanderbilt.

Bill: Coach J. D. Hall, the receivers coach, had recruited me when he was at the University of Connecticut. The fall of 2002 I was just trying to get my film together and send it to a lot of folks. I ended up calling him, and I sent him a film. He called me back a couple of days later and offered me a scholarship.

VM: You were with the team this last spring, and impressed a lot of people. Can you talk about how you felt the spring went for you?

Bill: To me, I didn't really have a good spring. I guess I was kind of rusty. I hadn't played in a year and a half. I thought I could have played a lot better, but like you said, I think most people were impressed by it.

VM: You are a junior in eligibility. What are you studying? And how is it going so far as far as managing schoolwork and football?

Bill: I'm an engineering science major. There's just not a lot of time, playing football and going to class. You've just got to manage it right. When you have free time, you've just got to make sure you're doing productive things with that free time.

VM: The team has been through several tough losses in a row now. How do you think the team is doing mentally? And what kinds of things do you have to do to keep things on a positive note from here on in?

Bill: Mentally... man, I hate to lose. I don't accept it, but I realize we have lost. We just realize that we have more games, and that we're still bowl-eligible if we can win out. We want to win at least five more games. We want to be bowl-eligible. We want to break that string. We're just trying to stay focused and stay positive, no matter what happens.


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