Interview: Jo Jo Mesa

Jo Jo Mesa is a senior linebacker from southern California that came to Western Michigan last year from Mount San Antonio JC. With an injury to Jason Malloy, Mesa could see increased time this week against N. Illinois. He talks about that and a lot more in this interview.

With the injury to Jason Malloy, are you looking to start this week?
Josh Behrens right now is in Jason's spot. I rotate between the Mike and Will spots. I'm not sure if Jason is playing or not but he told me he wants to play. If he can go, he's going to play I'm sure of that.

Has this week's preparation been any different for you with the hopes of starting?
It does in a sense that I know I'll be playing more. Every day I come out here and work hard and give it what I can.

As a senior, what has this season been like for you?
Seems like we're the best 'worst team' right now if you want to put it that way. It is very disappointing, any losing season is. There is a lot of weight on the team because no one likes to lose. It is hard because we've been in so many games that could have went either way. We have five games left and can go 7-5 and hopefully end up with a great season. It's not what we wanted but we can make it to where we'll be proud of our senior season.

There is always Central Michigan and a win up there would ease some of the pain?
That is definitely going to be a huge game. We are definitely looking forward to that game. The Central game is definitely one of the big games but every game is a big game to us right now.

What has been your impression of the MAC?
I didn't know too much about the MAC until I came here last year and it seems some of the worst teams beat the best teams sometimes. It is a fight through the entire conference schedule.

How did you end up at Western Michigan from southern California?
I fell into some grade problems basically. I had a chance to go to USC, Arizona and Oregon and had full rides. I decided on Oregon and couldn't get in and then went to USC and couldn't get in and coach Holliday called me and it was between here and Texas A&M and A&M was taking so long so I took a trip here. I liked it and wanted to play football and they gave me a chance to come across the country and I had never been away from California. It's been fun and I've met some great people here.

What are you studying?
Psychology of Family Studies

How have things gone here academically for you?
Last year was a transition as it was the first time I hadn't played. I started one game only. I started slow but finished strong last semester and things are going well this year. I'm on pace to graduate, I have eight more classes to go.

What career path do you have in mind upon graduating?
I want to get into testing kids for learning disabilities in elementary schools. I'd go back home to California to live I'm sure. My mom works for the school district. That's one reason I chose this career path because through the school I've met a lot of counselors and it seemed like a good career.

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