Q: Can you comment on Lee Evans' announcement that he will return next year?
Alvarez: That's my third commitment from Lee. He'll be our best recruit. I'm thrilled. I think it makes sense that he's coming back, and it would be trite to talk about what he means to a football team, leadership-wise as well as productivity. But I'm really glad and you know what? He will make a difference in our other young receivers. They've come a long way and they will come even further with him complementing them.
Q: What kind of information did you gather from the NFL people?
Alvarez: We didn't even talk to the NFL people. Lee didn't, I don't even know if he looked into it. I just think he felt he needed to come back. It gives him a whole year to work on it. You know what? Lee is 21 years old. He'll be 22, that's what I told him. You're going to be 22, you're going to get started when most guys get started. So it never even got to the stage where he wanted us to gather any information, because there wouldn't really be anything to gather.
Q: Do you have any sort of time-table on his return?
Alvarez: No, I'm not going to get into any of that. I just know, I would anticipate he will be ready to practice when we get ready to practice. I imagine in spring ball he will be able to run some routes and do some things, be a part of it just like he was at the start of two-a-days in practice this year. I'm not worried about spring ball, but during camp, I would imagine he will be ready to go.
Q: You talk about the benefit of the bowl game experience and what that does for your players. What would winning the game do for you?
Alvarez: It would make everybody feel good and have a good night, a better night than if you lose.
Q: Is there a carryover from the bowl game?
Alvarez: You know what I try to do is whatever happens, you try to make it work. If you win the game, you try to use that as a springboard. If you don't (win) the game, you don't talk about it much. You move forward, challenge your kids and try to learn from it. So we've been in both situations. There was more at stake in the last game than there is in this game. Let's put it that way. Although we've taken the game seriously, our guys have worked hard, the coaches worked hard, this has been a good week. I thought our guys really gave what we wanted. We gave them time to experience everything, they did all the functions. I thought they had an awesome function last night, yet we didn't have any problems with curfews, didn't have any issues with guys not giving it their full attention or practicing hard during the week. And we really pushed them hard the first two days. We scrimmaged, we ran, we did a lot of things that were very physical, then we backed off. They've been real good and I thought the old guys did a nice job showing the young guys how you go about bowl week.
Q: What was the function last night?
Alvarez: They had a barbeque, and then they had a contest between their players and our players. They had a trivia game. Three of their players went up and had so much time, then our guys went up, then had a dance contest and a singing contest, and both teams really got involved and had some fun…Brandon Williams was our first representative, and then we ended up having 6-8 on the floor just like they did. Reggie Cribbs was our singer. Their guys sang, Reggie sang, and as he was singing, one of their guys came up and they went into kind of a duet. It was just awesome. Everybody gave a standing ovation. It didn't turn into be who was better, because everybody had fun.
Q: Who did trivia for you guys?
Alvarez: Matt Katula, Jonathan Welsh and Jason Jowers, and we did win the trivia contest.
Q: Is that normal to have something like that between two teams getting ready to play each other in a football game?
Alvarez: Yeah, just about every bowl we've had, you have something like that. Sometimes they go off very well, sometimes guys just don't get along or there's not a very good mix, guys don't want anything to do with one another and you want to get out of there. But I thought last night was really good.
Q: You guys are the underdog which I'm sure you've mentioned. Does that role help your team?
Alvarez: I haven't mentioned it. My players don't worry about that. That's for the media, that's for the gamblers. This is a football game. You play a game to find out who can win that day. That's what you learn in athletics. You don't worry about those things. We practiced hard. I just want our guys to give their best effort, just go out and play and see what happens. It isn't about who is favored, who is not favored. It doesn't make any difference. Not in athletics.
Barry Alvarez Verbatim
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