Dec. 29, 2015

Q: How does it feel to be home?

Cole Luke: It feels good. I was telling them earlier that it’s just great that I get to play in front of my friends and my family. Last time I played here was the state championship in high school which we actually won. It’s a great feeling honestly so I hope to get that same feeling again.

Q: Has your high school coach said anything to you since they won the State Championship out here? Has there been any talk back and forth?

Cole Luke: No, we talk on a good basis and he’s come out to Notre Dame and stuff like that but we haven’t really talked high school ball in a while which is surprising for us because that’s all we used to do. He texted me the other day actually just saying ‘good luck.’ He won’t be able to be there because he’s coaching a game but just to do my job and that’s pretty much it.

Q: Your identity has shifted. Not that you weren’t a leader, but now with injuries and things like that made you a leader. How is that, and how are the young guys coming along?

Cole Luke: It’s definitely kind of weird, because I feel like yesterday I was the guy that was trying to keep up with everybody else, but it’s a cool transition. Cool to see where I came from cool to see where I am at right now. Every day I am trying to get the young guys to come with me. Just need a push, push another door down and get better every day but they’re definitely doing a good job. Nick Watkins, Nick Coleman, Devin Butler, we’ve all come a long way. We’re just trying to push our game forward each and every day.

Q: How many tickets have you been able to scrounge up?

Cole Luke: I have around 20 right now. Mostly for family, I’ve got a few for some friends. I take care of my family first obviously and I gave my extras to my friends that are out here.

Q: What about the last week when you guys didn’t know where you were going were you like ‘Fiesta Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Fiesta Bowl.’

Cole Luke: Oh my god, yeah. I mean I was praying to God that it would be here. It was this or the Peach Bowl I think and we were all in the auditorium watching the selection process and when they said Fiesta Bowl I couldn’t contain my excitement to be honest with you. I’m happy it’s home.

Q: So let’s go back to a kid from Arizona, who goes to the Midwest to play, a lot of people would say well ‘no one is every going to see you play locally. No one is ever going to get back here.’ And you’ve actually been back here twice.

Cole Luke: One of the things that was most important in the process of choosing a school was that my family got to watch me somehow. And we’re on NBC almost every week, so that was really important for them. And yeah it’s kind of weird I’ve gotten to play here twice so far but it’s honestly a blessing for me to be able to play in front of my mom most importantly, my grandmother. I know they’re pretty much more excited than I am for this game so it’s definitely one for the books.

Q: Any favorite restaurants you’ve got to hit while you’re home?

Cole Luke: In-N-Out most importantly. Five Guys is kind of growing on me though. I usually go to the spots I don’t have out there. In-N-Out, Canes, Los Favoritos- I usually get a little Mexican in me.