Dec. 30, 2015
Q. What has the experience been like?
DeShone Kizer: Last year I had a bowl opportunity to go down there and see what it was like. This year I’m in a completely different situation. Media obligations, things like that.
It’s been great. Phoenix, the Scottsdale area, Glendale area, are treating us very well. We’d like the weather to be better than it is back home, but it’s been going very well.
I feel like the Notre Dame style of person is my style of person. Everybody we ran into during our trip, from the academic advisors, to just normal students around campus. They’re intellects. They truly care about one another. While sometimes you visit another school, everyone is kind of looking the other way, they’re all about themselves, trying to get to the next step.
Notre Dame is a completely different vibe on campus. That’s something if you can surround your people you want to be like, you can become a better person yourself.
The story goes is I had a couple visits set up at the end of the week. After going to visit Notre Dame, I went and canceled other visits and committed by Wednesday.
Q. What were the other schools?
DeShone Kizer: LSU was on Thursday and Alabama was supposed to be on Friday.
Q. (Questions regarding injuries.)
DeShone Kizer: The injuries have created a want and desire to play for our team. I think we’re down almost eight, nine starters at this point in the year from the beginning of the season. The want to play for those guys, to truly be an example of all the work that they put in is something that has allowed us to have a sense of a spark or fire going into each game.
There’s so many guys out there, even on our team, that would love to be out there. We have to kind of represent them.
For myself, a guy like Malik who put all the work in the world, to be the starting quarterback at Notre Dame, then go down, it’s my duty to represent him, take the work he put in and represent my room rather than just myself.
Q. What has the support been like back home?
DeShone Kizer: My city has been great to me. Whether or not they were a Ohio State fan, Notre Dame fan, Michigan fan, everyone has supported me greatly. I’m deeply privileged to be a representation of what Toledo is, how they go about things.
There’s a bunch of talent everywhere there. Not everyone gets out. This is kind of my opportunity to go and take those people who weren’t able to get out of the city and try to represent not only Toledo, but my family and what we stand for.
Q. A lot more Irish fans in town.
DeShone Kizer: There’s a lot of Irish fans. They come up and say the same clichÃƒÆ’Â© things. Now a guy from their area is playing quarterback at Notre Dame, they’re going to be a Notre Dame fan.
Q. What are your thoughts about Ohio State?
DeShone Kizer: Ohio State was always an enemy for me. I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of anybody growing up. You had to make a decision about Ohio State or Michigan. Everyone I felt like Ohio State fans. The Ohio State fight song in elementary school is playing between our classes. I chose Michigan over Ohio State. Since then they’ve always been an enemy.
As we move forward, I’ve grown to respect them and understand how good they are, the traditions they have. I think Ohio State is a team that will forever be the enemy in my eyes.
Q. Would it mean a little bit more on Friday to be able to beat them?
DeShone Kizer: Yeah. Obviously it’s a game in which you want to win every big game that you have an opportunity to play in. But Ohio State is a team that I said if I had the opportunity to play, it would be one of the biggest games I would ever have the opportunity to be a part of.
Q. How do you exploit the flaws the defense?
DeShone Kizer: I prepare as you have prepared all year. We have a mindset that we win games Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, not Saturday. As long as we continue to prepare and execute the game plans our coaches put together, we’ll be fine Friday on this week.
Q. How do you think your game matches up with Ohio State?
DeShone Kizer: Ohio State, they like to man the outside. We have some talent on the outside. I’m excited to see if we can throw the ball vertically on them.
As much as we want to have those explosive plays, we also understand from watching film that they’re a team that’s going to give their all every play. We have to expect the ball not to be in the end zone as much as it has earlier in the year as it has all year.