Lindsay Brauner (LB): Hey Bears fans, it’s Lindsay Brauner here with Avery Sebastian on the Cal football team. Avery, how excited are you for the upcoming football season?
Avery Sebastian (AS): I’m pretty excited. It’s gonna be a great year for all the Bears fans There’s gonna be a lot of excitement Coach Dykes is bringing to the new team--new environment, new coaching staff, new plays, new offense, new defense--so it’s gonna be a great year with a lot of things to look forward to. The team’s ready to start the 2013 season off playing Northwestern.
LB: Was there any point before Sandy’s announcement when it seemed clear that Coach Tedford was likely to be leaving?
AS: No, actually, the team was preparing; we had a players-only meeting and we were just talking about our goals going into the next season and the coaches were writing up new schemes we could potentially use for opponents in the 2013 season. It kinda came as a shock. You’d always hear rumors about things going on, but nobody was ever sure. As a team we just held tight, pulled together as one, and really just waited to see what was going to happen.
LB: As a defensive player, what are your thoughts on the hire?
AS: It’s just really exciting. Bringing in Coach Buh from Wisconsin, bringing in a 4-3 scheme. Just meeting with Coach [Randy] Stewart, the defensive backs coach, the way they involve their safeties in the run game or pass support. There’s a lot of things you can do with their safeties and Coach Stewart, the defensive backs coach, has sent a lot of people to the NFL: Deltha O’Neal, Nnamdi Asomugha. They just have a lot of coaching experience and they bring a lot of excitement to the defense. There are new defensive line coaches and they bring a lot of excitement to the D-line guys. Everyone’s pumped up about them and it’s gonna be a fun season.
LB: What was the atmosphere around the players in the program during the coaching search and, without naming names, was anyone looking into transferring?
AS: Well, after the fire, for the next two or three days, it was a sad atmosphere having these coaches that were parental and family role models for us--it was sad seeing them leave, but we had a players-only meeting and we kind of pledged to one another that we were gonna stick together; that we were gonna move forward from this; and that these coaches, even though they left, they left us their numbers and they told us to stay in contact with them, so to this day, we’re still talking to them. Now, it’s just pulling together, getting onto the next thing, and preparing for the 2013 season.
LB: What’s been your favorite moment playing for the football team since you’ve been at Cal?
AS: My favorite moment has to be running out of the North Tunnel. On game days, there are a lot of emotions running through your body and it’s great to let it all loose when you run through the North Tunnel. You’ve got the band playing behind you and you can play the drums if you want to. Just running on this field in front of all the fans and just letting everything go.
LB: What is your favorite class that you’ve taken so far at Berkeley?
AS: Media Studies 10 is my favorite class. The professor was pretty exciting and he liked to have a lot of energy throughout class. He made every lecture pretty fun and I actually want to major in media studies, so I’m going to declare this semester.
LB: I have a question about your Twitter account. How come you made it private?
AS: I made it private earlier in the year. Coach Tedford actually made a little joke about me making it private. It was just something I did for a short time. Now, it’s back open and it’s not private, but there was no particular reason; I was just messing around to see if they’d say anything about it.
LB: What’s your favorite place to eat in Berkeley?
AS: My favorite place has to be Gypsy’s, right on Durant and Telegraph. They have some amazing pastas and calzones there and whenever I’m feeling like I wanna put on a few pounds, I just stop by Gypsy’s.
LB: Do you like Berkeley as an atmosphere and how was the transition from the Deep South to Northern California?
AS: I love the transition; it was actually pretty easy. With all the support staff we have at this school, the great coaches we’re surrounded with, and the great people, the transition was really easy. The only thing that you have to deal with is academics and once you get in hand with all your tutors and everybody else that’s gonna assist you, things are pretty much easy. I like that out here, the weather is pretty nice--it’s always sunny.
LB: Who’s your favorite Berkeley character?
AS: My favorite Berkeley character has to be [cornerback] Stefan McClure. I call him my son sometimes, but we’re always together. He has several different characters and he’s just a guy I can relate to, have fun with, and hang out 24/7.
LB: If you could play against any team nationally, who would it be?
AS: Honestly, USC. USC every year. I hope we can play USC every game in 2013.
LB: Who do you think will step into a new role and excel this year?
AS: There are a lot of guys on this team who are gonna emerge this year. Out of the DBs, the linebackers, the D-line--you never know what’s gonna happen. A lot of people have been working really hard and this year is gonna be their year to shine. You have a lot of young guys: [linebacker] Jason Gibson. You’ve got the quarterbacks coming in: Zach Kline, Jared Goff. Receivers: Kenny Lawler, Darius Powe, Chris Harper. There are so many guys to name--it’s just gonna be an exciting year.
LB: We’re so glad we got to get to know you today, Avery. Thanks for joining us!
AS: Thank you for having me out here today.
LB: For Cal TV, I’m Lindsay Brauner.
LB: ...leaving. Sorry, that’s a blunt question...
Off-screen: Hey Stefan!
Stefan McClure (SM): You gotta stay hydrated out here--keep the interviewees nice and hydrated.
Off-screen: You’re the waterboy?
SM: I’m basically the waterboy out here. Waterboy, ballboy, I guess I got upgraded to benchboy having been on this bench for a little bit.