• How has it been like bouncing around from different positions.
“We actually were kind of prepared for it; so when the situation happened, I knew that I was going to have to move to safety. Once I stepped into the role it was a comfortable transition.”
• What are your thoughts on NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch.
“He’s a playmaker. Sometimes you don’t even expect some of the plays the he makes to happen. You don’t really get to see it in practice as much as you see it in the game because you can’t really tackle the quarterback in practice, but we know what he is capable of.”
• What do you as a defense take pride in most.
“How we really prepare and focus when it comes to game time. It doesn’t matter which position. All-around we are pretty excited to prepare for the game and being mentally prepared for the game.”
Victor Jacques - Sr - MLB
Corporate and Organizational Communications major
Christopher Columbus High School
How did you end up at NIU?
“Going through the whole recruiting process, I wanted to see something different. I had a couple of offers from here in Florida, but I wanted to see what the rest of the country had to offer. I wanted to see something new; so I took my chance at NIU.”
• What was the transition like?
“It was quite a culture shock. Definitely the weather was one of the biggest parts of that. The people were different. There’s a lot more of diversity here in Miami, which is considered a melting pot; so it was a little different.”
How would you characterize the play of the [NIU] defense this year?
“It’s a physical, swarming defense. We’re fundamentally sound, and everyone has a job to do, and as long as we each do our job, we should be fine.”
• Is there a common thread in the games in which the defense did not play well?
“[In those games] we played unsoundly, screwed up a little bit, and that leads to bad things. So we’re focusing on those mistakes and staying fundamentally sound to play well in this game.”
• How giddy were you when it was announced that you would be playing in the Orange Bowl?
“Oh man I was smiling from ear to ear. It was almost hard to control sometimes, you know almost emotional.
“Especially being from here it was quite an experience. The emotions are still going [and] coming here — just brings them all back up.”
• Overall there is a clear favorite and a clear underdog. How do you feel in that role?
“We expected it. We knew what we we’re getting ourselves into, but we’ve prepared well. This is a well solidified program coming up; so this is not the first time we will be playing a good team. Over the years we’ve been preparing well [and] playing well. So we’re ready, definitely ready.”
• How important was it to have guys from South Florida with you at Northern Illinois?
“It was very comforting. It’s a different type of bond. You bond with your teammates of course, but being able to come back home and still interact with some of your teammates is quite special.”
Jamaal Bass – R-So - OLB