Hear the Conversation 28:51 – 16.5 mb mp3
“The Rose Bowl was special,” Spartan football center Travis Jackson tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman on WJR’s MSU Today program. “It’s something you dream of as a kid, and to be able to live out that dream was truly remarkable.
“The one thing I’ll remember is how Spartan Nation came out to support us. The stadium was as loud as any I can remember and it seemed like three quarters of the stadium was green.”
Both Travis and Mike Sadler are active on social media.
“I think Twitter especially is a very good tool to let the fans get to know you,” says Sadler. “And as long as you use it properly and are mature about it, it can enhance your brand, the school’s brand, and the football team’s brand.”
Sadler recounts the story about how he became one of Seventeen Magazine’s hottest college football players.
“I have no idea how I made that list,” he says. “But my teammates certainly had fun with it.”
And Jackson tells how he was inspired to perform the “Yes” dance.
“The chant is a WWE thing from a guy named Daniel Bryan,” he says. “I did it during the Michigan game and it just kind of blew up. Then Coach D came to me before the Ohio State basketball game and said ‘I want to see this thing done right.’ It was really cool to have that many people do the chant with me. Spartan Nation showed Coach D how it’s done.”
Both Jackson and Sadler tell how it was Coach D and all of MSU’s authenticity and family atmosphere that led them to come to MSU when they could have gone anywhere in the country.
“Coach Dantonio and his staff really make you feel welcome here,” says Sadler. “They care about you off the field, too, and they want to see you grow and become a man.”
“I remember sitting in Coach Dantonio’s office and him telling me that he recruits people as well as players,” adds Jackson. “He also is a man of great faith, and he allows you to express yourself in the ways you want to.”
Jackson and Sadler talk about balancing academics and athletics.
“It’s tough balancing your time, but we have a great staff at the Smith Center who help us, and all the professors I’ve had have been very helpful and understanding, says Jackson.”
“With the staff we have here, it’s almost hard to fail,” adds Sadler. “As long as you’re willing to work hard and put forth a good effort, it’s almost hard to fail.”
“The ideal teammate is a Spartan,” says Sadler. “Spartans always protect the person next to them. If you had to put it into a couple words, I’d say trust, loyalty and commitment.”
Jackson adds that “toughness is important, too, especially for the guys up front. And loyalty is huge.”