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August 30, 2017

Brandon Wimbush

South Bend, Indiana

Q. Just wondering what did Freddy Canteen do to move to the top of the depth chart? We saw him listed as a co-starter for the opener.
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I think Freddy, as well as the entire receiving corps, but the three guys who are starting, they've really worked their tails off from the moment they stepped on to campus. Freddy and Cam speaking, and then obviously the freshman, also. To earn that position is obviously a highly coveted position all across the board, and I think all the guys have done a great job, and I think that Freddy deserves the position.

Q. What does a healthy Alizé Mack bring to your offense?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, he's a dynamic weapon for me and the rest of the offense, and we hope to exploit him and use him in any fashion that we can. He's a great playmaker for us, and I think 86 will be huge in my development and getting him the ball will be pretty easy.

Q. Your teammates keep talking about your demeanor and how calm you are and your aura. How do you stay so calm? What are you doing maybe off the field to kind of keep your --
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah. I think it's easy when you have guys like Mike. The season that Mike is having, it feels like he's doing this for like his 10th year now. Those guys really make it easy. Up front they've given me so much time in the pocket and so much comfort, and I guess I just have the playmakers and the running backs and receivers. Everybody makes it really easy, and for a quarterback, that's huge, especially in your first year starting and going out there to play. So I think that makes it easy on me. I'm able to relax, and those guys, they may answer questions that I have, and I'm able to answer questions that they have, and it just keeps my mind really composed, and I think I just have a great supporting cast around me to keep my head kind of on the same plane.

Q. Is there one person that you've found yourself going to a lot when you do have questions?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Coach Rees has been awesome for me and the rest of the quarterbacks. He's been great, and he's given us all the answers if we do have questions. He's been behind our backs. He's gotten our backs throughout the whole spring through fall camp because he's -- he just went through it like four years ago, so he knows what goes on in the quarterback room.

Q. And as far as also, again, just keeping calm and stuff and relaxing, is there anything you do off the field away from football to kind of keep your mind at ease?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I like to draw a lot, yeah.

Q. What do you draw?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I draw anything that comes to mind.

Q. What did you draw most recently?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I couldn't even tell you what it was. It was just an accumulation, conjunction of different random things. It was like a police officer and then a lady stealing from a safe, there was like flowers in the background. It was weird, but it was cool.

Q. Is that something that you do when you get home from practice or --
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, whenever I have free time. I don't have much of it, but before I go to sleep, I either draw or read something.

Q. Did you take an art class when you were little?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I'm a studio art minor right now.

Q. How do you approach Saturday and everything that you're going to experience for the first time and not make it too big and say, it's still football?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, it's a whole new experience for me, especially as a starting quarterback. I approached it kind of differently for the first two years that I was here being behind those guys, but I'm trying to build a routine, a pregame routine or a pre week routine. It's my first week going through it. As a starter, I told Josh and Dexter the other day, I was like, hey, man, I feel like a rookie, and you guys to me are seasoned veterans right now because you've done this, and I'm just trying to prepare and be on the same level as those guys, and hopefully perform to the level expectation that the rest of the offense and the team needs from me.

Q. What are you most interested in experiencing once you get to game day on a Saturday?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Singing the alma mater and the fight song at the end of it, knowing that we came out with a W and just feeling the joy of a winning team and being the starting quarterback of that team.

Q. When you're the starting quarterback, life kind of changes for you. How maybe did you work with DeShone or look to see how DeShone handled it because it'll be different for you after Saturday.
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, it'll be different, but I don't think much will change on my part. I think a lot of the surrounding entities will change, but I think DeShone and when Malik had his opportunity, I think they both handled it with grace, and that's what I look forward to doing.

Q. Just since the start of classes, how has life been different on campus?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I mean, you can imagine people kind of looking, and I think that'll increase probably after Saturday. Just to see my face on the Jumbotron now, that'll bring more attention. But like I said, I think everything is going to stay the same for me, and I hope to handle it all with grace because I know things will definitely change on campus.

Q. Have you looked at the tradition of the position here and the people who preceded you, and how do you look at that and embrace that, the expectations of being the quarterback at Notre Dame?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, I've spoken to thighs man, I've spoken to -- I just met Mr. Meyer a couple weeks ago, and those are two exemplary guys that you can really look up to as a quarterback here and understand the tradition and the history that comes with playing the position at this University and how much of a privilege it is. I look forward to upholding that, the standard that those guys have left here, as well as Coach Rees, so you know, you have those types of people that come through this program and play the position, and you just really want to be the next person who those names -- who you're up to with those names.

Q. Yesterday Coach Kelly mentioned the importance of you learning from mistakes, being a quarterback that's getting his first big taste of experience. How big are these first few weeks? Especially this week obviously getting a win is most important in your mind, but how big is it for you to learn from live action?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: It's huge, because experience I've always said is the thing you can't replicate, so getting out there and actually going through the first couple of plays and going through a game and going through the ups and downs I think will be huge in my development. I like to look at Deondre Francois's season last year, how much he's grown from the first game to the last game. He's a good friend of mine, so I think we'll speak on that. That's what I hope to do, and I think having a full game under my belt will be huge for me and my confidence especially.

Q. What do you remember about the last game that you started, and when was that?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Last game I started was December 4, 2014, and it was rainy. It was in the New York Giants stadium, state championship game. I mean, that was -- you're kind of on top of the world right there, your senior year high school team and you're playing with some of the best all around. And then you come into college, and you're back to the bottom of the totem pole, and it's a slow rise back to the top, and hopefully towards the end of this year I'll be back at the same position. But it was a good start for me the last time I started a game, but the last time I stepped on the field here, it wasn't the best experience, but we'll keep that in here.

Q. Your high school coach said that he could have started you as a sophomore, but he wanted to be careful with your development, and he also paced your patience throughout that season. What did you learn from that experience, and how did that kind of help you while you were waiting for your turn?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, it's a similar experience for me in terms of starting, my starting point for my career being my junior year. I don't think I was ready in high school to start my sophomore year or freshman year, and those guys who were in front of me did a great job, and then same kind of scenario here, where I had two great guys in front of me, and I was able to learn and sit back a little bit and progress and develop physically and mentally, and now I feel like I'm ready to take over the reins and do something special here.

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