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December 29, 2010

Culmer St. Jean


Q. When you look at who leads your team in tackles, are you surprised? Do you know who leads your team in tackles?

Q. Does it surprise you at all?
CULMER ST. JEAN: No, not at all. Me and Blake since the season started we always competed against each other. We played the same position and both played multiple positions at the linebacker spot. He's a great player. He's a great guy. He's really smart. He knows where the ball's supposed to be and when it's supposed to be there and all the leverages and stuff like that. He has a great understanding of the defense and that's why he's capable of making all those tackles.

Q. Talk about going against your running game on a daily basis. I know your offensive line is tough. But just your running backs, how hard they are to stop and tackle and go in a different direction than you want them to go.
CULMER ST. JEAN: Okay, yeah, definitely. We have a triple threat at running back. Clay's big. He's also shifty. People fail to realize how shifty and quick he is, and it's very deceiving. Then we have White, we call them the freshman fifth year senior. He does everything right, everything he has to do, but he's just a freshman.
That is the changeup. And then Montee's a little mix of both, he's not as big as Clay, or fast as White, but he's able to do what both can do. So having all those three every day playing against top quality running backs are unbelievable, and it's great for our defense. We get a great look.
I think TCU has the same type of athletes at the running back position, and they also rotate three.

Q. How excited are you to end your career in this game knowing what it means not just to the university but to the state and the Big 10? Are you excited it's getting closer?
CULMER ST. JEAN: I wouldn't have it any other way. The granddaddy of them all. There are so many legends that have played here. Just to be here among the people that have been here in this stadium itself is unbelievable. The beauty of the stadium and everything. Just being able to close with my team at the Rose Bowl.
I've watched it as a kid, being able to have the opportunity to be here and take it all in, just play on that field that all the legends and coaches and players have played is just unreal.

Q. Who was the main recruiting coach at the time?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Yeah, Coach B. is the one who offered me my scholarship. He recruited me, and when I got in, Coach Doeren was the linebacker coach, and he gave me the opportunity to play linebacker.

Q. How have you seen Coach Bielema change from the time he started to where he is now? Just like as a player you grow and you learn. Talk about how your coach has done that?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Well, I feel like our first recruiting class a lot of people said that it was the worst. That it wasn't well scattered. We didn't have the five stars and the four stars and all that stuff that people were looking for.
We had talented players, at least our class felt that way. Our class coming in we're like we're going to make a statement. We just had a chip on our shoulder.
I think Coach B. came in the same way. Nobody really knew who he was. He was coming off a legendary coach. He already won three Rose Bowls. As he coached, he started learning the hard way and the easy way.
His first year was a great year. He went 12-1, and then the next year there were a few tough follows. For him to be able to bounce back at a 12-1 season in the biggest game is unreal. I feel like him and us as recruits we grew together. It's a great feeling to finish at the Rose Bowl.

Q. You use the word relaxed, that may not be the right word, but can you see him a little more calm? Can you see him maybe enjoying it a little bit more the last two years especially after the '08 season where he was always kind of scatter brained a little bit everywhere?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Yeah, definitely. I think it's more the players. We've been here for five years, so he knows how we work, how we think, the way we approach games and the way we attack things. After you go through four years of routine and you get the same results and the same quality and the same thing every year, you're kind of able to relax because you know what the final product is always going to be. I think that's why he's more relaxed.
We've got a lot more veterans. This is the first year ever that all the seniors in the senior picture, all of the seniors have played and started at one point in time. So to be able to have that many leaders that understand the game and have been in the line of fire, it gives you a relaxed aura to yourself. I think that's why he's relaxed. I think that's why most of the guys it seems it's a calming before the storm.
Everybody's calm and starting to relax and fine tune, watch film, do a little more individual after practice and stuff like that. I think we know what we have to do to win the game or get the results that we want.

Q. I'm sure you have perceptions of what TCU looks like. How have those perceptions evolved here looking at tape and how they play and reading them and that type of deal?
CULMER ST. JEAN: We've done a lot of research and watched a lot of tape. I've watched tons of tape. First thing that popped into my mind is undefeated. We weren't able to go undefeated so you know that's a challenge within itself going 12 games week in and week out and winning each game unanimously. Without a doubt they left no question on the field that they were the better team. That is very respectful and honorable.
As I watch film, all of the thoughts became relatively true that they have the athletes, they have the coach, they have the players, they have a great scheme that they just continue to do. They do what we do. We're going to play our offense and we're going to play our defense.
On the flip side, they do the exact same thing. They're going to play their offense and they're going to play their defense. So honestly it's really whoever puts forth the most effort and plays the best and executes is going to win this game.

Q. Any surprises? Did you see anything different that is interesting?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Yeah, they have a little tweak to their spread offense that is very unique. They're capable of doing that because of the type of players. No. 85 is a phenomenal player. Their quarterback makes literally no mistakes.
If I could compare Scotty Tolzien to anybody this year, them two would be similar because they know how to manage a game. They're not giving up and throwing bad passes. They're not giving up big plays or taking sacks or anything like that. They just manage the game and let the running backs do the work. They're going on to hand that ball off.
It seems both quarterbacks would rather hand the ball off before they throw a pass. So they're a lot similar like us as far as their mindset and how they approach a game, but as far as the offensive scheme, totally different.

Q. Does it seem you've been put in a position to be the "Goliath" of the game?
CULMER ST. JEAN: No, I don't think so. I think it comes with the conference. We're a Big Ten Conference team. Big 10 speaks for it self. And they're a non AQ team. That is the reason we got that image. As far as our performance, we both equally perform the same. I think it's more of the conference than the BCS and all the standings ask stuff like that made us seem like we're the Goliath of the two.

Q. (Inaudible)?
CULMER ST. JEAN: I think that's what we've been working towards since I got here on campus. It's been about the Ohio State's and Michigan and Iowa, and Penn State's and all that stuff. I think every year it's always been about giving Wisconsin the respect that they deserve and giving us the respect that we want.
I think it's an honor to be put up there with USC, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State's calling us the big dogs this game. But when you turn on the tape, the same two quality teams, so it's an honor to get that title. As far as players and coaches, they know it could have been vice versa either way.

Q. Do you feel given the history of the Big 10 and a couple other programs that you get more attention?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Excuse me?

Q. Do you feel you have something to prove here?
CULMER ST. JEAN: We approach every game like we have something to prove. Being in the Big Ten Conference every team's a great team. Playing Ohio State, this is the first time Coach B. won at the Big House, so there are a lot of things that we have to prove to get that title that we currently have.
There is no point in having the title if we can't own up to it. Every game is a statement game. What better statement than to win the Rose Bowl?

Q. Do you feel like it's almost us versus them with TCU being a non Big 10 school?
CULMER ST. JEAN: No, I don't feel that way. We've been about Wisconsin, and we like to represent the Big 10. That's what we're doing at the Rose Bowl. So pretty much we're here to play for Wisconsin fans and ourselves and the staff and the university, and also the Big 10. Those are the two things that we represent.
Also in the BCS, we take that into consideration. But in no shape or form that decides the game or how we play because we've been in that situation and we haven't made it in the BCS. All we want to do is represent the Big 10 and our university.

Q. You've been with your team for three years. Do you look at them as we're the Big 10 and we can beat this caliber of a team?
CULMER ST. JEAN: Yeah, definitely. I think the last two years they've been undefeated in the regular season, it might even roll over to the third year, yeah. So they're capable of performing. They played in a BCS game last year. It was a tough one and they lost in a close game. So they've been in situations that we have as far as being a BCS team.
So I think they have the caliber of players to play with any BCS team. Their record speaks for itself, so I definitely feel -- and they're moving to the Big East in a year or two, so clearly they have the capabilities of being a BCS team.

Q. When you heard the match-up, were you like TCU? Did you know about TCU?
CULMER ST. JEAN: I follow college football, so I had a good idea. I never was able to sit down and watch the game because we kind of fell around the same times.

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