Redziniak Sounds Off On Playing In The Big Ten's Trenches. Day In And Day Out

Ray Redziniak
Ray Redziniak

Nov. 8, 2000

Q: After a working through a spring season leg injury, what did you expect your return to action to be like?
RR: When it happened, I was just hoping to make it back in time for the season, and to be able to go at it full strength, and to have the best season that I could. God willing, everything has gone that way so far. Right now my ankle feels great.

Q: After playing for four years, what one word would you use to describe your time here?
RR: Enjoyable. I have enjoyed everything about it. I love the football aspect, the student aspect of it and I like the campus. I just really enjoyed coming here and the time I have spent here.

Q: Who is your best friend on the team?
RR: Probably Dan Cutter. I have a lot of close friends on the team, but Dan and I are roommates and have been since freshman year. That?s pretty much the way it went.

Q: What do you like best about your position of offensive guard?
RR: The competition. You can't take a play off down there. Every snap something is happening to you, a blitz, a stunt, something is coming at you. I just love it. I don't think I could play a position where there wasn't any contact. I don't think I could play any other position other than offensive line.

Q: What do you like best about Big Ten football games?
RR: Every week you are playing someone great. Other conferences have good competition, but not like here. Every week you get to play Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan. Most of the teams are in the top 25, and every week you are getting challenged.

Q: What one word best describes you as a person?
RR: I guess I'm a bit of a wise-guy. I like to joke around with people. I let them know if they mess up and when I mess up people give it back to me. It's all in good fun.

Q: Do you have any pre-game traditions or rituals that you go through before a game?
RR: Not really. I just try to get my mind focused on the job at hand that we have to do as a team and as an individual. I just listen to some music to get me pumped up, nothing really special.

Q: What are your goals for the future?
RR: Every college football player has hopes of playing in the NFL. I want to finish this season first, and then we will see after that, I will see where things take me. I will keep working out and see where things go from there. And if not, I would probably pursue a career in sales.

Q: Whom would you like to thank at the U of I for the last four years?
RR: I would like to thank coach Hiestand. He is my offensive line coach and he gave me my chance to come play here at this level. He has coached me to the best of his ability and has tried to make me the best player that he thought I could be. I'm thankful he gave me the opportunity to be coached by him and that I came to this university.