Opponent's View: KSU DB Ty Zimmerman

Ty Zimmerman

Kansas State defensive back Ty Zimmerman previews his squad's upcoming Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl match-up with Michigan.


QUESTION:  What is in the future for you?
Ty Zimmerman:  Hopefully I can stick around in the game as long as I can, possibly coach.

QUESTION:  It's been a family business for you.  Do you see yourself following your father down the coaching path?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  Definitely.  Ever since I've been playing, I definitely have seen myself doing the same thing he did.  Hopefully I can learn as much information as possible, take over my own team one day.

QUESTION:  Playing under a guy like Coach Snyder for four years, how important is that?  Has that been like a daily study in coaching?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  Yeah.  The good thing about Coach Snyder is he's more focused on you as a man than as a football player, making sure we get our degrees, making sure when our time is done here that we have an opportunity to be successful in life.
Definitely it's been a great opportunity to play for him, to learn a lot of things.  I know it will prove to be beneficial to me later in life.

QUESTION:  It's the 11th hour of your career, final game in Tempe.  How fast has it gone by?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  In some ways it's gone fast, in some ways it's kind of dragged on.
Looking back on it, it's been fun.  Been part of some great teams, been around some great guys.  Hopefully we can close out our careers as seniors and win a bowl game.

QUESTION:  The preparation had to be agonizing to get through the rehab.  Was it tougher this year than last year?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  It was easier in the sense that I've been through it before.  I knew where in my rehab I could push myself, where to kind of hold back.  It was tougher in the fact that I'm a senior and obviously nothing is guaranteed.
I knew right away what happened.  Against TCU, it was the same injury.  It was tough being out Senior Day against Kansas.
It's been a huge motivational factor to get out and play with these guys one more time.

QUESTION:  (Question regarding Senior Day and not being able to play.)
TY ZIMMERMAN:  That Senior Day was one of the toughest things I ever had to do.  I tried to play through my head how I was going to go out.  I wasn't going to cry, get all emotional.  I was going to hold my head high and be thankful for everything I have.  You can't prepare yourself for something like that.
But that moment was a huge motivational factor for me, knowing where I've come from, what it took to get to this point.  Hopefully I can contribute to this team one last time and help us get a win.

QUESTION:  Were you surprised at all, not being able to play the last couple games, that you got the accolades that you did?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  I was a little bit.  The way I've always looked at that is you don't get those awards without being on a great team.  Like I said, I've been surrounded by some unselfish guys that come to work each and every day.  When you're around that type of team, it opens the door for those individual awards and those opportunities you get post-season.
I'm definitely not hanging my hat on that.  More important to me is the wins, and in this instance getting a bowl win.

QUESTION:  Is this what it's all about?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  You know, bowl season is definitely fun.  We weren't able to go home for Christmas this year, so definitely getting the bowl gifts and everything like that is pretty cool.
For us I think it helps coming back to Arizona.  The Wow factor isn't there for us any more.  I think people are more focused on winning a bowl game than the outside distractions.
But definitely the hospitality is different here than any other place.

QUESTION:  What do you expect Michigan to do right away?  What do you think their offense does best?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  I don't think they're going to change.  They have a great running game.  When they establish that run, it opens it up for the passing game.  They definitely got some talent on the outside.
For us it's not focusing on our opponent, who we're lining up against; it's focusing on our own execution, what we're doing defensively.  That's stopping the run, first and foremost, being good on third down, creating some turnovers for offense.
If we can do that, jump out to an early lead, we can make them more one-dimensional.

QUESTION:  Can you believe you're about to play your last college game?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  No.  It's crazy.  I've talked to a lot of teammates.  Me and Blake Slaughter have been joking about it, this is our last drill, this is our last seven-on-seven together.  It's crazy.
I've been blessed to be on great teams here.  Looking back, I'll definitely appreciate the fans and everything that it's given to me.

QUESTION:  What are the next few months going to be like for you?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  I don't know.  I know our coaching staff helps our seniors out with that.
For us, it's going to be winning this bowl game first and foremost.  Then after that, just starting to train to get yourself ready for Pro day.  Hopefully the opportunity comes.  If not, then I'll start my career in coaching, see what life holds.

QUESTION:  NFL is a goal?
TY ZIMMERMAN:  More like a dream for me growing up.  As it got closer and closer, it's become a goal of mine to play at the highest level.  I know stuff like that doesn't happen if you're not on special teams. Those opportunities have come from being on a special team.  I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket.  If it doesn't happen, I'll have something to fall back on.

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