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    Tom Brandstater is starting to draw national attention, earning a spot on the Davey O'Brien Watch List.
    Tom Brandstater is starting to draw national attention, earning a spot on the Davey O'Brien Watch List.

    Aug. 15, 2008

    FRESNO, Calif. - Pat Hill calls Tom Brandstater the "lynch-pin" of the Bulldog offense. An ESPN sportswriter named him the third-best kept secret in college football. And the Davey O'Brien Watch List identified him as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.

    It goes without saying that Brandstater enters the 2008 season as one of the rising stars in the country. After a strong showing in 2007, culminating in a win at the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl and the MVP title, Brandstater is poised to make this a season to remember.

    Brandstater sat down with GoBulldogs.com to talk about the life of a Bulldog, fall camp, and what 2008 has in store.

    GoBulldogs.com: What was your reaction when you heard you were named to the Davey O'Brien Award Watch List?
    Tom Brandstater: I was honored to be among such a great group of quarterbacks across the country. The O'Brien Watch List has such a great tradition of talented quarterbacks that I am just honored to be among them.

    GoBulldogs.com: Do you feel any added pressure with all hype surrounding the team as you look toward the season?
    TB: I don't look at it as pressure. We know what we have to do, so our biggest pressure is what we put on ourselves.

    GoBulldogs.com: How are you staying focused as the season approaches?
    TB: I take one practice at a time, one rep at a time. I'm really working on the little things. When you put enough of the little things together, goals become attainable.

    GoBulldogs.com: Two weeks in, how does it feel to be back in practice?
    TB: This is the dragging part of camp. Everyone's a little tired and the fun of getting back to football is starting to wear off. Now we're in 100-degree weather and trying to push through it. Right now, we have to remember that this is the tough part and it's just going to prepare us for the season ahead.

     

     

    GoBulldogs.com: After the team scrimmage on Sunday, how do you feel about how you're playing as an individual and as an offensive unit?
    TB: As an offense, we didn't make many mistakes. We were efficient, we moved the ball down the field, and we scored touchdowns in the compete zone and those were the objectives. I played as well as I could. I had one bad throw, one throw away, and the rest were for completions, so I was happy with the numbers. I made some good plays and the guys around me all played well. Overall, it was a pretty effective scrimmage for us.

    GoBulldogs.com: You seem to be working well with the new Offensive Coordinator, Doug Nussmeier. Has much changed for the offense as a whole under his guidance?
    TB: There hasn't been a dramatic change with Coach Nuss. Those things he has wanted to change, he has spoon-fed us. When you see those things start to work on the field, you're more apt to start believing in them.

    GoBulldogs.com: What about for you as a player?
    Coach Nuss has really fine-tuned everything I do as a quarterback. He has played in my position at the next level, so I know what he says is valid and I can trust his guidance.

    GoBulldogs.com: What are you looking forward to most this season?
    TB: I'm just looking forward to being a part of this team. Being a part of what could be the best year in Fresno State history if we take care of it on our end is really an amazing possibility.

    GoBulldogs.com: What is your most memorable moment playing at Fresno State?
    TB: My most memorable moment would have to be the Texas A&M game. I was so proud of the way we came back the way we did. It was obviously bittersweet because we didn't finish the job, but I'll never forget the pride I felt in that fourth quarter, as we're driving down the field, thinking to myself, `We were down by so much and now we're right back in the thick of things.' There was just an aura about the team that we weren't going to be denied. When we scored that touchdown to take it into overtime and then on in to overtime we were just playing on fumes and confidence. I'll never forget that feeling.

    GoBulldogs.com: What is the most important lesson you've learned playing Bulldog football?
    TB: The life lessons. The things about how you're going to get kicked in life and you just have to focus on the people around you that are trying to build you up because you can't do it all by yourself. You have to get back up and remember where you came from. Life throws you curveballs and you just have to take them and become a better person because of it.

    GoBulldogs.com: As you head into your final season at Fresno State, what are some of your future plans?
    TB: I want to play football for as long as I can. It's been a dream of mine to play at the next level. With that said, I know it's going to take a good effort this year. If that doesn't work out, I'm not going to waste too much time trying to pursue it. I will have my master's degree done by the end of year, so I can go into the business world and make a name for myself there.

    GoBulldogs.com: What do you like to do for fun outside of football?
    TB: I'm a golfer. In my spare time, golf is the one thing that can take my mind off a long season. There aren't many things that can get you away for four hours and allow you to forget about the rest of the world.

    GoBulldogs.com: What is one thing you would like Fresno State fans to know about you?
    TB: I'm proud to be part of such a special thing here at Fresno State. The tradition and everything that goes with Bulldog Football is something we're fortunate to be part of and it is something that a lot of people take for granted.

    Tomorrow: Position Outlook: Defensive Line

    "Join the State - Fresno State!" - The first Big Ten team will travel to the Valley as the `Dogs take on Wisconsin in the home opener on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN2. Be sure to reserve your seat for the Wisconsin game by purchasing a season ticket, family plan or 3-game mini plan for just $99. In the month of August, get your official Wisconsin game day t-shirt at the Bulldog Shop for only $10 with any purchase. To purchase tickets, click on the tickets icon at the top of this page, call the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS, or stop by the Bulldog Ticket Office.

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