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WEB EXTRA: Brian Burrell Raw Interview

Read the Bulldog quarterback's thoughts on Brandon Connette, summer workouts and what he's hoping to prove during fall camp.
I had a chance to catch up with Fresno State quarterback Brian Burrell this week.  Here is a raw transcript of the interview. 
-Scott Bemis

Bemis:
Alright Brian I'm going to kind of take you back a little bit to the end of spring practice and then kind of what kind of has happened here with the quarterback position over the last couple of months. When you kind of got the news that Brandon was coming in and that a transfer was coming in, what was your reaction at that point?

Burrell: Actually at first I heard from the news or something and Coach Schramm called us in his office and apologized to us that we were not the first ones to hear about it, which I like that a lot. I appreciate that he took the time out to let us know. I'm excited about it. Brandon is a good quarterback. He pushes me. We got Kilton that came in too, Zack's been out there too, so I mean, we're a solid group that pushes each other. 

Bemis: Is it one of those things where you just kind of, at this point, you know, being in one of those things in college at a major program, you just have to embrace competition? 

Burrell: Yeah, for sure for sure. We embrace it. And this group of quarterbacks I would say more than last year is kind of a closer knit group. We sit together, we go out and work together just the quarterbacks sometimes, which last year we didn't do at all. We got each other's backs we all want each other to do well. I'm sure we all want to start but I don't want to see anyone mess up and I don't think anyone wants to see me mess up either. 

Bemis: How did Brandon come in, being new to the program like that, a guy who has experience though, have you- what's your relationship like? 

Burrell: Me and Brandon are actually really close. I've tried to help him learn the offense and then he has worked with other quarterback coaches, so he's pretty good with fundamentals, that's something that I need to work on, just footwork and stuff. So we've been out there working on a whole bunch of different stuff and we kind of help each other out with different things. So it's been working good. 

Bemis: Do you find yourself kind of in a teaching role a little bit more right now, like doing these summer workouts with him?

Burrell: Definitely more than last year, I mean last year I was set in the back and Derek did everything, you know what I mean.  I'll get there when it's my turn and I'll throw him a couple passes then just go back to the back and hang out. Whereas this year it's a lot different to say the least. 

Bemis: And with him specifically do you find that you're kind of teaching him right now, you know, to get him up to speed 

Burrell: Yeah. Well we'll all go in there to watch film, and Kilton too and even Zack and then every now and then they'll say something and we'll say like "oh I didn't know that" or something. They can read the defense and say something like "oh when a linebacker goes out farther it's likely he's going to blitz from here" you know what I mean just little tendencies that the defense does that we've all been picking up on and helping each other out with. 

Bemis: It is safe to say then that you are looking at this as a positive, bringing a guy like Brandon Connette into this program?

Burrell: Yeah I mean I think you have to take it as a positive or else you're just going to be maybe upset or hurt like "why did they bring somebody else in?" but, I don't know, I mean we just kind of control what we can control and that's worrying about ourselves as a quarterback group.  

Bemis: Was there any part of you that felt upset, or even right in the initial, you know when you heard "okay wait a minute why are they bringing a guy in- you know are they not happy with my performance?" Any part of you think like that at all?

Burrell: No not really. Coach Schramm and I sat down for a little bit and I talked to DeRuyterfor a little bit, but more Schramm and I sat down and talked and you know we kind of figured everything out and he told me what was happening and I mean I'm ready. I like the competition and he's made me better already so I just want to keep working and keep getting better. 

Bemis: What was Coach DeRuyter's message to you then in that conversation?

Burrell: Just that he's not coming in to be the starter, he's coming in to bring in more competition because as of spring our competition was not where it needed to be. Zack's been stepping up too in the summer practices. Myles is at receiver now and he's actually looking really good, he's actually looking really good so he can make an impact this year, who knows. That's up to the coach to decide who will play or not, I'm not worried about that. 

Bemis: Does it motivate you when you have more competition coming in?

Burrell: Yeah, you can't come out and have a bad day. If you don't have competition, you come out and have a bad day, no worries, I'll be out there tomorrow, I'll still be the guy tomorrow, the team will still look for me tomorrow. Whereas now if I have a bad day and Brandon has a good day, maybe people will be like "oh maybe Brandon's the guy", where that's not where I want it to be. 

Bemis: After the spring, looking into fall camp, what do you hope to show the coaches during fall camp with your performance? 

Burrell: Just that I can run the offense. I'm not trying to go out and do what Derek did last year.  My goal is not to throw 50 touchdowns. My goal is to win games, so whatever I have to do to win. 

Bemis: Do you hear the chatter out there about everybody just kind of penciling in Brandon as the starter?

Burrell: Oh I mean I haven't heard that, no. I mean I hear things all the time but I don't really pay attention to it. Me and Coach Schramm talk frequently and that's really what matters to me.

Bemis: Your role on this team then, in fall camp, it sounds like you're really taking on a leadership role. Have you found that during summer workouts? Are you taking on much more of a leadership role? 

Burrell: Yeah definitely. It's helped we have a whole bunch of leaders on defense,  which is good. So I mean the defense, I don't really even have to worry about them. They got Derron, Tyler Davidson, they got a whole bunch of returners coming back. And then offense we got a whole bunch of O linemen and Josh has been helping out so it makes it a lot easier on all the quarterbacks with all those leaders. 

Bemis: Could you see something where both of you guys, and maybe even Zack and Kilton, that there's several quarterbacks who see time, especially early in the season?

Burrell: I have no idea. We'll do whatever coach says they'll decide that so I don't know. 

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