Gator Country’s Franz Beard recently interviewed Brian Valdez, a cornerback for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts, on video. Although the interview was done prior, he recently attended Friday Night Lights at UF.
Franz Beard: With Brian Valdez, cornerback for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts. Brian, this is going to be your first year here at Lakeland. You transferred in from Orlando. What’s it been like making the transition here to Lakeland after playing at Freedom High School?
Brian Valdez: The transfer has been good, the program here is very nice and the facilities and everything are nice. The coaches they are very welcome from me coming out of a winning program and then going to another winning program is not really much of a big transition but it’s number one in the nation and these boys are pretty good.
Is the biggest difference here maybe the expectations that everybody here knows that we’re playing for a national championships and high school championships? I know you’ve won games at Freedom but it’s a different level here.
Yeah it’s a different level. We should have went a little further at Freedom. We had a great team last year, a couple of downfalls, we kept losing our quarterback and coming here is pretty good.
How was your first (1:07 –inaudible) here? Do you feel like you were able to compete the way you wanted too?
I didn’t play spring here; I played spring up in Freedom. Spring was all right and everything was the same. Not too much change, the only reason I moved was because of family issues, financial.
Now, 5’ 10”, 180 pounds, which is considered ideal size almost for a corner these days. They like them between 5’ 10” and 6’ and about that weight. What do you bench press at?
I bench press at 240 or 250 nowadays.
Okay and what’s the goal this summer? I know you’re working out with the guys here.
They told me I can get to 300 by the beginning of the season, so I’m going to have to see.
Got some workouts there that are serious and can get you pretty far.
So you’re really pushing it then, huh?
All right. Speed wise, right now you’re what, you’re about 4/5 or 4/6?
And any goals to lower that down?
I’m going to try and get a 4/3 or 4/4. If I can get a 4/4, I’ll be in a top flight cornerback because I could shut down, I could cover, I could do all of that.
All right. Now at Freedom you played safety and you’re here at Lakeland and they’re moving you to corner. Is that going to be a difficult transition for you?
No sir because at Freedom when I started my freshman year, I played corner. The first year as a freshman and sophomore and then my junior season I played safety. I mean I like corner more then I like safety because you get more action, (2:33 – inaudible) in Orlando they like to run, they have a lot of powerhouse running backs, so they have a lot of run protection. We ran a 4/4 defense.
So now you’re going to play corner where there’s a lot of action.
Playing with a team that’s going to go up to Ohio, do a lot of things like that, it’s got to be pretty exciting?
It is pretty exciting but like I said, this is a great team and it’s my spot to gain but I’m not here to take over somebody’s spot. I’m just here to play football.
Now tell us who you’re hearing from so far and who is recruiting you?
I’m getting recruited by Colorado, Indiana University, FIU, UCF…
And Louisville also?
Okay that’s a pretty good group. Is there any place you’re hoping that they see you and they say, “Okay we’d like to have you with us Brian.”
Louisville, FAU, FIUCF, anywhere close to home.
Anywhere close to home. You’re kind of like a momma’s boy to, you have to be close to mom?
Oh yeah, of course. I have to be around my family.
Okay that’s good. Have you had any offers so far?
I had one from UCF and FAU is trying to get to me.
Now let’s talk about obviously the one thing if you’re going to be playing Division 1 football, obviously we have to have the grades. So how are we with the grades and the test scores?
I have a 3.6 GPA and I have a 1050 on the SAT and I haven’t seen my scores back from the ACT yet.
All right, so you’re qualified then. You’re good to go as soon as somebody gives you an offer. With Brian Valdez, cornerback for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts. Thanks.