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Aug. 10, 2004

Senior defensive end Simon Fraser
On being a leader
“Being one of the senior leaders is a challenge I look forward to. I am excited about this coming year, and have high hopes. I hope I can be someone the new guys and the underclassmen look up to.”

Senior place kicker Mike Nugent
On the team
“I think we have a great feeling going into this season. We have been more team oriented this year. We go to dinner more and hang out away from practice more times than I have ever seen.”

Junior center Nick Mangold
On the 2004 season
“I am very excited about this year. We have a great team with a huge amount of talent. Obviously our goal this season is to win the national championship and I know we have the team to accomplish our goal. It’s going to be fun to watch everything come together.”

Senior fullback Branden Joe
On getting ready for the upcoming summer practices
“You have to prepare yourself for the two-a-days mentally. It is going to be hot, intense and grueling. But I know, and the team knows, the harder we practice and the more we give, the greater the rewards and success his fall.”

Senior cornerback Dustin Fox
On being a starter
“The coaches rely on the seniors a lot during the season and it’s our responsibility to do as much as we can.”

On the incoming freshmen class
“It’s fun to bring the young guys in and see what they got. I remember being there, so it will be fun.”

Junior linebacker A.J. Hawk
On summer practices
“They went really well. The guys want to be here and they feel like they have something to prove, so we are ready to make a run for the Big Ten. That’s our goal every year, it’s all we know around here.”

On the defense
“Our defense this year has a lot to live up to. We are excited to get out there and prove to people we still got it.”