Monday, April 30, 2012

FGS Interview: You Gon' Love Ondre Pipkins

Obligatory "Goin' To Work" Caption
FGS got the opportunity to chat with one of our favorite recruits for the 2012 class, Ondre Pipkins. We talked about football, but also about the young man as a scholar and what he likes to do for fun. Without further ado, here's the best from our conversation with the man they call PeeWee:

FGS: So what are you working on this summer, in terms of personal workouts before being able to practice with the team, in order to get ready for the 'Bama game?

PeeWee: Well, you've got to stay light on your feet, especially if you're in the middle [of the line], and with the type of defense that Coach Mattison runs, you never know what you might be playing. You might be playing nose guard one day, and then the next day you could be playing 3-tech or 5-tech, so I'm working on footwork right now, speed getting off the ball, and eating right to maintain my diet and trim up some weight, 'cause I was overweight at the Army Bowl [laughs]

FGS: If you don't mind us asking, how big were you then?

PeeWee: I was about 360 [lbs.], so now I'm down to about 340 [lbs.]

FGS: Damn dude!

PeeWee: Yeah, so I'm gonna keep trimming so I can play at a weight where I can be more active and more aggressive at the point of attack.

FGS: That's crazy that even though you were at 360 [lbs.] you still chased down Stefon Diggs...He's a fast dude. (Unimpressed? According to Rivals, Diggs runs a 4.43 40-yard dash, and weighs 185 lbs.)

PeeWee: Man...sometimes you do things you never thought you could do.
Tackling the (very fast) ballcarrier
Separating carrier from ball
Notice: location of ball in relation to former carrier. PEEWEE SMASH.

FGS: [laughs] That's pretty awesome.

PeeWee: Yeah, it was fun.

FGS: So what kind of on-campus activities do you see yourself getting involved in (i.e. going to basketball games, supporting the student body outside of football, etc.)?

PeeWee: I'm a big sports guy, so you can definitely catch me at sporting events like basketball games. Hopefully if I get my body all trimmed I'd like to be one of the guys that paints my chest and go out there [in the stands].

FGS: [laughs]

PeeWee: On top of that that, it's just about surrounding myself with good people, going out and having fun when I can. School comes first and football comes second, then after that it's the social life so I'm willing to get into anything positive around campus.

FGS: Speaking of school, have you thought about what field you want to go into with your studies?

PeeWee: Oh man...broadcasting. Maybe a sports analyst, but I'm really not sure. One day I want to be a business man, the next day I want to coach, the next day who knows, so I'm not entirely sure yet. My plan right now is to start off in Communications.

FGS: Excellent choice. So aside from what might already be out there, what are people going to see from you, on and off the field, that'll make them like Ondre Pipkins?

PeeWee: Oh man, they gon' love me!

FGS: [laughs]

PeeWee: I'm a guy that's always down-to-earth, and never shy away from meeting new people or being cordial to fans. I'm just a happy person, all-around. When I strap on that helmet it's all business and I've got to have a mean streak. But, off the field, I'm a humble, happy guy just taking things one day at a time, one step at a time.

FGS: That's great, especially when you've maintained it through rising in recruiting rankings and all the hype that it brings. Off the field, though, what do you like to do to have fun?

PeeWee: I love watching movies, really just generally bein' a kid. Michigan Adventures, amusement parks, chillin' with family and friends. I like fishing. I miss those days when me and my pops would just go out fishing.

FGS: If you ever have time, we should go fishing.

PeeWee: Yeah man, I can't wait to get up there [and do some fishing].

FGS: Who do you go to for inspiration and motivation?

PeeWee: Aw man, lots of people. Lamar Woodley for one [laughs], my parents. My two older brothers push me every day, they want to see me do something that they never did. I try to be a role model to my nephew and my two nieces as well.

FGS: And in coming to a big school like Michigan, how do you plan on coming in and dealing with expectations?

PeeWee: Well, expectations are very high. I don't believe in hype. I don't care if I'm a 5-star in high school, all that's gone and I'm down to the bottom of the depth chart as a freshman just like everybody else. I've got to pay my dues, come in and prove myself all over again, 'cause it doesn't matter what you did in high school. I'm going to do whatever the coaches tell me to do to perform at a high level.

FGS: What has the coaching staff told you so far?

PeeWee: Coach Hoke, for one, told me he couldn't promise me anything [laughs]. A lot of coaches, in recruiting, they start promising you stuff and then once you get [to college] you might see that those promises don't come true. I think the coaching staff [at Michigan] is very honest and up-front. They don't guarantee you a minute, you've got to come in and earn everything. I'm glad they did that with me, 'cause now...I'm hungry. That hunger just builds up and the first day I put on pads it'll be like, 'Wow, I actually made it here.' I'm really looking forward to that, as well as being part of the whole family and tradition that Michigan has.

FGS: Definitely, I mean I think you'll see that the fans really respond to that as well once you get in and are producing on Saturdays. It's crazy enough for us being in the stands as students, we can only imagine what it'll be like for you actually down on the field.

PeeWee: Oh yeah man, the Ohio State - I mean, the OHIO game [laughter] was so exciting. It was crazy to see people who know you by name and nickname, cheering for you like you're already part of the team and I'm like, 'Man, I'm only a recruit!' [laughs] But I take it all as love and respect.

FGS: So we saw the Hoke impression - loved it - but who would you say is the biggest class clown coming in for the 2012 class?

PeeWee: Class clown? I gotta go with - he might be quiet, at times - but I gotta go with James Ross.

FGS: Really?

PeeWee: Yeah man, James Ross can clown on you. And also Erik Magnuson. Erik reminds me of Taylor Lewan [laughs].

FGS: Does he have that same mean streak that Taylor's got?

PeeWee: I haven't gone up against [Erik] yet, but if you're playing football you've gotta have a mean streak - I don't care if you're playin' kicker! [laughter] You've gotta be ready to take hits and if someone gets after you, you're ready to do something about it.

FGS: [laughs] Who's the toughest guy you've gone against in your whole career?

PeeWee: I feel as if, and I don't mean this in the sense that like I'm better than anybody, but I feel like when I'm in pads and someone beats me, I feel like it's something that I did to let that happen, not the other way around...I really don't feel like I went up against anybody that was better than me.

FGS: You're ready for the next challenge?

PeeWee: Oh yeah.

FGS: We appreciate you talking with us and we're rooting for ya. Definitely excited for you to get up here.

PeeWee: It's no problem, Michigan family's gotta stick together at the end of the day.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ondre Pipkins. Thanks again for talking with us PeeWee, and here's wishing you a very successful Freshman campaign this fall!


  1. Already one of my favorite players! I'm excited for Ondre and can't wait to see great things from him.

  2. He sounds very genuine in everything that he said. Even if he isn't an all-american 1st round pick like some people foresee he will work hard to be the best he can

  3. Ondre was an amazingly cool guy, and from the conversation, I would be shocked if he did not live up to fan expectations. His expectations for himself are higher than anyone else's. Great kid... will be rooting for him no matter what the stat sheet says