Q & A with Husky Defensive End Ryan Julian
Aug. 30, 2000
What was it like not being able to play last season due to an injury?
Julian: "It was tough for me. I had tendonitis in both my knees so I was working with trainers and just trying to get back. I took last year off because I was just struggling too much. I wanted to compete more. I wanted to be a better player, so by doing that I took the season off and was able to get some strength back and take away the pain more or less. I had two surgeries on both my knees, but it seems to be looking good now.
"It was the most frustrating thing ever to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else play. It's like being able to see something and do it mentally, but my body wasn't able to do it physically. That's like the most stress anybody can go through. But I dealt with that, I kept fighting back. I did make a couple of plays in two of the games, the first two games. It's a lot of hard work, a lot of mental going on upstairs."
What did you learn watching from the sidelines?
Julian: "I learned there is more than football. I learned that I have to start doing better in school. I learned that football is not always going to be there. I learned there is going to be a lot of younger guys trying to step it up, so I try to teach them what they have to do. Hopefully, I'll help them come back and play some more.
What is the best thing about being a defensive end?
Julian: "It's hard core, straight up physical, mano-a-mano, try to make the sack, try to get to the quarterback. You are up front, you are always in the battle, in the trenches. I guess it's a glory spot too. Everyone wants to make a sack, everyone wants to make good plays. That's where the game tempo is started."
What do you do to psych out your opponents?
Julian: "It's more just being there and doing it than anything else. It's knowing that you can beat the guy in front of you. It's more psyching myself out, knowing that I can get around those guys and get off the ball fast. It is kind of a reaction of what he's going to do to me."
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Julian: "I wish I did. My pre-game ritual consists of a little heat on my knees, and getting in the hot tub and then ice after the game, stuff like that. Stretching out and warming my body up."
What do you do to get up for a game?
Julian: "Most people are bangers, they try to psyche themselves up physically, but I'm more of a mental person. I like to sit down, take some time to myself and go through what I'm about to do, what the game consists of. I kind of think in my mind, draw an image of what's going to happen. I like to think of myself getting around the guy, getting the sack. I like to think of myself making the perfect tackle."
Why did you chose Washington?
Julian: "Its a big-time school. I really liked it here. I came down to a football camp with Coach (Randy) Hart and spent some time with him. I liked his attitude and I heard great things about him from my high school coach. All of the '90s they've been up there. And the big stadium, the crowd. I just wanted to get to a national championship and I wanted to be the best I could be and I thought this was the place I could do that."
How much of a factor is the crowd in the game?
Julian: "When you have short yardage, about ready to make a safety, you can't even hear anything. You can't even hear the guy next to you. The first time I came out of the tunnel, that was the best thing ever. It was awesome. I can't even explain it. It was breathtaking. The crowd just yelling, the fans, everyone hooting and hollering. It was great."
Being from Idaho, is there more meaning to this game for you?
Julian: "I was recruited there. Playing against Idaho is big. I don't know any of the players there, but I know a lot of the students there, when I go back home I will hear about it. Just knowing we have Idaho on our schedule means a lot to me. With respect too, knowing that that's my home state we are playing against. That's all you hear about there. We don't have professional football in Idaho so all you hear about college. College is about as high as it goes. You always hear about the indoor facilities they have there and all the big time players. It's going to be a big game. I have a whole lot of respect for those guys getting to where they are. They have come a long way."
What is your favorite pro team/athlete to watch?
Julian: "The Green Bay Packers with Reggie White. I guess he is (my favorite) being D-line like me."
What is your favorite sport to watch other than football? Could you ever play any of them?
Julian: "I'm more into a different kind of sports, outdoor sports. I like to watch, like my dad's into, white water rafting, and stuff like that, but they only have that in the Olympics . Baseball, basketball...there's a lot of different sports I like to watch. I probably couldn't play any of them on this level but I played in high school. I was a three sport athlete."
What did you do for your 21st birthday on Monday?
Julian: "I went out to dinner with my girlfriend. Spent time with my family, relaxing, and hanging out. After a rough day of two-a-days, that's all I really want to do, is just hang out and relax."
What is your most exciting sports moment?
Julian: "The Washington State game, two years ago when we played there. I had my first start. I had a sack in that game. My first sack. That was probably the best game I've ever played."
What is the best thing about being a Husky?
Julian: "The best thing about it is knowing you are part of a group. All my teammates, are probably the closest friends I've had, ever."