Too On One: Randall McDaniel - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Too On One: Randall McDaniel

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Posted: Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:51 pm | Updated: 9:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PAGE TOO: What has it been like to be back at your old stomping ground?

RANDALL MCDANIEL: It all comes back, especially coming back on the practice field. We'd walk out on the practice field and throw oranges before practice started. Now, the players get to ride the tram (bus). We older players give them a hard time. A part of me wishes I could do it all again, but then realize that there's no way I could do it again. But it's great to be back.

PT: Can you imagine (coach) John Cooper out on the field?

RM: Actually, (offensive coordinator) Jim Colletto is who I remember the most. He'd be down in the end zone, with the linemen, screaming at us. When I go back into (Sun Devil Stadium), I'll be able to see the spot in the booth where his face was bright and red, yelling. He always said that it started with the line. He always wanted to chew you out a little bit.

PT: What's it like being honored by ASU for your entering the College Football Hall of Fame?

RM: It's unbelievable. I can't put it into words. It's a great honor to be back.

PT: Can you process all that is happening to you, the honors you're getting for your football career? You're in the College Hall of Fame. After playing in 12 Pro Bowls, I'm guessing you'll be fitted for a yellow blazer for the NFL Hall of Fame soon.

RM: I'm in the moment for this right now. I've always said that it would be incredible to go into the NFL Hall of Fame, but I have no control over that. I'll be happy and proud if it comes. But this is my thing now. The next thing, I'm not sure yet. I did go to Canton to see 'Zimmie' (Gary Zimmerman) because the Vikings linemen all said that if one of us got in, we would all be there for it. All the linemen got together and had a great time. We were up until 2:30 in the morning, just talking to each other about our wives and how our kids have grown up. I don't like to think to think about what could be ahead. I'm going with the moment and enjoying it all I can.

PT: What are you doing now?

RM: I'm around elementary school kids (as a basic skills instructor for youth in the Minneapolis area) all day long. I got brave and started a program with my wife that does community service for middle schoolers.

PT: You were on ASU's first Rose Bowl team, and there has been only one since. Can you put into words how difficult it is to get to Pasadena?

RM: It's a long road. Everything has to line up and fall into place. You don't really know you're in it, or at least we didn't, until you realize that you're actually going to do it. Something about that year, though, a lot of the guys hung out during the summer and at (Camp) Tontozona, and we felt that this was our year. The seniors felt that was the time to go out and show everyone. We started the season out, and things were going well, and all of the sudden, it was like, "Are we really going to do this thing?" We made it to the Rose Bowl and knew we were going to win. Even when we got down (against Michigan), there was no panic. We knew we were going to come back. It was the best feeling in the world to see (Wolverines coach) Bo (Schembechler) on the sidelines, yelling and screaming, and we finished the job.

PT: Michigan's quarterback in that game, Jim Harbaugh, is now coach at Stanford. Is it neat to see how life has played out since then?

RM: You never know where you'll end up, or where life will take you. I look around and see guys who I played and coached with move on to the NFL and other big things, it's a great feeling.

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