Senior linebacker Levi Madarieta. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Returning for his final season at BYU, Levi Madarieta will provide the Cougars with experience on defense this season. Madarieta was a three-sport letter winner, and won the national punt, pass and kick competition in high school. He began his collegiate career as a safety at Washington, and has successfully made the transition to linebacker at BYU.
Q. Do you have any unusual talents?
A. I can talk in a really high voice. I have been able to do it since I was a little kid.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do with friends?
A. I just like to relax and watch TV. We mostly watch sports programs.
Q. You are from Weiser, Idaho. What is something about Weiser people don't know?
A. Weiser is the home of the National Old-Time Fiddlers competition. Every year hundreds of people come to town, park on people's lawns, and wander around town. I've been a few times. Mostly because of the random people that come to town, it's fun just to go and people watch.
Q. What is the best thing about being from Weiser?
A. I guess the fact that you know everybody and everybody knows you. Wait. That may not be such a good thing. Growing up, Weiser was a football town. The whole town would shut down on a Friday evening and everyone would come to the football game. It was a big event.
Q. Who was your favorite player to imitate while you were growing up?
A. Michael Jordan. I was always taller than everybody growing up, so basketball was my main sport. I was 6-2 when I was in the seventh grade, so I was always taller than everyone else. I actually started playing football when I was in sixth grade. Once everyone caught up to me, I started leaning towards football.
Q. Who has been the most influential person in your athletic success?
A. Early on it was my older brother, Todd. He played high school football and I wanted to be just like him. I've also had great coaches on every level I've played that have helped me out a lot.
Q. Who is your favorite actress?
A. Reese Witherspoon. She's pretty good looking. I guess that's why I like her.
Q. What is something people don't know about you?
A. I like long walks on the beach and romantic, candlelight dinners.
Q. What is the best thing about living in Provo?
A. Definitely the good looking girls.
Q. If you don't make it to the NFL, what do you want to do for a career?
A. I want to coach college football. I've always wanted to be the kind of person who enjoys getting up and going to work. I think coaching would give me that opportunity. I love being around the game. I think it would also be rewarding to work with young men on a daily basis.
Q. What should the girls at BYU know about you?
A. I am not as mean, nor as mad as I look.
Q. Of all the players on the team, who do you wish you were most like?
A. Brady Poppinga. If I could be like Brady, I would have a few more loose screws. Actually, Brady is a great person. When he is on the football field, he's absolutely nuts. I want to be more like that, or at least be like that more often.
Q. What is your favorite coach's quote:
A. My favorite quote comes from Coach Lamb. He always says, "Bag of doughnuts." He usually says something like that when he is explaining a certain formation or coverage. If something should be simple for us to grasp, he'll say, "Bag of doughnuts."
Q. What are your impressions of the new defensive system?
A. I love it. I guess you can explain it like some sort of organized chaos. It's just so intense. It is one of the most intense systems I have ever been involved in. It is a very good thing. We're always flying around, going hard, it's just a lot of fun.
Q. What game are you most looking forward to?
A. Right now, I'm looking forward to our first game, Georgia Tech. It's hard waiting for the first game. I can't wait. Other than that, I would have to say Utah of course. We have some revenge to take care of. Of course, I'm really looking forward to playing at USC and at Norte Dame. Those are two of the most storied college football programs in the country. It will be fun to go there and play in that environment.