Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to you?
Mike Simpson: Football means everything to me. It’s been the most constant thing in my life for the last 15 years. I have made so many special relationships playing this sport. In the beginning it meant fun, in high school it meant being the best, going to college and getting an education paid for. I’m from Dayton, Ohio in my city being a baller actually meant something. There are many, many examples of guys who have made it out. An I can take it as far as NBA Champions, Super Bowl rings, and Super Bowl appearances. Now football means bettering my future, and actually making a career out of it.
Joe Gaiter: Tell me about your season at Kentucky State?
Mike Simpson: My season at Kentucky State was interesting to say the least. We had a down year but made a lot of progress in many areas. My good friend and running back Brett Sylve had a breakout year nearly reaching 2000 all-purpose yards, and my offensive linemen Marcus Campbell was named all-conference for a 3rd year in a row. A host of defensive players had breakout seasons Chris Roberts, Donavan Cecil, and Ryan Luckett to name a few. To be honest I was 3rd on the depth chart and spent the first 5 weeks of the season on the scout team. I don’t really have an explanation why either. I’m a team player. I am for the team. I am for my teammates so I played my role until my number was finally called, period. My first game played was against Miles College, my first start was two games later against Lane College where I threw my first touchdown. On paper the season wasn’t good, but there were many lessons learned throughout this entire process. Both as a team and personally, I was able to get out on the field and actually make an impact, show what I could do after so long. The opportunity was all that I needed. I believe we’re finding our identity as a program. Coach Smith has set a standard along with all of our coaches and its one that will push us to another level if we all buy in. The whole energy is switching out here!
Joe Gaiter: What do you feel that you could have done better on this season?
Mike Simpson: This year I believe there is ALOT I could’ve done better. Where do I even start, I need to work harder as a whole. If we’re talking mechanics I need to set my feet before throwing the out route, and make sure I get “in the mesh” And my mom has been telling me I need to eat more so I probably need to start listening so I’ll be able to take some hits next season lol. On a serious note I know I need to go harder period. None is perfect but I want to walk away this and say, “I did everything I could do right there. There was nothing more that I could do.” I gave a hundred percent. You know? Like, I worked as hard as I possibly could have. That’s perfection to me.
Joe Gaiter: What is the most memorable moment this season
Mike Simpson: Most memorable moment this season… I don’t have one specific, all of them! Getting a win in my first start. Traveling, being on the field with my guys, executing, having fun playing the game, that was the best. My family was able to see me play this season. After a long ride, many ups and downs. That means more to me than anything.
Joe Gaiter: What do you feel about the new freshman coming to the team?
Mike Simpson: I like all the new guys! The freshmen who have come in are dogs!! Our coaches did great recruiting. They all work extremely hard. We’re deep at a lot of positions and I think that’s great. Everyone pushes everyone, iron sharpens iron. Look out for Lavelle Cloyd, senior running back coming back and Demetrius Anderson at receiver looking to have great seasons next year. There will be some young guys who see the field early as well. The future is bright for K-State.
Joe Gaiter: When does Spring Ball start?
Mike Simpson: Spring Ball doesn’t start until April we just recently started workouts.
Joe Gaiter: What are somethings people don’t know about you?
Mike Simpson: Some things people don’t know about me
I’m addicted to Pretzels with peanut butter inside..
I’m a wine connoisseur
I fall asleep every time I go to the movies
When I find a good movie I’ll watch it everyday for like a week lol
I’m a huge Sam Cooke fan
Joe Gaiter: Do you feel like it is hard for athletes to be in relationship?
Mike Simpson: The question was, is it hard for athletes to be in a relationship? I don’t think so. I think it depends on the people and if each person understands what comes with it. Relationships are complex. I’m single. I was in a relationship for like 3 years. That’s over. It’s tricky I doubt I’ll be getting back into one. I’ve just been focusing on myself, school, and my career. People are weird you never truly know what someone else’s motives are or what there truly looking to gain from you. An in my experience sometimes you can do everything you possibly can for something, an still end up the villain. So I embrace it. There’s a disconnect in our generation. it’s like love is entertaining until it’s not entertaining anymore. You grow so used to and fond of the idea of love, and everyone around you opinion of your relationship and love, and it not working that you assume that what were real emotions weren’t real at all… That’s trash, it shouldn’t be that way but It’s reality. ♠
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how do you plan on using it when you graduate?
Mike Simpson: My major is Public Administration, with a minor in speech. There are many different career paths you can take with a degree in Public Administration. Executive director, city manager, or other civil service positions are a few that interest me.
Joe Gaiter: Will you enter into the NFL Draft next year?
Mike Simpson: I’m not really focused on next year’s draft. I’m just trying to get better for next season. This spring I have specific goals. I’m taking everything a step at a time not looking too far ahead. Just following God’s plan.
Joe Gaiter: What do you want you legacy to be?
Mike Simpson: I want my legacy to be something unforgettable. We live in a microwave era where you can be the hottest or greatest in the world for a weekend and then no one ever hears from you again, you know? I want to be remembered for doing something great, accomplishing something no one ever thought could actually happen. I would like for them to say “I remember that moment when I wasn’t sure what was going to come of Mike, and he delivered..” For all athletes seeing this interview I want to start by saying keep grinding. God is so real!! I’ve been in situations and in a place where I had no one I could turn too. I was the most miserable person ever. Nothing seemed real and just when I felt truly defeated a series of events unexplainable occurred. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to be willing to get up and walk towards it. Get out of your own way! I’m talking to myself as well. No matter your position right now you can make it out of it. Have faith and use the anger as a force against everything. Understand that sometimes your journey teaches you a lot about your destination. There’s glory in the underdog in today’s society but things get a lot tougher when you’re on-top pushing toward your goals. I haven’t made it remotely close to where I want to be. But I know now for a fact that I am capable.