Running back Brandon Minor from the University of Michigan went undrafted and signed with the Bears almost immediately after the draft this year.
Minor led Michigan in rushing last season with 502 yards (5.2 per carry) and eight touchdowns, and finished his career with 1,658 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the 6-0, 214-pound runner injured his left shoulder when Michigan scored its first touchdown against Purdue in 2009, but he was able to bounce back and finish the season strong.
Brandon Minor played alongside Colts RB Mike Hart at Michigan for two years at Michigan. Now Minor gets a chance to play in the NFL.
Minor will be fighting for a roster spot behind Matt Forte, Chester Taylor, Garrett Wolfe and Kahlil Bell.
This week I had the chance to speak with Brandon about what he had to do to make the team and what the Bears coaches and players have taught him so far.
Here’s the interview, exclusively on Bearsbacker.com:
Q: Was it always your dream to play in the NFL?
A: It was always my dream to play at the University of Michigan and get my college degree, but obviously even more important to play at the professional level.
Q: What was it like going from being a star in high school to playing behind Mike Hart at Michigan?
A: It was an important experience for my career to be able to learn from such a great running back. I was able to learn the system and watch how it was supposed to run. I think it added to my future performances to be able to take a year to understand the system. I still got my touches Freshmen year and was able to be effective in the situations in which I was given the opportunity.
Q: Have any of the Bears veterans started to mentor you on the field?
A:Yes, everyone is always helping me and giving me advice whenever they can. The Bears veterans have done a lot in terms of welcoming me to the team and providing as much support as they can.
Q: What kind of drills do the running backs get put through?
A: Foot work with cones, one on ones with linebackers, and also special teams drills.
Q: What has Coach Tim Spencer taught you in the short time that you've been here?
A:He has taught me the plays and how to fit into the system. Also, Coach has explained the importance of good body position and leverage, as that is my biggest asset with my size.
Q: With Matt Forte, Chester Taylor, Kahlil Bell and Garrett Wolfe all in front of you on the depth chart, how much harder does that make you want to work?
A: I always work hard regardless of my situation, as its important to come out and work extremely hard to be able to compete at the professional level. In my position on the depth chart, it is even more important to work hard at special teams and show my value in other situations than just being a running back. I am preparing myself to be successful and feel that I am ready to play at this level with the Bears.
Q: In your short time with the Bears, which players have you become the closest with?
A: I have become close with all the rookies, as that is who we spend the most time with. Everyone on the Bears gets along very well.
Q: What do you feel is your biggest strength?
A: My biggest strength is my body size and ability to use leverage. I am excited to get into training camp and be able to show my strength and speed in more of a game setting.
Q: What do you feel is your biggest weakness?
A: I have never been in a position where I am not the number one back on the team, beyond my freshmen year at Michigan, but I think it is a great experience and I am learning a lot from Coach Spencer, Coach Martz, and the other Bears staff. Its beneficial to be able to take the time to learn the system and I think I will turn heads this year if I am given the opportunity.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: I listen to a lot of hip-hop and pretty much all types of music.
Q: Have you enjoyed the city of Chicago so far? How crazy has it been with the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup?
A:Yes, I have loved the city of Chicago so far. The city is great and the fans are even better. It has been fun to watch and see that the Blackhawks were able to win the Cup. It is clear the Chicago is filled with great sports fans and I am excited to see them when the season starts.
Q: Who is your role model? Who is the person who helped you get to this point?
A: My Brother and Mom have been great role models throughout my life, and have helped me get to the point where I am today.
Q: What is your favorite part of football?
A:Hitting. I love to hit and think it is one my biggest assets as a Football player. I think that I am going to open up the eyes of my teammates and coaches once I am able to practice and play with contact.
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