Friday morning I was able to interview former Wyoming Cowboy and Dallas Cowboy tight end Jay Novacek.
Here is a quick refresher for those that may not be aware of his career. Novacek played tight end for Wyoming from 1982-84. He was inducted to the Wyoming Hall of Fame in 1993 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Besides football Novacek also competed in track and field for the Pokes and was an All-American in the Decathalon. He is considered by many to be the greatest athlete to ever wear the Brown and Gold. After graduating Novacek was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals and then made his way to Dallas. Novacek went on to appear in five consecutive Pro Bowls and win three Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
With college football starting Novacek is taking part in a special event on Saturday afternoon at Cowboy Stadium. He'll be signing autographs on the west side of the stadium from 4-5pm. He is promoting the AllState 60 seconds of Mayhem Sweepstakes. Fans who sign up will have a shot at winning a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Novacek will also be taking part in a halftime event today at the Alabama and Michigan game.
Our our interview is posted after the jump.
CA: When was the last time you were back in Laramie?
JN: I was able to make it back the year of the College Football Hall Induction (2008) and check out a game. It was great to be back on campus.
CA: Are you able to follow Wyoming very closely now?
JN: Not like I want to. I get word from a number of buddies who are still in the area and I always get their take on how the team is doing.
CA: How did you choose Wyoming? What other schools recruited you?
JN: The only other school to offer me was the University of Missouri. The thing that I enjoyed about Wyoming is that they allowed me to run track as well as play football. No other school would allow me to do that. Being able to do both sports was very important to me. Competing in track and field made me a better football player. There is always this goal of wanting to get bigger, stronger and faster. Doing track in the off-season allowed me to become a better football player by staying competitive and keeping in shape.
CA: Do you recommend playing multiple sports to athletes as well now?
JN: I certainly do. I grew up playing sports year round: football, then basketball and track and field in the spring. During the summer I would work out and just keep working on that ultimate goal of getting better and better every year.
CA: The last couple years conference realignment has been factor in college football. What are your thoughts on how that is effecting the game?
JN: Well every time I turn on the TV it seems like another school has changed conferences. It doesn't look like the WAC has much longer. That is certainly sad to see that happen. I have a lot of great memories of playing in the WAC and it was a great conference for a long time.
CA: Was there any favorite moment you had as a Wyoming Cowboy and also Dallas Cowboy?
JN: Ahh... the old favorite moment question. (Note: I felt really dumb at that point)
CA: Well anything that stands out or a unique experience you had?
JN: There were so many great experiences I had at Wyoming. Being to able to make the varsity team as a freshmen and then the first time I got to start. I was able to meet so many good people and create lasting friendships. Working hard with my teammates towards one goal was really special to me. That is what I remember the most when I look back at my time in Wyoming.
After that we talked about his work with AllState that he is doing today. All of that information is posted at the beginning of this article. It was great to speak with Jay and find out more about his time in Laramie. Amazing that only two schools recruited an athlete who would accomplish so much in college and the NFL. Many multi-sport athletes are forced to choose one sport earlier and I think that can take a big mental toll. The different skills and training required for each sport helps to keep the athletes fresher in my opinion. I ran track and cross country in college, obviously it was all distance running. But the change in seasons, venues and distances really helped to keep my motivation up.