Aug. 4, 2008
Redbird All-Access members, watch Eyad Salem's full interview (30 questions) on Redbird All-Access, your exclusive home to full student-athlete video interview's during this summer's "thirtysomething" series.
Redbird Athletics fans who would like to see the full interview must click on the link below and login to Redbird All-Access. If you do not have a Redbird All-Access account, one can be purchased for $6.95 per month, or annually for $49.95. Redbird All-Access provides fans with live and on-demand audio and video coverage of Redbird Athletics.
GoRedbirds.com: What is an offseason like for a collegiate wide-receiver? How many extra hours do you put in during the summer months to stay in shape and at the top of your game?
Eyad Salem: That's actually a hard question. Being a wide receiver, or actually any position on the field, you want to be one of the top players in your conference or in the nation. It is unlimited to the amount of hours you need to put in during a week. My roommate, Tom Nelson, and I were talking about that, and let's just say we don't have enough time to even pick up a part-time job.
GR: If you had to play any other position other than wide receiver, what would it be?
ES: I would have to say quarterback. I throw side arm and I feel like I can just sling it sometimes.
GR: What are some of the team's goals and expectations going into this season?
ES: Championship. There is nothing else.
GR: What are some of your hobbies?
ES: I like to enjoy a nice day outside. An occasional video game here and there is enjoyable, and just relaxing.
GR: You transferred to ISU from Minnesota State, which is fairly close to North Dakota State's campus. When the Redbirds played then-No. 1 ranked North Dakota State last season, you had two touchdown grabs, to go along with 97 receiving yards. Describe what it was like to play in such a big game so close to your old school.
ES: Oh, I was completely amped and psyched all week for that game. I left on some fairly bad terms with Minnesota State. It was just a bad situation. So I ended up throwing out my scholarship (at Minnesota State), and just hoped to have a shot to play somewhere else. When I left, everyone over there told me I wouldn't be able to play anywhere else, and that I was never good enough. So when I went back to play at North Dakota State, I had all my buddies there and definitely gave my old coach a call and told him to watch the game, because I planned on doing something just for them. It was special to go back there and play such a good game; but it was disappointing at the same time, because we didn't leave with a win.
GR: Who was your role model growing up?
ES: It has to be my father. With the amount of hours he puts into his job, and how much he provides for our family, it is unparalleled to anyone else, or anything else, I could ever imagine.
GR: Finish this sentence: In the year 2025, I see myself...?
ES: I see myself owning my own business with my father or possibly a friend. If I'm lucky enough, possibly playing professional football.
GR: Being a student-athlete, how difficult is it to balance the demands on the football field with those in the classroom?
ES: It's extremely difficult. During the football season, we have to show up to the Kaufman Football Building around 2 p.m., and then don't leave until 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. You always seem to hit a brick wall after that, where you don't want to do anything. Then, you have to start thinking about all the demands for school. It sometimes gets quite overwhelming. With the grade-point average I have now, I could not tell you how I've done it.
GR: What is one interesting thing that the "Spread the Red" fanbase may not know about you?
ES: They probably don't know I'm Middle Eastern. Most people that see me either think I'm Italian, or a mix of half-black and half-white or possibly even Mexican. Nobody knows what I am, and it's kind of surprising when I tell them because they usually do not see too many Arabian football players.
GR: Give us one name, other than Eyad Salem, that will be a surprise this season for the Redbird offense?
ES: I'm going to say Kevin Brockway. He has been patiently waiting these past four years to get a chance to play along with the receiving corps - guys like Kevett Mickle, Kelvin Chandler, Drew Kempe and Jake Rourke. I feel that we are all going to help him succeed, and his experience the last three years will definitely help us. I think Kevin is going to have a good and surprising season.
thirtysomething will return Aug. 7 with an interview with junior women's gymnast Mary Hankosky.