For the second straight week, our Sideline Report focuses on a KU true freshman. Here's an extended conversation with wide receiver Bradley McDougald.
The Sideline Report with Bradley McDougald
Jesse Newell: I heard you're a good cook. Is that right?
Bradley McDougald: (laughs) I cook a little bit.
JN: What's your best dish?
BM: Fried chicken. My mom taught me how to cook fried chicken when I was littler. That's something to carry with me.
[Ed. Note — No, this isn't Brad's family recipe. But I do love the chef's accent.]
JN: Is there some secret that you have with it that makes yours better?
BM: No, it's just kind of like a family tradition type thing. She just said that her mom taught her, so she was going to teach me how to cook fried chicken so that when I lived by myself, I could cook for myself.
JN: Did you like that your mom taught you to cook?
BM: Yeah. There's a lot of guys in college that can't cook, so they usually resort to eating fast food or ordering out a lot. Knowing how to cook is a big deal.
JN: Are you one of the most popular guys on the team, then? Do they always come over? Have they figured it out yet?
BM: (laughs) Nah, I don't cook that often. If I ever do need to cook, I know how to.
JN: I heard you're a Big Ten guy.
BM: A Big Ten guy?
JN: Is that true? Grew up in Big Ten country?
BM: Yeah, when you come from Ohio, you're surrounded by Big Ten teams. That's all you really watch is the part of the nation you're from. If you're from up north, or the Midwest, you just watch a certain type of football. So Big Ten was something I watched a lot of.
JN: OK, you tell me right now: Big Ten overrated, underrated or gets about the respect that it deserves.
BM: After coming to the Big 12 and playing in the Big 12 and seeing the competition that's here and meeting different people from around the nation, I would say at times it's overrated, but some teams do deserve the respect that they are getting.
JN: Who deserves it? (pause) You're from Ohio, right? You've got to be careful here.
BM: Ohio State, year after year, is a very good team. They just have great coaches there. They work hard. Outside of that, Penn State is a really good team that deserves a lot of credit. Depending on the season, Michigan State can be really good.
JN: Did you see yourself playing here right away? Is that a big reason you came here?
BM: Yeah, I did. Looking at the depth chart and looking at the players around me, I felt that I could make an impact. Talking to the coaches, they felt like I could make an impact. A majority of it was coming in during two-a-days and camp and making it worthwhile. If I was ready to play, I would display it out on the field. If I wasn't, then I would have been willing to take a red shirt.
JN: Did you even play receiver in high school?
BM: Yeah, I played a little bit of everything. That wasn't a primary position of mine, but I did play some receiver in high school.
JN: What's your favorite position?
BM: If I had to pick a position, it would probably be quarterback, just because you're in control the whole time.
JN: Did you play quarterback in high school then?
BM: Yeah, I played quarterback my senior and freshman years — just getting to run around and scramble and trying to make some highlights.
JN: Does Kale Pick need to worry then?
BM: Nah, Kale Pick doesn't need to worry. He can do anything I can do 10 times better at quarterback.
JN: You played a little basketball too, right?
BM: Yes, sir.
JN: How good were you at that?
BM: Good. I kind of miss it. Last game of my career, I had my career-high 32 points. We lost in the regional final game by one point to the state championship team. I felt I ended my high-school basketball career on a good note.
JN: What sport were you best at?
BM: Some people honestly said basketball, and others felt I was best at football. I just chose football.
JN: Let's say three guards get hurt for KU in February, and coach Self calls you in February and needs a guard. What's your answer?
BM: Yeah, I'd be up for the challenge if he needed one.
JN: What do you think Mangino would say about that?
BM: Honestly, they said they would allow a player to do that, but football is so much of your body and such a time-consuming part of your life that you really don't think about it because you're so tied up with your first commitment.
JN: So Bradley McDougald, guard from Ohio. That sounds pretty good? You wouldn't mind that on the big board?
BM: Nah, I wouldn't mind that.
JN: Have teammates told you that you look young? Do you ever get crap for that?
BM: Yeah. I say it's because I shave three times a day (smiles). It's just that I've never grown facial hair. I'm not in a rush to grow facial hair, but I do get that I look pretty young everywhere I go.
JN: So you don't have to shave at all then?
BM: Nah, I've never shaved before.
JN: So was that something that teammates immediately could get you for? Did they say that you looked 14 or anything like that?
BM: Yeah, they poke jokes at that. Then, they kind of look at me and ask me if I've ever shaved. I just smile and tell them that I shave. Looking at it, I think it's a big bonus.
JN: Why's it a bonus?
BM: The ladies like it. (pause) The ladies like it.
JN: The ladies like the younger guy look, huh?
BM: Yeah, they like the smooth face. They don't like the prickles.
JN: So you've got it over all your teammates then? You're golden.
BM: Yeah. Yeah.
JN: Are you the best-dressed guy on the team?
BM: We definitely have some competition when it comes to that area. A lot of wide receivers, we just have to have a sort of swag, because if you look good, you feel good, you play good type of deal. There's a lot of wide receivers out there that can dress, so I'd say I'm in the competition.
JN: So who's with you in the competition?
BM: A.J. Steward is a good dresser. He dressed the part. All of them, really. [Dezmon] Briscoe. Everyone except for Kerry [Meier]. I don't think he dresses too well.
JN: What's wrong with his attire?
BM: I don't know. He just ... I don't know. (laughs) I don't know. He just doesn't dress that good.
JN: If you were going to critique him, Tim Gunn him, what would you say?
BM: Kerry's more of just a football player, so he just dresses that role as a football player. He doesn't really care about all the extra stuff. That's just the kind of guy that Kerry is. He knows what he needs, and he doesn't care about the extra stuff.
JN: If he gets into the NFL, does he need some Bradley McDougald fashion lessons?
BM: Yeah, he could hire me as his fashion advisor any day. I'll help him out with that, because he's got all the other parts of his game.
JN: Are you going to be cheap on him?
BM: Depending on what he signs at and what he pays me, I could hook him up.
JN: Not everybody got to see it, but describe to me what you wore after the first home game for the interview session.
BM: OK, so we had to dress up, so I felt first game, I should dress up pretty nice. I wore black pants with white pinstripes, white shirt, black suspenders and white gator shoes. I decided to open it up. Live fashionably.
JN: Where do you even get white gator shoes?
BM: I don't know where you get them at here, but back at home, there's a mall. You just go to the mall and get them.
JN: Are they expensive?
BM: No, they're not that expensive. About the same price as a pair of tennis shoes.
JN: Tell me something that would surprise me about you.
BM: I can fold my ear in my ear.
JN: Is that a talent you just recently discovered?
BM: No, I got it from my dad.
JN: So you just fold it down and in?
BM: Yeah. (demonstrates)
JN: Does that help with the ladies, too?
BM: Nah, they think it's kind of weird, actually.
JN: So you've got to keep that away until you're going steady, right?
JN: First impression of coach Mangino?
BM: I thought he was a really nice guy when I was on my recruiting trip. He seemed like he was out for his players' interests. He really wanted to see his players succeed. And he didn't just see them as players. He actually wanted the best for their personal being. When I got here, not much changed. Obviously, he's had to become more strict. He's a hard-nosed coach. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it out of his players.
JN: What did you think when he had a lot of compliments for you early on in this training camp?
BM: I appreciated it. I took it with a little grain of salt, because I knew I had a lot of things to get better at. I just tried to basically stay humble and not let it get to me at all, kind of just shake it off. Things like that you don't really want to pay attention to until after the season. I didn't want to get the big head or anything. I just wanted to try and stay focused.
JN: Jacob Branstetter said he calls you "Freshy." What do you think about that nickname?
BM: That's fine with me. I don't expect too much special treatment or any special treatment at all. If that's what he wants to call me, and I've got to work for a better nickname than that, then that's fine with me.
JN: What would a better nickname for you be?
BM: I could go for B-Mac or McDoogs. That's what they usually call me back at home.
JN: B-Mac? KU's had a B-Mac. You heard about him?
BM: Yeah, I've heard about the other B-Mac.
JN: Who's playing you in a movie?
BM: Will Smith.
JN: Any reason for that?
BM: He just does great with movies like that, biographies. The way he did the Ali movie, it's one of my favorite movies.