Sept. 11, 2006
[An abbreviated version of this Q&A appeared in the September 9 issue of "Kickoff," the official California football game day program]
Fifth-year senior Randy Bundy arrived at Cal in 2002 as part of head coach Jeff Tedford's first recruiting class. After beginning his Golden Bear career as a wide receiver, the Northridge product switched to defensive back. This season, Bundy is expected to play a key role in the Bears' fortunes as he has cracked the two-deep and is competing for a starting role at cornerback. Here are some of his thoughts on life as a Cal football player and life in general:
As you enter your fifth year here at California, what have been the best memories for you?
Just getting to know everybody here. I have met a lot of people here; I just appreciate the input that everybody has had in my life and in helping me grow up to be person that I am. Everybody from the training staff, Cobb [athletic trainer Ryan Cobb], Moose [equipment manager Dave Moosman], all of my advisers, Derek Van Rheenen, Chris Lane, all of my friends. It has just been a great experience being here and meeting everybody.
As you wrap up your Cal career, what do you think you will miss most?
All of my friends; all of the different personalities; all of the characters on the team. Everybody's so different, it's going to be a very boring life outside of Cal, because it's so much fun being here.
If you could have the opportunity to do one thing in a game, what would it be?
I want to get a pick for a touchdown to win a game. I had a pick in the Big Game which was exciting, but to get a pick and take it to the house and win the game, that rush would be a great feeling. But it has to be for a win, to help our team, not just for me, but for the team.
What is your major?
I am an American Studies major. I want to work in advertising and marketing. I wanted a major where I could kind of pick and choose my classes. I took a lot of soc classes and a lot of psych classes so that I could not only focus on marketing and communications, but also the way people think and how they formulate thoughts, so when you do marketing work, you can use that background to see how people form thoughts and perceive information and transfer that over to how you are going to advertise or market a certain product.
What are your future goals?
Depending on how this football stuff works out, I would like to get into marketing or a similar job so I can provide for my family, help my mother who's a single mother and I have a lot of brothers and sisters [two younger brothers and two younger sisters]. Something where I can help out taking care of them and be successful and start my own family.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since you have been at Cal?
Networking. And being a good person, because people are always going to remember who you are. That's what I've learned here. The relationships you form are going to last a long time; one day you may need to call on someone you met two or three or four years back, and if they don't have a positive image of you, then that's going to help you. Everything you've done, even though you've come to this great institution, is not going to matter because they will say, "Ok, he went to Cal, but what type of person is he?" Getting to know people and the way that the lasting impression on them once you walk away is very important.
What are your goals for this year?
I am going to do whatever it takes for our team to be successful. I think that no matter how many accolades I get, if I ever did get them, it wouldn't matter if we didn't win the games, if we didn't go to the championship, if we weren't competing at the end of the year, because that is why I am here.
Does Cal football really have the tight family atmosphere that people talk about?
It's grown over the years. Coach Tedford has built this family atmosphere; he has had a lot of activities for us to grow closer through camp, over the summer, through everything; and it's just snowballed. It's great, as the younger guys come in, they accept it, and they feed into it and buy into it and it's become a great family-chemistry atmosphere.
What went through your mind when Tim Mixon [Bundy's roommate for the last four years] went down with his injury?
I was just hoping he would be okay. I hoped he had just tweaked his knee. When I found out he was out for the season, I was very hurt for him. I do live with him and I know how hard he works. I have seen his potential, both here and at the next level, for all of that to be put on hold, was hurtful to me, because he is like a brother to me.
Has he been helping you as you move into a more prominent role?
Yes, we watch film together and he helps me with plays and little tips here and there. He has accepted his role as a big brother to us in the secondary, like Syd'Quan [Thompson] and I. He is trying to help us get ready because this is still his team. Just because he's hurt, he's not going to take a step back. He will help us elevate our games also.
Who have been the most influential people in your life?
My mother, of course. She is the person who has been there throughout my life. I have a lot of older friends, like James Brignac and James Bethea, who both played here. We all went to the same high school. They have been like big brothers to me.
What advice would you give to a young college player?
Stay humble and stay hungry. Some of these younger guys coming in are top-caliber athletes. Continue to stay humble and continue to work; you can get complacent; you need to continue to work and get better. It doesn't stop here, there are guys all over the country working hard with just as much talent as you; you have to continue to push yourself.
Do you have a favorite class at Cal?
I have had a lot; some of my favorite classes have been my hardest ones. I took two history classes with Professor [Mark] Brilliant; some of the hardest classes I ever took; I worked HARD to get a B, but I learned a lot from that. I have taken so many classes here that have helped me grow so much and expand the way I think so much. Every class has been valuable and I've liked every single one of them. Every class and every teacher have had some input into the way I think and the way I have grown up.
What is the last book you read?
The last book I just read was one I really liked, The Art of War. It is a philosophy book with a lot of thinking and a lot of strategizing and the way you deal with people. That is the most recent book I read.
Has this year been the most media attention you have had? Do you like it?
Yes, by far! It's different. I just want to make sure to give a lot of credit to my teammates. You can get caught up talking about yourself, people ask about me and the extra pressure on me, but we have a great defensive line, our front seven is ridiculous to me. It is a unit; it's not just me out there; it's a complete defense. And then we have a great offense. And special teams and our coaches. It's not just me, it's our team.