Oct. 31, 2013
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Mike Wegzyn chatted with UMass Athletics about a variety of topics, including his decision to compete and study at the University of Massachusetts where he is a pre-med major with an interest in orthopedic surgery.
How did you decide to attend the University of Massachusetts?
I took the long way around. I started high school in Detroit and played there through my junior season before moving to Knoxville, Tenn., where I played my final high school year. I spoke with many different schools including UMass, Miami, Florida, Arkansas State, Duke and Tennessee, but I chose here because I wanted to be a part of something that was new and up-and-coming. I wanted to help lead a team in a new conference while being able to watch it grow. The academia at Massachusetts also factored into my decision as I am now studying pre-med and I am a kinesiology major here. I feel I made the right decision and I could not be happier with being here.
What do you want to do within the field of medicine?
My plan has been to work toward a position within the orthopedic surgery field. I just want to stay around athletics and try to help people out. I have been through the injuries before - been in the training rooms with doctors and all types of experiences like that. Being able to help those going through it interests me. My interest was piqued by my uncle, who is on the training staff at the University of Colorado. I have not decided on what area to specialize in yet, but I definitely know I was to work within that field.
Tell us something about you most people do not know.
How about for a teammate - anything interesting or unique about one of the guys that MinuteFans would want to know?
Most people don't know that originally I am from Detroit - it was great getting to go back for MAC Media Day earlier this year to the old stomping grounds. Other than that, I was a member of an all-state choir when I was back in Detroit. Most people would not guess that just from talking or looking at me. Actually, a lot of guys on our squad have been involved in music in that sense, so I guess I fit with that trend.
We have a native of Germany on our team this year - offensive lineman Fabian Hoeller
. The United States and English are his second home and language and seeing the differences between our cultures has been interesting. He is a great guy and I've been learning a bit of German from him so that I can tell him he has been doing great and we have another way to communicate in the huddle or during drills and games.
Do you have a favorite game or reality show on TV?
I've watched Who Wants To Be A Millionaire a lot and feel like I have had success answering those questions from the couch. It would be fun to have a chance to go on there and see how far I could get.
If you were on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" what lifeline would you use first?
Hopefully I wouldn't have to use any and could get through it on my own, but if I were stuck I would definitely phone a friend first. We have a bunch of intelligent guys on this team, so I would probably call [sophomore offensive lineman] Matt Sparks or [redshirt-junior quarterback] Matt Quinn looking for the answer.
Did you compete in any other sports growing up? What was your favorite one outside of football?
I'd say basketball was one of my favorite sports in my youth - I always had fun on the court. I played basketball a lot growing up until my sophomore year of high school. I was playing football simultaneously and doing well with it so that is when football overtook basketball as my favorite sport and when I focused my efforts on it.
What has it been like coming to the Northeast from Michigan and Tennessee?
It has been different coming up here from Detroit and Knoxville so at first there was a bit of a culture shock as I was adjusting to life in the Northeast. I approached it as just another learning experience to get to know the way of life in the Northeast. I have been able to travel around and go to a lot of difference places in my life so far, so that has helped me adjust to the differences in culture and communication.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
I appreciate the idea of living every day as if it is your last one. With football specifically, you never know what is going to happen on the field and each play, each rep could be the final one in terms of injuries cutting something short. Really, I just want to give it my all because nothing is guaranteed or promised to you in life or in football.
What advice would you like to pass along to others?
Be adaptable and know that it is important to grow and learn from everything that happens to you. It isn't what challenges you during your life that defines who you are but how you deal with it and grow from your experiences. You are going to be knocked down, but you have to get right back up and keep going, keep fighting. Life is not easy - that may be over-said and you hear it a lot - but it is never about what happens to you, it's about your response.