Q&A with Branden Albert
By Raj Sagar, Athletics Media Relations
You played basketball at the start of high school. Why the switch to football?
Albert: “I played both basketball and football in high school. I thought I might play basketball after high school but I started playing football and fortunately Coach Groh offered me a scholarship. I decided I had a better future in football after college, so that’s when I decided to play football.”
What does it mean to you to be a captain on this team?
Albert: “It means a lot. It means I am looked at by my peers in a high regard. It means the coaches see me as a leader. It means a lot to be a captain on a college football team because there are a whole bunch of guys who are going to follow you and that means a lot to me.”
Is there another player that you try to model your game after?
Albert: “I used to model my game after Elton Brown when he was here. I feel like he and I are similar but have some differences in our game. I used to assimilate his game a lot and that’s the closet person I model my game after.”
What do you personally think are the strongest and weakest aspects of your game?
Albert: “I think the strongest aspects of my game are my pulling and my path blocking as a guard. I think the weakest part of my game is my in-line blocking and my on-the-line blocking. I think I come in too high sometimes and I don’t cover as well.
Where do you see yourself in two or three years?
Albert: “I see myself as a successful young man with a degree from the University of Virginia. Wherever the future leads me to in terms of football, that’s where it will lead me to.”
What has been your most memorable moment with this football program?
Albert: “I would have to say the Maryland game was most memorable. Florida State my first year comes close to it, but Maryland was more memorable because I lived there. My brother went to school at Maryland. I hadn’t beaten them since I got here. Just the way we came back to win the game was memorable.”
Who has been the most challenging player that you’ve gone up against in a game?
Albert: “There are actually two people. In my first year (Florida State’s) Broderick Bunkley, and in my second year (NC State’s) Tank Tyler. Bunkley was a strong guy and was a first rounder. Tyler should’ve been a first rounder. Both of them are really strong guys that had experience on me. I felt like I held my own. I can’t say I dominated them since they are pretty good football players. But that just helped my confidence to know I could play at the same level as guys like them.”
In your experience so far, what has been the toughest environment to play in?
Albert: “It was Syracuse my first year. Being in that dome as a freshman when it was really loud, I couldn’t hear anything. That was probably the toughest place.”
What is something most people do not know about you?
Albert: “If people have never met me and see me walking down the street, they might be scared of me since I’m a big guy. But I feel like I’m a light-hearted and generally nice guy so that’s something people might not know if they assume I’m a big, mean guy.”