Real Talk Season 2 With QBV #2: Michael Forman Current Defensive coach at the University of Miami
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
On this episode of Real Talk with QBV, we got to talk to current defensive Graduate assistant for the University of Miami, Michael Forman! He talks about his journey and growing up in Boston.
He also gives advice for upcoming athletes and some tips on emailing college coaches. Be sure to check out the full podcast on our YouTube. and be on the lookout for the next episode of Real Talk! Our podcasts are also located on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
What has it been like to play this year with so many teams not being fortunate to play this season?
"You know we have been fortunate, especially being down in Miami. Our guys have been doing the right thing and staying out the way. We have been keeping COVID-19 out of our building which is hard to do in Miami, Florida International has had 5 games cancelled and they are only 20 minutes down the road. So yeah, it really is a testimony to our players and how much they care and how important it is to them to play."
What is it like to apart of such a successful season so far?
"It is good but obviously there is a lot of work to get done we have 5 more games. If we want to get to the ACC Championship which is December 19th, we basically need to win out but take it one game at a time."
"Our next game is against NC State who is a ranked opponent and have the best offensive line we have played so far. It has been a really good season so far, but we got to continue to do what we are doing and find a way to win. It is never easy to win a game, so we just must do whatever it takes to do it, keep our head down, grind and pound it away."
What is the end goal for the team this season?
"The end goal is always to be in the conference championship game but you got to take it one week at a time. It all starts this week with NC State then hopefully the chips fall for us."
What has Miami football done to adjust to these strange times?
"Yeah well obviously we need to have our players maintain weight and strength so it starts in the weight room where we have smaller groups. Groups have to be at every other rack to be social distanced and we have shower curtains on the racks across to ensure no face to face contact."
"Then for meetings we have players sit every two chairs so no one is directly next to someone. We always have mask on over the nose, same thing for practice. So, we have found a way to adjust and its proved to work because COVID has not been in our building."
You have been on both sides of the ball whether it was playing or coaching. What side do you like the most offense or defense?
"I like offense a lot it is natural to me and an easy feel. Being on the defensive side of the ball though as a young coach, it is really good for your development. You get to see how defensive coaches think, how they game plan which is obviously really important for when you get on the other side of the ball. I’m excited to coach defense but my heart sides with the offense especially the running backs."
You have experience in FCS, Division 2, and now FBS how did these different experiences benefit you and what you have learned from them?
"So, I started off at Stonehill College which is Division 2. At the D2 level you have to wear many hats because the budget is a lot smaller so you can’t hire all these different coaches. I started out as the Tight Ends coach and I was the video coordinator as well as do the scouting reports, so every day I would go to our shed and set up the high pod for practice and have to take it down at the end of practice. Then I would have to take it to the office and upload it to huddle and break it down."
"You wear many hats; you don’t make a lot of money but you learn a lot at this level and I think it’s a great starting point as you become a lot more versatile being at the smaller schools. I then went to Bryant University where I was the Running backs coach. Since we had a graduate assistant there, he was the video coordinator guy so it was “less stress” at the FCS level but you know you still had to coach your position, breakdown your opponents and do scouting reports."
"Then at the FBS level as a graduate assistant, it is pretty similar you know still have to breakdown the opponent, scouting reports for your team. Some new things are getting installs ready before every meeting and pictures for the guys to see how to lineup against certain formations. Being at a higher-level program the stakes are high, you have to be on top of all your assignments. All in all, being 26 years old and being able to experience all this is a blessing and I am grateful for it."
What is some advice for high schoolers that are trying to get recruited?
"The number one thing is grading the higher the grades are the more opportunity you have. The higher the grades are the more opportunity you have. You see you must get admitted into the school and some people don’t understand that or they forget. For example, you can get a full ride to Stanford University, but you must be able to get into the school or else it doesn’t matter."
"At the 1 A level, the big named schools, those are the ones that give out the full ride scholarships but there's only so many schools like that. Now if you're truly a dude dude, then you only must worry about being cleared by the NCAA. But if you're not a dude dude, if your FBS, level 2 kind of kid, grades are extremely important. The level 2 schools they are the ones who offer academic money. Unless you’re a top recruit, grades ae just as important as the skills."
"I think everything going on twitter is great, helping those guys out. All it takes is one coach to watch your film and like it enough to give you an opportunity. At the end of the day, you have to do what you have to do to better your future and try to get the opportunity for yourself. Use your connections no matter how small or big, all it takes is one set of eyes to watch your video."
"Also going to camps, not a whole bunch but enough to gage where you are and see what you want this school to have. Make sure you go to school camps to not just Under Armor or some of those camps that are only focused on getting your skills better but might not have the coaches you want there."
Advice for emailing coaches.
"That’s hard, I don’t think there's necessary a right and wrong way to go about it. The way you stick out, honestly is writing in the subject in all caps and a bunch of exclamation points, now don’t do anything like bad, I have seen guys who lie badly. Like my name is Joe Anderson and I'm 6’4, 250, runs a 4 second 40-yard dash, don’t do that then you lie and could ruin your chances at other schools or whatever it is. Keep it honest, some small words and a link for your highlights."
"These big schools keep it short they have so many emails a day keep it short and to the point, but division 2 schools you can increase the length a little because they have less email traffic coming through."
What made you start coaching?
"Number one for me, so once I graduated, I kind of knew I wanted to get in the football whether it was scouting, broadcasting or coaching. I think coaching was kind of was the easiest route for me because I know the opportunities and being in Massachusetts there are so many schools. Within a 20-mile radius from where I live there’s like 4 schools.
So I just figured, I would get it where I could and where I fit it. I didn’t want to do anything after football that kind of felt like work. I love football been playing since I was 8 years old, it was very natural for me to continue with football."
"Then after that I really wanted to impact lives, there a lot of young athletes and I feel some don’t have the figures in their lives that they need, not that I’m not perfect or my perspective is right, but I think that I could help guys with what I been through and the path I have taken. Kind of lead these guys in the right direction, everyone thinks they are going to the NFL and this game lasts forever and it doesn’t. Even if you make it to the NFL average lifespan is only 3 years, and you're out by 25-26."
"Like a big brother role, I don’t want to be anyone’s dad, but I want to have guys ask me questions and feel they can trust me. Just to get them to see the other side of life without football but you learn so much from football that can be used in life. Probably last part is financially it can change my life at some point in life."
Experience growing up in Boston?
"It was good, I think Boston, there’s so much talent there’s and a lot of opportunity but I grew up in the inner city so I saw a lot of people who didn’t really do anything with their life but then I went to school in like the suburbs and then I see people who are high schoolers pulling up in there Range Rover and I don’t got nothing like that so it was kind of cool to see both side, that’s why I want people to ask me stuff because I have Seen both sides but like I said there’s talent in the city but I don’t think there’s a lot of guys to push those guys but they don’t know who to reach out to for insight and I want to be that guy to help these athletes."
How was your experience in buffalo and do you have a favorite team from your years playing there?
"So my experience at buffalo it was great Buffalo is a funny place, while you are there you don’t like it but after you stay there for a while you grow to appreciate it even more once you're gone. Kind of just like anything in life, your younger and don’t understand. I had an opportunity to play for the best coaches in the county. They instill values and have it one way. When I got there, they haven’t been to a Mac championship since 2008 I believe. We started off bad we went 2-10 and then 6-6 then our following year after I graduated, they went to the Mac championship."
"Then they went to the Bahama bowl. The coach installed his believes and values and that allowed the team to be successful. It was all about the little details, leaving something how you found it, staying behind the line, you would always have some kind consequences for all the little things didn’t really matter what it was. creating an edge for us, we were a detailed team."
"So, to be able to play for him and to see all that, made me understand and realize that other programs are not as good, but I felt I understood why because of those little things were not being done."
Trying to get more into fishing, being down here in Miami its kind of a must.