GVSU wide receiver Brandon Bean talks Battle of the Valleys rivalry
Entering his final season of eligibility, Grand Valley State football wide receiver Brandon Bean has been making the best of his situation.
This season, Bean has been the workhorse for the Lakers on offense. Throughout the first four games, the senior has already tallied 351 receiving yards, 29 receptions and four receiving touchdowns.
Bean sat down with Lanthorn football reporter Brady McAtamney to discuss entering his final Battle of the Valleys contest, his favorite moments at GVSU and his stance about the recent NFL protests.
Brady McAtamney: So this Saturday is Battle of the Valleys, and this is your last one as a Laker. How does that make you feel?
Brandon Bean: You know, honestly, I’ve had the most fun playing any sport in my entire life this year while playing football. I’m just really enjoying it. I don’t know if it’s because of my senior year or not, but I look forward to every single moment I’m out there. I obviously want to go out with a bang and beat Saginaw, but at the end of the day, it’s just another opportunity to play Grand Valley football.
BM: You’ve been here for years and possibly even considered a Laker hero.
BB: Laker hero? More of a sidekick.
BM: Maybe the hero is (GVSU quarterback) Bart Williams. Anyways, what makes Battle of the Valleys different from every other game?
BB: What really makes it different is that we get everyone's personal best. This is my fifth year, and every single year Saginaw comes to play, regardless of score. I remember my freshman year they had only won one game and wasn’t the best team on tape, to put it bluntly. But they came out and made it a game. This is really our Super Bowl. Whether it’s Grand Valley’s or Saginaw’s record, it doesn’t matter. It’s just two people really going to war on the field.
BM: So with this being your last season, let's get to know the lighter side of you. You’re stranded on a desert island, and you can only bring one of your teammates. Who are you taking?
BB: (Linebacker) Rahju Blackmon. If I’m on a desert island away from everything, I might as well laugh while I’m there. That is the funniest guy I think I have met in my entire life.
BM: So, I saw you playing volleyball the other night. If football didn’t work out for you, what would be the other sport that you (would) jump into?
BB: It’s hard to say because I do run track here. But if they had a men’s volleyball team here, I’d drop everything to join. Volleyball is that sport. I go to all of the girls' volleyball games. It’s just phenomenal.
BM: Who would you say your favorite Laker volleyball player is here?
BB: Katie Olson. No hesitation. She’s so small, but she’s also so competitive.
BM: During your time as a student, what’s the best class you have ever taken at GVSU?
BB: Ballet class.
BB: Absolutely. Sixteen girls, and I’m the only guy. I had perfect attendance, and participation points were at an all-time high. It was a great class.
BM: Does that mean you have some moves?
BB: Oh, yeah, man. That class just added more to the arsenal.
BM: So, if you score a touchdown this week—
BB: —Coach Mitch won’t have it. If you catch me on the sidelines, I might have to do a little twirl for you.
BM: This question can be a little more personal, but talk about what’s been going on with the NFL and kneeling for the Anthem. Do you stand with the people protesting?
BB: I think the one thing I wish people could realize is that it started with (Colin) Kaepernick. It’s been awhile since he first did that, and I feel like the original message on why he did that is getting misconstrued. I feel as if some people are kneeling because of Donald Trump. Some are because of the injustice that minorities face, and some are protesting because other people are kneeling. I wish everyone could understand why the protest originally happened.
BM: Nice thoughts, but let's go back to the lighter stuff. I’m going to say a word, and you’re going to say the first thing that comes to mind.
BB: Ah, some quick thinking.
BM: First one, Lakers.
BM: Saginaw Valley State.
BB: Respectful losing.
BM: (GVSU quarterback) Bart Williams.
BM: Coach Mitchell.
BB: Genius. Besides that, I just always think of "Coach Mitch."
BM: When a teammate fumbles.
BB: Shake it off.
Bean and the rest of the GVSU football team face SVSU at Lubbers Stadium Saturday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.