DieHard Interview with Samson Szakacsy
August 29, 2011
Samson Szakacsy was a quarterback for the Sun Devil football team for three years (2008-2010) before he recently moved on to pursue another one of his great passions in life, his music. He has released two albums in the past year including “Chasing Truth” and his newest project “Angels” that was just released last week. Samson was also part of a select group of Tillman Scholars during his time as an ASU student-athlete.
DHD: How did you end up as a quarterback at ASU? You originally committed to USC right?
SS: It felt right to me, it felt good. The desert is very powerful, a place of adversity. You appreciate life a lot more because there’s not a lot of life in the desert. The biggest thing for me was an internal spark that went off when I showed up here.
DHD: What did you discover about ASU after you arrived that you didn’t already know?
SS: What I learned and remember most was mainly about myself and being injured with my arm stuff. It allows you to get a different perspective and grasp things that transcend the game of life.
DHD: What are some of the special qualities about the ASU football team and program?
SS: For me, it’s the camaraderie with the squad through the challenging years. Just being the past couple of years not going the way people would like them to go in terms of win loss ratio. A lot of times from the outside, I feel like it can look like the team is maybe falling apart, but we really always stuck together and kept it real close and real family-like. And we relied on each other. That is the most memorable thing for me, is stepping into battle with the guys, with your family. And that carries over to other experiences too. For the most part, it was pretty tight knit. It is a really close family feeling, so that’s what I really held onto.
DHD: What was the hardest and best part about being an ASU football player?
SS: I think one of the most challenging things about being a player is managing school and playing football at the same time. It’s difficult, because it’s a full-time job to be on the squad even at the college level. ASU has a great team of academic advisors like Jean Boyd, Patrice, Skip, Corrine and everyone on the second floor is really awesome and really helpful. ASU has one of the strongest academic programs around for players, and Jean has done a great job. The best part was the unity on the squad and going out in a competitive situation with high energy.
DHD: What was the best memory of your Sun Devil football career?
SS: I enjoyed going in against Oregon at Autzen Stadium. It was cool to actually play and not be plagued by an injury.
DHD: How do the fans affect the mindset of the team?
SS: Fans bring a supportive energy to the games, bringing a true spirit for the squad, because we feed off that energy so heavily. That’s what home field advantage is, it’s no gimmick. To have that much of a concentrated focus of energy towards one direction in anything is going to help propel a team, so fan support is huge, it’s energy for the cause.
SS: It’s easy to be on the teams side when things are going well, anybody can shine when it’s bright. But when the dark times hit, is when we need the most support, so if they are showing love between thick and thin, and unconditional support, that is one thing that would help the squad.
DHD: What was your favorite fan experience at ASU?
SS: I met a lot of different fans at ASU, and I’m inspired by everybody. I did have a great fan experience on the San Carlos Reservation. There’s a lot of ASU fans there and a lot of support. To see those people come out when I was there in March, there was a lot of support, and it was cool to see all the ASU Sun Devil fans on the reservation with the situation and the struggles they have. Throughout all that, they are still big ASU fans, thick and thin.
DHD: What was your favorite Sun Devil team tradition?
SS: There are a lot of ASU traditions and a lot of them came during camp, like the incoming Freshman having to stand up and sing the fight song. That always made for some interesting times. Another one I like a lot is at the end of games, we go over to our fans and sing the fight song and throw the pitchfork down after victories.
DHD: You spent a lot of time in the past few years with Brock Osweiler. What are your thoughts on Brock as a person and a player?
SS: Brother Brock is family, and I really appreciate his compassion. As a football player he is driven, real driven. He wants to work, and he’s willing to work and outwork people to get to where he wants to go. I think his leadership style is authentic. I think that Brock is really passionate for the squad and the direction of the team, and his authenticity will allow him to be a good leader.
DHD: Since you are a Tillman Scholar, what type of impact did Pat Tillman have on you and what he stood for?
SS: To me, Pat’s passion for life is what I feel from his presence. Watching footage, reading about him and being in the Tillman Scholar program and learning about him through that. Just a lot of passion for living and life, and compassion for others. For me, first and foremost what stands out over everything is that we are here to serve humanity, and I feel like Pat did that. I hold a high respect for him in that regard. I see him as a soldier, not in the military, but more so just a soldier of life and righteousness.
DHD: When was the moment of truth for you when you decided to move on from ASU football and pursue your other passions which are music and serving others?
SS: I didn’t really feel like there was a decision that had to be made in that process. I had the two arm issues and I told myself that I was going to give it one more final go and give it everything I have. To be honest, even before then my life starting taking a direction where I started following my joys more. Not that I didn’t get joy from football, but there were times when I would rather be serving others on the reservation instead of in the film room watching film. There’s nothing wrong with either way, but for me at the time, I was getting too much joy from serving others and immersing myself in a new culture and connecting with people, and it started to take its course in that direction. It was less of a decision and more of a feeling. Just being able to serve, that’s really what I want to do through my music.
DHD: Are you a DieHardDevil? Why?
SS: I’m a DieHardDevil because I feel like this program is rooted in a very positive place. And I feel like the direction that its going and has been going since I got here, maybe on the outside physically hasn’t been win/loss wise what it needs to be, but there is definitely an awakening happening within the program. And first and foremost, I am a supporter of every single one of the players as an individual person, and as a brother. In that sense, that’s family to me so I’m in full support. And also because the energy here is awesome, it’s a unique place in the heat, in the desert. It’s really an overcoming mentality, and I feel like if all the pieces fall into place and the stars align, it could be a powerful season this year.
DieHardDevil.com follows Samson Szakacsy to bring you updates, new music, photos & more.
Check out some of Samson’s music, videos & free downloads HERE. Also, here is an ASU Media Day interview with Samson in August of 2009.