UCF Football Summer Update - Mike Lavoie

July 18, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF football team enjoyed an impressive run last year as the Knights captured the Conference USA Championship. During the offseason, Mike Lavoie received his undergraduate degree along with three other Knights - Sha'reff Rashad, Johnell Neal and Jason Venson. Lavoie will be given the opportunity to start this year at center after Kyle Smith graduated. The fifth-year senior spent time with the UCF athletics communications staff discussing how he will excel on the field and provide leadership for the Knights.

How does it feel to finally be given an opportunity to play as a senior?
"It is definitely a big reward. Coach O'Leary keeping me here for a fifth year and then having the opportunity... it is a great thing."

Now that you have to been given the opportunity to take the starting role, you must not only hold onto your position at center, but provide senior leadership on the offense. How have you been transitioning into these roles?
"Being a leader at center is pretty easy because you are already put in that role. I have always worked hard ever since I came here, and I am not going to change my work ethic. I am going to continue to work hard by watching film. I am going to be working even harder, since now I am the guy."

Pat Brown is another senior on the offensive line. How have you and Pat helped some of the younger players?
"We have drill session in the afternoons, so Pat and I have a chance to work with everybody. I work with the centers and the guards and Pat will take the tackles because he knows the tackle positions. Then, we will get together to work on stunts, so you get a chance to see what everybody has and get to help them on what they need to work on. It really gets them ready for the fall."

What is your daily routine over the summer?
"I wake up [between] 7:30-8 and eat breakfast. My first thing for the day is weights. I usually come over there a little early and get stretched. Then, we will do our weight session. After weights, we will come back and have a pass skelly session. We will get the offensive line together and do drills. Usually, I have class after that because I am in grad school now, so they are all night classes."

What is the difference between taking graduate and undergraduate courses?
"Grad school is a little different. It is definitely harder and it is different material for me because it is a different major. I was a psychology major and now I am going for business in graduate school. You work with a lot of older people who have been there and done that they are not a part of the college scene. They are a lot easier to work with."

What are your plans after college with degrees in psychology and business?
"I want to do sports psychology, where I can work with athletes. I think that is really fun and cool. If not, I will have a business masters, [and] I can get a job just about anywhere. It is pretty versatile."

What sports besides football are you interested in?
"I watched a lot of the Euro Cup. That was cool. Spain was the team that I was pulling for in the Euro Cup and they ended up wining the whole thing. I have been following them for awhile. Baseball season is going on. The Marlins are my favorite baseball team."

Lavoie and the Knights are slated to open the 2008 campaign on Aug. 30, hosting South Carolina State. UCF will play six home contests at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Season tickets are currently available. To order season tickets, or to learn more about attending games at Bright House Networks Stadium, call 407-UCF-1000.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also visit www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.