Jordan Feuerbacher’s impact on the Baylor football team stretches beyond the field.

Head coach Matt Rhule has repeatedly praised the leadership of his senior tight end, as well as other senior leaders like Taylor Young and Brian Nance. Those guys have seen the highs and lows at Baylor, from Big 12 titles to the stain of scandal.

Feuerbacher has also endured his own ups and downs this season, overcoming a broken hand that sidelined him earlier in the season to move back into the lineup. He took a brief timeout after practice to address a variety of topics with the Trib this week.

How many different ways has your last name been mangled and mispronounced?

Well, in Germany, it’s pronounced FOYER-bocker. But for whatever reason in America, I guess the correct way, my family says it, it’s FUR-bocker. I’ve heard FYUR a lot. If you say FUR or FYUR, that’s good enough. It doesn’t happen much, but I think it’s happened once or twice where someone said FUR-botcher, and that one, I shook my head a little bit at that one. But I’ve grown to pretty much accept anything close.

You mentioned that it’s a German name. Have you ever been to Germany?

I haven’t. I think my great-great-grandparents came over, on my father’s side. So I’ve never been, but I want to go. I want to go to Europe, period. I know it means “fire river” or “fire creek” in German, so that’s a pretty cool meaning.

Do y’all eat any kind of German cuisine?

Not really. My grandpa used to make – he called it German potato salad, but I don’t know if that was real German food or if that’s just what they called it. I guess that’s the closest. That, and I’ve had sauerkraut a time or two, but nothing out of the ordinary.

You grew up in the Houston area – are you a Texans/Rockets/Astros fan? Are those your teams?

Yeah, I’m a Houston sports fan. I’m a big Astros guy, so I’m really excited for the World Series and getting to watch that. We’ll see how that plays out. I remember in ’05 I was a little kid and baseball was actually my favorite sport back then. I was really excited that the Astros made it to the World Series and then they ended up getting swept by the White Sox. It was tough. I like the Astros and the Rockets a lot. The Texans – I’m not the biggest NFL football fan. I’m more of a college football fan. Part of that is that the first five, six, seven years of my life there was no NFL team in Houston. The Oilers went to Nashville and became the Titans, but I’m a big Houston sports fan.

Journalism major – what do you want to do with that degree?

(Laughing) I actually want to coach college football. I guess it’ll help. I know the other side. So hopefully I can use it to my advantage from a public-relations standpoint. Journalism, public relations is something that interests me. I’m pairing it with a marketing minor, so it’s just something where I thought that if I couldn’t coach football, if that didn’t work out, it’s a good degree to fall back on that I enjoy. Not as much as football, but I could be somewhat happy doing it for the rest of my life.

So as a journalism major, I’m going to have you do my job for a second. What’s the one question you wish a reporter would ask? What’s the question we never ask that would be a good question?

Hmm, now you’re putting me on the spot. I got the, ‘What’s the greatest advice I’ve ever gotten?’ yesterday. I don’t know if I’d ask myself that. Probably something about the mental side of the game, the X’s and O’s. Being a coach and being through two different offenses in my four years here, I’ve kind of grown to love that and want to study that more so, as I’ve gotten older and progressed. That’s something that after I’ve watched film up here for the week, I’ll watch a random football game on YouTube or Watch ESPN, and just look at what other offenses and defenses are doing. Something about the X’s and O’s and studying the game is something I’d love to talk about.

Coach Rhule always talks about the leadership that you seniors have provided, how much he wants to win for you guys. What’s this year been like?

We’ve been through a lot, us seniors who have been here. We’ve seen it all. So we have a lot of experience going through tough times. Going 0-7 to start the year, that’s tough. But, I still think that last year was tougher, with all the turmoil and all the heat that everyone was taking. We have guys on the football team now who had nothing to do with any sort of issues, and guys who are freshmen that they don’t even know the half of what we’ve been through. People say things all the time about certain things.

When you’ve been through stuff like that, as a team you either grow apart or you grow together. I think our senior class, and last year’s senior class too, has made sure that we stuck together through everything. So people ask us, you’re 0-7, are people giving up? To me, it’s like, being 0-7 is the second-toughest thing that I’ve been through since I’ve been here. I know a lot of the seniors feel the same way. Yeah, we come out to work every day and we’re happy to do it. This is what we love to do. So we don’t look at it as a detriment, we look at it as an opportunity.

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