When Cleary came into University of Detroit Jesuit in 2008, the Cubs finished 1-8. In 2009 as a sophomore Cleary led the Cubs as they went 4-5 after going 1-17 the two previous seasons, the Cubs would score 153 points in 2009 a 21 point improvement from 2008. Then as a junior in 2010 the Cubs scored 204 points and they finished 4-5 again. Cleary described what he did in 2010 that was able to make him successful, "I guess I would say 2010 I really got better at making plays. As a sophomore I started to understand how I could change a game, but this season I really went into a game with the idea that if our team was going to win, I had to play my best. That really changed my preparation a lot, and I think if our whole team buys into that idea, we will have a great season next year. Obviously I got faster, and my arm is stronger, but I think, as a team, that improvement was really significant."
The progress Cleary and his Cubs teammates are making is clear but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Cleary described what he has been doing since the end of the 2010, "During the off season I've really been working on getting faster and learning the game. First, I started to add the running dimension to my game a little bit last year, and I saw how much it opened up our offense, so I’ve been doing a lot of speed work to prepare for that. Also, it has been a huge advantage to be able to change plays at the line the past few years, and there's always room for improvement to understand which plays work for certain times." For the 2011 season Cleary shares what he wants to get better at, "running is definitely what I’m working on, and I'm also focusing on our offense's confidence in key situations. I think with more and more practice during the summer, we can make those few plays that cost us catholic league games last year. Being that close gives me a sense of urgency that we are very close to being at the top of the catholic league."
If the Cubs are going to make the playoffs in 2011, they will need momentum early in the season. That will not be easy though as they play Grosse Pointe South and Country Day in week 1 and 2. Cleary described what it will mean to play these two opponents, "Those first two games will be pretty tough. They are two pretty strong defensive teams with young offenses. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Those will be good refreshers to get ready for the Catholic League schedule."
As a junior during the 2010 season Brian Cleary was elected as a team captain for the Cubs, Cleary shares what being a captain means to him, "As far as being the captain, I don't really look at it as a title or anything; it's more of an experience thing. I've been through a lot of these tough games before, and I know what kind of leader my team needs in those circumstances. I appreciate the respect I get from the younger guys on the team, but I have to finish the job and lead our team to a few catholic league wins before I can be proud of my years as a starter."
After the 2011 season Cleary will be lined up for a scholarship for football but Cleary maintains a 4.1 GPA and is the President for the Student Senate at University of Detroit Jesuit. Brian Cleary was listed in our initial top 100 players in the state of Michigan for the class of 2012. Clearly took a moment to talk about his recruiting process so far, "As far as recruiting, I've been hearing from a lot of the schools around here from the MAC and Big Ten: Central, Toledo, Eastern, Western, Northern Illinois, and Miami. I am also from MSU, Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois. Along with those schools, I'm pumped to go out east for camp at Ivy schools like Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Brown. My brother played in the Ivy, so I’ve always been interested in that football atmosphere as well."
Cleary is not sure which school he will be attending or what he is looking for at the school, "to be honest I have no idea what I'm looking for. Most of it is probably based on the people I will be dealing with and the feeling I get from the campus. Test scores and random statistics say something, but that’s what will probably dictate my decision." With Cleary hearing from plenty of schools he will have the chance to pick from a pool of schools. Cleary mentions that he has no leaders yet, "I really don't know who my leaders are right now, I’ll have to see what happens this summer after I see the schools and the coaches see me."