EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In the last calendar year, Aaron Brule has come face-to-face with some of life’s harshest realities.

He has seen a childhood friend’s promising football career come to a screeching halt after a shocking brain cancer diagnosis. He’s dealt with the death of his former college coach, Mike Leach, and grieved with the rest of the Spartan family after the mass shooting on MSU’s campus.

Through it all, Brule has managed to keep pushing forward, displaying a remarkable toughness and perspective through an emotionally exhausting year.

“I haven’t had the time to sit down and just necessarily, I wouldn’t say grieve, but really take it all in full steam ahead and just be like ‘dang all that has happened,'” Brule said. “I actually don’t really have time to feel sorry for myself so there’s also other people grieving obviously in these situations. I always just say that if I got it bad, somebody else probably has it worse.”

Brule opened up to the MSUFCU Coaches Show about how he’s managed to keep that perspective through everything that’s happened, and how this ability to handle adversity was instilled in him from a young age by his grandparents, who both served in the military.

“My grandpa served in Vietnam four years,” Brule said. “He did four years in Vietnam and my grandma did 25 years in the Air Force. I don’t know if I’m a momma’s boy or a daddy’s boy but I feel like if I’m a boy of anything, I’m a grandma’s boy … I guess I lean toward her because she’s shown that she can do anything.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Brule spoke about his memories of Mike Leach and how the coach’s sudden passing made him realize how quickly things can change. It’s a realization that’s been reinforced this fall through his friendship with LSU’s Greg Brooks Jr., a Tigers team captain who was starting games at the beginning of this season but now faces a long road to recovery after being diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

You can watch the full story on Brule’s perspective and perseverance in the video player at the top of this article.