- Jan 20, 2004
- Reaction score
- Harrisburg, PA
On why he thinks he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start at Auburn) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I'm not sure. That was a situation where I had another top-ranked player at my position. He got the starting job. He did well with the position. From that point I had to adjust to be ready in different situations and different roles."
(On if he would be willing to share that role with the Dolphins) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "If need be, if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what is asked of me for the team to be successful. Definitely."
(On at what point he sensed the Dolphins wanted him) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "When the phone rang and it was one of the guys from the Dolphins."
(On if he was surprised he went at No. 2) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I was for the simple fact that rumors circulate and you hear different things. Being in my position, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to get locked into one situation or have to deal with that situation not occurring. It was a little different for me."
(On if the Dolphins gave him any indication over the last few days that he was their guy) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "No. They didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t."
(On when the last time was that he heard from the Dolphins) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "When I had a workout with them, about a week after the Combine."
(On what he does best as a running back) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I think just the versatility, being able to move around and catch the ball out of the backfield, and block."
(On what his morning was like today) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I was pretty relaxed. I got up, ate breakfast with my parents and my family that came up here with me. After that, I went back to my room, sat around, watched a little TV, got dressed and came over to the Javits Center."
(On who is agent is) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Todd France."
(On what he knows about the Dolphins) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great situation and a great place to play and I just look forward to it."
(On what his relationship is with Coach Saban and if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had any interaction with him) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "A little bit at the workout we did, we were able to speak a little bit. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pretty familiar as far as seeing each other in the SEC."
(On what he remembers about his games against LSU and what he might have done to impress Coach Saban in those games) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I think those games were real tough. The determining factor was whoever was at home was usually the winner. I think just going out there and the passion for the game that I try to have and play every down, and me being able to move around and play different positions and be effective in those positions."
(On the first thing that he is going to buy when he signs his first pro contract) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to get my parents established first."
(On if he remembers a run he had last year against LSU when he knocked over 6 or 7 guys) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Yes, sir."
(On how hard it was sharing carries with Carnell Williams and not complaining about it) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that hard. I got accustomed to that situation. I was dealing with it for the last couple of years. I just had to look at the positive aspect of that and be successful in that area."
(On if he and Carnell Williams had a wager on who would go first) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Yeah. It was a dinner."
(On if his value in this draft was helped last year by the fact that he and Carnell Williams played in the same backfield) -- "I think so. I think it created a little gossip for the simple fact that I could play different positions as well as be effective as a single-back guy."
(On what other positions he was used at besides running back) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Occasionally I lined up at fullback. I lined up in the slot position. I line dup as a received a couple of times."
(On if any other teams were in contact with him this week) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Not really. Just teams getting draft-day numbers and stuff like that, not as far as speaking about the draft and about picking me."
(On who he thought was going to take him) - "I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. There were a lot of things going on with this draft. I think teams were a little quiet and secretive about what was going to go on."
(On if there is a certain back he models himself after) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Not at all. I try to go out and the best things I can do to be successful and not model myself after anybody else."
(On how he felt with the fact his name was absent from all the rumors this week) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great not having to deal with that situation of rumors and the draft."
(On what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be able to do for the Dolphins running game) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hopefully come in and contribute, and get in there anyway I can as far as playing whatever position that it is they ask me to do to help the team be successful.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what he enjoys most) -- "Playing tailback."
(On if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ever returned kicks) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "No."
(On the fact that he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners out of high school and if there was ever to decision to make as far as what sport to play) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Not at all. Once I decided I was going to Auburn I was ready to get down there and get going."
(On what he thinks will be his biggest adjustment in the NFL) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ "Just playing a longer season and having to play a few more games."
On if he thinks he caught Nick SabanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eye in the Capital One Bowl against LSU) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. I had an alright game, I messed up my hand, it was a fun game to play in though.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he has spoken to Nick Saban yet) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yeah, yeah, I am happy to be a Dolphin.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On where Nick Saban told him he would fit in) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t explain much, he just said he is looking forward to getting me in camp and getting me down there in Miami and start going to work.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On how he blocked twelve kicks in high school) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know, I just had a knack for it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he played special teams at Iowa) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I did the first couple of years.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what side he feels more comfortable on) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I can play them both so it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really matter.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he is comfortable playing linebacker) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. It would be something I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done for a while, but I feel confident that I can play any position, except quarterback.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On where he thought he would go in the draft) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was getting talk anywhere from the mid to the later first round. I knew it was possible I could even slip to the second round.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On how disappointed he is) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not disappointed at all. I am just glad to be on a team, on a team that wants me, and get back to work.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if wrestling in high school helped him as a football player) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Definitely, it helps you out with your hips, your hands and your leverage.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On how he feels about coming to a team with a head coach labeled as a defensive coach) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am excited. I am excited because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good coach. I got to compete against him when we played LSU this year. They also have a great defensive end, (Jason) Taylor, and I am looking forward to learning from him. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be a great opportunity.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what his attributes are that make him a special player) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think I am more athletic than people give me credit for. I am intense and I just love the game of football.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he has ever been to South Florida) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yeah, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nice. I loved it. Fortunately I have been able to come down the last four years and play down there in Miami, gotten to see the town. The people are great. They have a great stadium. I am just looking forward to getting down there.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On an example of his intensity) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I like to hit. Anything doing with hitting linemen, running backs or quarterbacks, I just love the game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what part of Illinois he is from) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am from the Northwest Suburbs [of Chicago].Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On who his agent is) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jim Flanigan.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what he knows about Nick Saban) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just know that my coach and him were on the same staff [in Cleveland] and he thought highly of him. Obviously heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s done a great job at LSU the last couple of years, won a national championship. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very capable.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On his best game during his college career) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had a lot of good games this year so to pick one out, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. Michigan was a pretty good game. Wisconsin was pretty good. A couple of years ago I had a pretty good game against Michigan State. I played fairly well in all my games.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he agrees with being labeled as an overachiever) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, but I work hard.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On playing with Jason Taylor and Kevin Carter) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am excited. I am very, very excited. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great opportunity. I am just looking forward to getting down there and learning.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if the results of the Capital One Bowl came up when he was talking to Nick Saban) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bring it up.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On the scheme he played at Iowa) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“A 4-3.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he is worried about the defensive line being crowded) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, I am just looking forward to getting down and start working. How I can contribute, I am not really worried about right now. I am just looking forward to learning all that I can and trying to contribute.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he thinks there will be pressure on him considering he was chosen with the pick acquired for Patrick Surtain) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what the trades were, this and that. I feel confident and I am looking forward to getting in there and going to work.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what is tattooed on his right arm) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just my name in Japanese.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if it has been a long day for him) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not really. Me and a couple of my buddies went fishing, tried to stay away from the TV and not just sit around sweating. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t too long.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On staying in Florida to play) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great feeling. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s real cool to stay around. My family is in Tampa now, so thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not too far of a drive to come see me play. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good feeling and I am real happy about it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he grew up a Dolphins fan considering his father played for them) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, my dad played here and Tampa Bay. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I usually watched those teams. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a blessing to be able to play for the Dolphins.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he is disappointed he did not go earlier in the draft) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ No. Everybody wants to be the first pick of the first round, but there are millions of kids out there who want to have the opportunity that I have. I am just happy to be able get in the NFL, to be ready to get in the door and start a career with the Dolphins and have the best career I can have.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if some of his off-field problems factored into his draft position) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. There is a lot of speculation. I am trying to stay away from that now. That happened. You just got to go with it. I am trying to have a good career and look forward to the future with the Dolphins.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he came to a lot of Dolphins games as a kid) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, sir. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even into football when I was real young. I got into it in high school. I was in Atlanta then.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On his memories of playing against Nick SabanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s LSU teams) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was a great coach. They would always be prepared for you. We had to load up. I remember I came back, it had to be Ã¢â‚¬â„¢03, I came back off injury to come play them and we beat them, the only team to beat them in a national championship year. We were a wrench in their machine that year. It is a great opportunity to be able to play under a coach that we respected so much in the SEC, and in the nation, as a college football coach. Now him coming to the next level and giving me an opportunity to play with him is great.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On how many tackles he had that game) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember. It was double digits, right around ten somewhere.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On what made him decide to come out early) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“They told me I could send the paperwork in and get the estimate. It takes them a couple of months to look at the film and see that. My family, my sisters werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t doing as well as they could. My mom had to take a leave of absence from work and go down help to them with their kids. The paperwork came back and told me early rounds. I was thinking to take the opportunity I had and try to do the best I could do and go to the next level.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if Randy Hand was his roommate at Florida) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, sir. I am cool with him. He is my homeboy, but I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t his roommate.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he is excited about playing with Zach Thomas and Junior Seau) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, that is a great thing. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not like college where you get to take five visits Ã¢â‚¬â€œ here, here, here, Ã¢â‚¬ËœI like these schools.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of like who likes you. You try to impress them so I was always saying it would be a great opportunity for a young guy like me to try to get in with some guys who know the game and can teach me the little stuff about the NFL game. To go with two of the best ever is a great opportunity for me. I was just thinking about that as soon as they called me. I said Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwow, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a pretty good opportunity for me, for me personally and my career to work under those two.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if the first Florida player being selected in the third round is an indicator that the programÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fortunes are down) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, sir. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on and off. There are a lot of great players at Florida. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to pick right back up. This is, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to say a down year, there are a lot of great athletes coming out, but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a year like youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re saying with all the receivers. A lot of coaching conversions and all that stuff might have had something to do with it. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really say that. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say that. There are a lot of great athletes coming out of Florida this year and there is going to be a lot of good guys in, but it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like with all the receivers going high and all the quarterbacks with thegun. It will be a prosperous year and they are going to do great next year under Coach Meyer.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On how much contact he has had with the Dolphins since the combine) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“They called me to get some basic information and then at the combine I had to sit down and talked to Coach Saban. Afterwards Coach Saban sent down one of his assistants and he had a more in-depth interview with me. At the combine you only get 15 minutes. He came down to Gainesville and had a more in-depth interview with me. Then they just called and verified my draft-day phone number. That was about it, but it is a great opportunity. It is a great surprise to be able to go be a Dolphin.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if he visited the Dolphins as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“localÃ¢â‚¬Â player) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not considered local, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think, because my home is in Atlanta. I think I would have had to count as their [top] twenty. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really know the rules, but I know I went to Atlanta for the home one. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if I could have two home ones.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On if the Dolphins asked him about his off-the-field troubles) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, I did have those and that was very well-publicized, but it was in the past and I think I threw that out the window during the meetings and with the interviews. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m past that. I am trying get past that and have a great NFL career.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On who his agent is) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Joel SegalÃ¢â‚¬Â
(On if he has talked to his father tonight) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, sir. Me and him arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really close like that. I might get in touch with him sooner or later, but basically my mom, she is the one I look to.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(On where his father Randy lives) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is in Tampa."