Former Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere could not contain his excitement after being selected by the Tennessee Titans in the third round of last month's NFL Draft.
“I got picked to a great organization," Petit-Frere told reporters during a post-draft interview session. "I’m just ready to compete, I’m ready to work for the team, I’m ready to help this team win and I just want to be the best teammate I can be for the Tennessee Titans.
“Me getting this opportunity to play for a great organization like Tennessee, for me to be under great coaches like Coach (Keith) Carter and Coach (Mike) Vrabel, I’m just more than happy. I’m blessed.”
During his time in Columbus, Petit-Frere blocked for some of college football's best running backs, including J.K. Dobbins, Trey Sermon and TreVeyon Henderson. Those pale in comparison to the the opportunity to pave the way for 2015 Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Derrick Henry, though.
“Oh my God, are you kidding me?” Petit-Frere said. “I mean, there’s only a few people that you can say, ‘Hey, I got a chance to block for’ that would make you be able to have stories about. To be able to block for someone like Derrick Henry, one of the best running backs in the league and one of the best running backs ever to play college football, it’s such a blessing.
“I hope I get a chance to meet him. I hope me and him become great friends. Who knows, maybe we become best friends. I just want to be able block for him as best as I can. I want to support him. I want to make sure that he’s the best play he can ever be.”
That said, Petit-Frere won't be the only former Buckeye blocking for Henry this season, as Jamarco Jones signed a two-year deal with the Titans during free agency back in March.
“At least we have two Ohio State guys in the offensive line room,” Petit-Frere said. “Hopefully, we can make it more Ohio State guys, but whoever we put in there, it’s just a great room.”
Petit-Frere could compete with second-year pro Dillon Radunz for the starting job at right tackle as a rookie, but his long-term future is likely as the successor to three-time Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan at left tackle. Either way, he can't wait to get to Tennessee and get started.
“I told everyone, it didn’t matter what round I got drafted or when I got drafted. I said, ‘Look, I’m going to be excited for the first few minutes.’ But right after that, it’s time to work,” Petit-Frere said. “My mentality now is, I’m ready for me to go to Nashville, I’m ready for me to train as hard as I can.
“I want to be a veteran when I get there. I want to train like I’m a veteran. I want to learn like I’m a veteran. I want to practice like I’m a veteran. I want to do all the things that it takes to be a great player in the NFL.”
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