What is your athletic background? Growing up I played basketball, ran track, played volleyball and obviously played football. Being a kid from Chicago, I thought I was the best basketball player there was. But with choosing football, it was put in front of me. I knew the opportunities football would afford me. There are more scholarships in football. I give all the credit to my mom. When I was in sixth grade I was playing basketball but 7-on-7 football was just starting up and she just took me out of basketball altogether. I was mad at the time but she chose the right thing for me.
How did you make your decision to declare for the draft? I knew I'd be ready. Coming here, a goal of mine was to be three-and-done and become the first three-and-done player in Coach Fitz's tenure. That was definitely a goal of mine. I knew if I put my head down and worked I knew it was going to be a possibility for me to be in this year's draft.
What was the atmosphere like on your pro day? I don't really have anything to compare but I thought it was great. Some of my teammates were able to come watch and cheer me on. Just like during the season, we brought the juice today. I credit those guys who came out to support today.
Coach Fitzgerald says you play with a chip on your shoulder. Can you comment on that? My personality off the field I'm one of the nicest, sweetest guys. On the field, I flip a switch. I'm a competitor. I hate to lose. I do have that chip. Even at practice, I play so hard all the time. I think I was slept on and I still think I am -- in this draft, in college football. Every single down I have that chip and remember where I came from. Even being recruited as a high schooler I was slept on and I always have that in the back of my mind. I have a huge family and they've been great supporting me and making sacrifices for me. The reason I play the way I do is so I can pay them back in the future.
How have you been able to stay grounded throughout this process? First, starting with Christ. Without him, I wouldn't be in this position. All these adversities have been put in my life for a reason. As far as staying humble, I remember where I came from and I remember that just a season ago the feeling we felt not having a great season. Things can turn the wrong way very quickly. Live in the moment.
What do you know about the Chiefs? They obviously have arguably the best QB in the league and they have a great offense. Their defense, I know they play a lot of cover zero and they blitz a lot. It would be great to go there or whoever drafts me. They have a great program and they'll have a great quarterback for a long time. Tons of offensive firepower over there.
What do you like about Richard Sherman? I think it's just savviness. He uses his smarts on the field and that's something I kind of do. He knows where the ball is going just by splits or a guy's steps. I like the way he plays zone. Jumps a lot of routes. Just a lot of savvy. You can tell he's a huge film guy. He was never the fastest guy but there's something that's made him one of the top corners in the league for a long time and a majority of that is his study, his savvy and what he knows about the game.
Can you comment on the speed you showed today and the lack of a combine? I thought today was great. I haven't been to the combine but I definitely had dreams of doing that process. It's going to be legit anyway. I think it might even be more pressure here just because of how many NFL eyes are right here watching. Running at the combine was a dream of mine so I wish it would have happened. I did a great job and wouldn't have traded this for anything with my teammates being here to see me run. Great day.
How have you been able to defend the deep ball so well? There's really no secret. Starts with the mentality. I'm a very confident player and I think if I eliminate those deep routes nobody is gonna beat us. Just knowing where my help is coming from and my teammates are doing their jobs, I don't want to let the team down. Just trust my technique. Credit to my DB coach, Coach Mac. I don't think there's a secret. Just be confident and be a dog out there.
How can you continue to get stronger and still play fast? Definitely credit to my trainers at EXOS. We put together a great plan to make sure it's not one or the other. Not putting on too much weight and being slower but not being too light. Credit to those guys for really breaking down my body and seeing a good weight that I can be strong and fast.
How have the virtual calls been throughout the process? I have talked to a bunch of teams. A majority of them. They've been going pretty well. The teams wanted to see some of the things I need to clean up, my strength and stuff. I've had a good time with the interviews. When a team drafts me they're going to get the best corner in the country. I don't take that lightly. The reason I know I'm the best is I can do it all. I can play man, I can play zone. Even in our scheme we're more of a let guys catch it in front of us but you can see the way I played I was not okay with letting guys catch it. When an NFL team sees my versatility I don't see why I won't be the first corner off the board.
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