Jan. 20, 2012
Why did you decide you wanted to play in this game?
First of all, I want to play football. That is the reason behind the madness and the reason I came to Texas. I want to play football, and it is something I enjoy. So anytime I get an invitation to further my career and play in another game, then I am going to be all over it. Obviously with a game of this magnitude, it is also a chance for us to impress some scouts and meet some personnel to further our career to where hopefully we can do this for a living for a few years. That is one of the few things that we are able to do at this game.
Have you received any feedback from any of the scouts or anyone from the NFL?
Yes, we are able to talk to scouts of pretty much every team. They tell us to come up to the meeting room in their hotel, and they give you a rundown of questions of pretty much everything you would think they need to know about you and even some more. It has definitely been a cool experience. It’s fun and a little bit surreal to think that you are actually talking to NFL personnel.
Who are your coaches?
My coach is Brad Childress. He was most recently the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings and my defensive backs coach is Kevin Cosgrove. He was the DC [defensive coordinator] of Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota, I believe.
What has your schedule been like?
One of the first things we did when we got here was we went to the Shriners Hospital. They are the main sponsor of this game. We really want to [show] while we are here, is all the great work that the Shriners Hospital does for the community and [how it] make lives more enjoyable for their patients in the hospital. We were able to go to the hospital and hang out with some of the kids. It really puts what we do into perspective, when we are able to feel that fortunate and feel how lucky we are.
Are there any players that you have bonded with while you have been there?
Obviously the other DBs. Aaron Henry, the safety from Wisconsin; a couple of other guys [like] Tyler Shoemaker, the receiver from Boise State; Devon Wylie the receiver and punt returner from Fresno State. You get to meet and talk to a lot of different guys on your team, and they really are the best that are around the nation. It is a fun experience.
Do you find that your team is bonding more quickly because everyone is working to achieve the same goal?
I think you bond quickly with these guys because there is a common love for the game. Most of the guys, if not all of the guys, are here for the same reason - you love the game and you want to further your career. There is a bond and a mutual respect with all the other guys for the sacrifices they have given. They know that you have definitely sacrificed things to get where you are.
How is St. Petersburg? Have you had a chance to see the town?
They keep us pretty tight, and we are on a strict schedule. We only get a little bit of free time at night and most of the time that is spent talking to scouts until midnight. We don’t get much free time.
After this game is over, what is next for you?
I have been training out in Redondo Beach in Los Angeles at a training facility. I am going to head back after the game and continue my training. I will be out there through March until I come back to Austin.
Do you feel like this is the beginning of your professional career?
Yes, for sure, you get that feeling. You are being treated like businessmen and everyone is expected to be at the same level of commitment. There is not a whole lot of the coaches cheering for you to get excited. If you are not excited then you do not need to be at this level. There is a different feel, and there is definitely more of a professional feel to it. It’s a little strange, but at the same time, it is where I have always wanted to be. It’s fun to be moving up.
What are your best hopes for what can happen in this game and after this game?
Obviously, I want to perform well. Most of the work was done earlier this week, whenever the scouts were here to watch practice. That’s really the main showing of the week. The game is icing on the cake. It is our reward as players to build through a hard week of practice and be rewarded at the end of the game, just like in the regular season. I hope that I perform well and I do my job. We are still out there trying to win even though it is an all-star game. I want to do my job to help the team. I want to come out with a win and afterward I hope that propels me into the best draft spot or the best situation I can be in at the next level.