Arkansas offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola waged an unsuccessful Heisman Trophy campaign in 2014, but he will now have the opportunity to block for a pair of players who did win the award.
Tretola was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday and was the 191st pick overall.
"Whenever they brought me in on the visit, that was their biggest thing – they said, `We just love how you play the game. We love how you finish,’” Tretola said on a teleconference after being drafted.. “Obviously there are technical things that can be worked on, but at the end of the day, they were in love with my mentality. Between me and the whole coaching staff, I think we all think the exact same, so I think it’s a perfect fit.”
He will get the chance to block for the 2014 Heisman winner in quarterback Marcus Mariota and the 2015 winner in running back Derrick Henry, who the Titans drafted in the second round of this year's draft.
"I’ll talk to him (Mariota) about it when I get there," Tretola said. "I was definitely robbed. And I definitely have some concerns to address with him about that.”
As for Henry, Tretola got an upfront look at him the past two seasons.
"He has done amazing things in colleg," Tretola said. "He’s another Heisman winner than I think I outperformed (laughing). He is a machine. He is a freak in every sense of the world. He is an awesome guy. … And he wants to win ball games and he wants to win them in the meanest, roughest way he can do it.”
Tretola was asked to describe his game.
"I’m mean. I’m nasty. I don’t want this to sound bad, but I’m trying to make you not want to play me anymore,” Tretola said. “I don’t want you to come back on the playing field once I’m done playing you. That’s every play, whether that’s run-blocking, pass pro, whether that’s a screen, getting out on a corner.
“I’m going to block you until I hear the echo of the whistle. Not the whistle. Until I hear the echo of the whistle.”
The Titans also drafted offensive lineman Jack Conklin in the first round.
He’s the same kind of guy,” Tretola said. “He’s rough, tough, he is going to get after you. Obviously this is what the organization wants and they did a hell of a job getting it.”
Tretola was the fourth Razorback taken in the draft with San Diego taking tight end Hunter Henry in the second round, Buffalo taking tailback Jonathan Williams in the fifth round and Seattle taking tailback Alex Collins in the fifth round as well.