ROBERT GALLERY OPENING STATEMENT ABOUT BECOMING AN OUTLAND TROPHY FINALIST
It's a great honor. It's something that I've worked for all year. Just to have the opportunity to be one of the three finalists is a great honor. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.
Is it weird trying to figure out how you stack up with an offensive tackle from Arkansas?
You really can't (measure it). It's up to the nine voters. It depends how much they've seen me. Its kind of somewhat of a political thing. It's just an honor to be a finalist. It would be a great honor to win it. But just to be down there in pretty special.
Do you consider this the Heisman for offensive linemen?
Oh definitely. That's all you hear about with linemen is the Outland Trophy. Even growing up with Chad Hennings and all of the people that win it, in my position that's what you shoot for. The Heisman is pretty far out there. That's for the quarterbacks and the receivers.
Do you own a tuxedo?
No I don't. I bought a suit last week, though. I do have a suit so I might have to get a nice tie and try to look nice for that one.
Have you dared to start thinking about the future?
Last week, we had the break and it's a time that you can. I thought about it a little bit. I wouldn't say that I've thought much past the bowl game.
Are you getting close to having an agent hired?
I won't do any of that until after the bowl game. It's illegal until after the bowl game. I don't want to lose my eligibility for this last game.
You have talked to them though, right?
You can talk to them. I've talked to them. I have an idea of a couple of guys that I'm going to narrow it down with. I have to figure that out a little bit here over the next week and then put it away until after the bowl game.
How would you grade yourself on your play this year?
It's tough to say. I hold myself to a pretty high standard. I wouldn't give myself probably a great grade. But that's just the way I am. My worst critic is myself. I thought I had a good year. I had a lot of fun. That was the most important thing to me. We were successful as a team, and that's more of a grade to me than anything about just how I played.
What did it mean to you when Coach Ferentz went to bat for you a couple of weeks ago?
That's the highest compliment I could get. He isn't known for doing that a whole lot. He's a very truthful guy. He doesn't blow a lot of smoke around. I really respect him for what he's done for this program and for me as an individual. That's a big deal to me to have him say that just because what he's been through and the people that he's seen.
Do you guys have a preference between Orlando and Tampa? Does it matter at all?
Just to be in Florida is where we want to be. They're both great bowls. Wherever we end up, we're going to be lucky to go there. And we will be excited about it.
Are you going to play in any all-star games?
I was invited to a few, but I'm going to decline those and just work on preparing for the combine.
Why did you stay, and have things worked out the way that you had hoped?
Yeah. It was my goal to come back and help the team and become a better player. I thought that I did that. It was goal to win the Outland. I have the opportunity to do it. It's up to some other people to decide now. I glad, no doubt, that I came back.
Did you carry any special insurance this past year?
I had that insurance all through the season. I got that at the beginning of the season as a safety thing. It was something that I talked with coach about and he thought that it might be a good idea. You just put it in the back of your mind. You know you've got to go out and play. I did have it. I'll have to pay that off here in a few months.
How does that work? Do your parents pay that?
No. That will be coming out of my pocket. I don't have to deal with that until after the draft.
You'll be disappointed if you don't win the Outland, right?
Definitely. I was thinking about that the other day. When I first found out that I was a finalist, it was great. But you don't want to lose. I did what I could this season. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. There will be better things down the road.
Will you stay and work with Coach Doyle to prepare for the combine?
I think that might be a good idea. He's had good luck in the past. (laughs) I'm going to stay and work with him. I'll have a straight shot. There will be about six weeks before the combine. I'm sure that he's going to have me ready to go for that.
Why not play in the (postseason all-star) games?
I've talked to different people and you've got to weigh the risk and the reward. I don't think the risk is worth it right now. If I was projected third, fourth, fifth, sixth round, I probably would go. I could have left last year and been a high pick. So, my Senior Bowl tape will be from every game this year. That's kind of the way I look at it. I'm the top-rated guy right now, everything they need to see is on film.
What can the combine do for you and against you?
The combine can definitely help me. I'm projected pretty high, but it's all decided there after the combine and then those workouts that we have here. A good showing there will open some eyes some more, maybe. It can move you that much higher. I'm not worried about that. That's the stuff that I do the best, running and the speed stuff. So, I'm excited about that. I've got a great coach that's going to have me prepared for it.
Are you getting a little antsy about this bowl situation?
It would be nice to know where we're going, but we're going somewhere nice. We have an idea probably where we're going to go, probably one of the two in Florida. It would be nice to know, but we've still got to do the same things to get ready for whoever the opponent is.
If the Capitol One Bowl asked you why Iowa should go there instead of Purdue, what would you say?
Check out the parking lot before the game. We're going to bring how many more thousands of people than Purdue would? That's up to them. That's our big selling point, though. The Orange Bowl last year with our fan following, that should sell it enough right there. They're going to get a good team down there, too.