Luebke Excited About His Chance at the NFL

Tyler Luebke talks about getting the opportunity to make the Washington Redskins after signing a free agent contract with one of the NFL's most storied franchises...

Q: Are you one of those guys that's grown up, always thinking that this would be 'the ultimate thing'?

Tyler Luebke: Growing up, I never would have imagined playing in the NFL. Honestly, I don't watch NFL football. You don't have to publish that. (Laughs). I don't watch it, never had time, we have practice on Sundays, it's just never been big in our family. It's going to be new, I'm going to have to grow up quick, learn a lot of things fast. I just need to make sure I keep up with everyone else, push ahead to make sure I secure a spot on the team. I would imagine myself being an Olympic swimmer. That was my ultimate dream back when I was growing up.

Q: What does your family think, being an Iowa kid?

Luebke: They're all excited. It's weird how through the whole process of college football, it brought the family together, a little closer. We hung out more, and I kind of like that feeling. They're all excited about this, my brother was off calling people after he found out. Everyone just seems to be really happy about that, nobody's like "Washington? Why are you going out there?", it's all good.

Q: Is your family an Iowa family, or has it kind of transformed into that?

Luebke: It was a transformation, really. My oldest brother went to UNI, oldest sister went to Iowa State, and my other sister went to Iowa State. I've had to make those guys into Hawkeye fans. I even got my sister to get a Hawkeye tattoo. My parents don't know about that yet, she's been hiding it for about three years. Everyone's excited. (Pause) I hope they are.

Q: How do you think what you've gone through here will help you in the future?

Luebke: I think what I went through here at Iowa will help me a lot in life. Not just in football, but the worth ethic, the commitment and all that that was instilled in me through Coach Ferentz and Coach Doyle and all those guys. No matter what I choose to do I think I'm going to be able to be a successful person because of that. I hope that will carry over when I go to camp. That's what I'm counting on, just maintaining that work ethic.

Q: What were your expectations entering the whole (draft) process? Were you thinking there might be a chance you'd get drafted, or were you expecting free agency the whole time?

Luebke: I totally expected to be picked up as a free agent, that was the word on the street. There was also the outside chance of getting drafted in the seventh (round). The Patriots told me they had a couple seventh round picks and that they might do that. It didn't happen, so it's like "oh well". It's hard just sitting down with my family. My brother would look over after every pick in the seventh round, I'm just like "I know I might not get picked, I'm not sad." I have a better chance of making a team if I go as a free agent. I prefer it this way, I like how it is, you get to choose this way, rather than get drafted to a place who has already drafted two defensive tackles. That was my choosing process, who did they draft. It's all jumbled in my head right now.

Q: Did you have offers from a lot of teams?

Luebke: I mostly let my agent take care of that. He's better at talking to people that I am. A few teams were calling, just wondering what the deal was, even after the fact. I was just glad that I had a team and that it was over. There were a few teams interested after the draft, more so before than after.

Q: What other teams showed interest?

Luebke: Patriots, Ravens, Kansas City, San Francisco, Cowboys, Jacksonville, some others. They didn't all call me, mostly my agent.

Q: Earlier you mentioned that before you came to Iowa your dream was to be an Olympic swimmer. If you had it to do over again, would you choose to be a Free Agent Redskin, or Olympic Swimmer?

Luebke: I think I've gotten a lot more from football that I did from swimming. It's a lot more of a team thing in football than an individual thing in swimming. I think I got a lot more from being a football player than what I could have gotten from being an Olympic swimmer.

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