I know you guys are only about three weeks into draft prep, but what's it been like working out with Coach (Chris) Doyle?
We're just basically working on all of the drills we do at the combine; a little bit of weight lifting; working on our 40s five days a week.
When you say working on the 40, can you explain that?
Just working on our starts and maintaining perfect technique throughout the whole 40-yard dash. We're also working on change of direction stuff for the three-cone drill. It's a lot of explosive starting and stopping and stuff like that.
How do you feel about your 40 technique?
I think I'm in a pretty good position. I can get a little bit better. We still have a couple of more weeks. I'll probably get that down. But right now, I feel good, explosive wise and stuff like that. Everything is going well.
Have you run a time 40 yet?
No, we haven't.
Where do you think you need to be time wise to help yourself in this draft or where would you like to be for the scouts?
I would like to be somewhere in the high 4.4s, like 4.47-4.49. That's pretty good. The highest would be like a 4.52. If I can stay in the area from like 4.47 to 4.52, I think I'll be good.
How doable is that for you?
I think it's very doable. Obviously the year off got me kind of out of whack. But going through the full season and recuperating a little and doing work on the 40 now, I think it's very reachable.
You were kind of banged up as the season went on. Where is your health at now?
Good. It's been a couple of weeks since the season ended. I'm feeling very good right now.
Me, personally, I don't think so. All those analysts and guys like that might think so, but I can't worry about who is coming out. I have no control over that. I'm here to do it for me, so. I basically don't worry about that stuff. That's no problem to me.
Some of those analysts think you're a guy that needs to be in a certain system that uses a power back. Do you feel like you can play in any system?
I believe so. Football is football. It's just running, catching, tackling and all of that stuff. People just have little bit different systems where they run different stuff. Obviously at Iowa, we just ran the ball a lot, so a lot of people didn't get to see my receiving side and stuff like that because of the system we ran. But I think I can fit into pretty much any system.
Did you catch the ball much in high school?
No, but you know, in high school you run a lot, too. In New Jersey, where I played, we didn't pass a lot. We didn't really have a quarterback like that. So, I basically been running the ball all of my life.
So, not having a chance to do that much in high school or college, what are you doing to make sure you can show scouts that you can catch it?
Basically, just working on the jugs and stuff; having (Rick) Stanzi come out a couple of times and throw it here and there when he's able to come out.
I know you've been asked this question a ton this year, but now having some separation from the season, have you had a chance to reflect on what you've done and where you are? Is it a reality now that you're in this position?
It's all been a reality. Stuff happens for a reason. Everything just happened to work out for me. Now, I'm just preparing for the next step.
Have you hired an agent yet?
Yes, I have.
Who is it and how did you end up going that way?
Who is it? Do you need to know that.
No, I don't need to. If you don't feel comfortable saying, maybe you could talk about that process.
The first two people that called me, I kind of kept in touch with them here and there on the phone. I basically just got an idea who were the two guys I wanted to go with. Then, I met with those two and decided from there.
What did it come down to when you were picking an agent? What was most important to you?
It was just who I felt most comfortable with, who my family thought was the right guy. My family had some input. It was who we thought who could offer the most for me and the best for me.
I know you said that you didn't finalize your decision to leave Iowa until the week leading up to the Outback Bowl. But when did you really start to lean towards thinking you were coming out?
It was probably when I got noticed a lot. The 100-yard games kept building. Somewhere from midseason to going into the last couple of games, I figured I probably wouldn't have another opportunity to…my draft stock wouldn't go up any higher if I stayed. I was getting a lot of exposure. And then, injury and age played into it.
Why did you hold off to make the decision public?
I didn't want to cause any distractions or anything. All the people kept asking me about it. I'd rather tell them that I wasn't worried about that and just was focusing on the season, which I really was doing.
What type of advice has Coach (Kirk) Ferentz given you since you made your announcement?
He's been very supportive. He basically told me that whatever decision I made was fine with him. He was going to support me either way. He's been very supportive.
Have you talked with Albert (Young) at all? He's spent a year in the NFL and you guys were friends when he was here.
I haven't lately. I really don't know what's going on with him too much.
Are there any other players from Iowa or guys you know from Jersey or anybody else in the league that you've asked for advice?
I've basically just been talking to the coaches. I don't know too many of the other guys (that played at Iowa). I really don't know any of them at all, really.
What would make you the happiest on draft day other than being selected as high as you could possibly go?
All that's good stuff, but basically I'm just happy to be in this situation right now, in the position to get drafted no matter where I go or who I go to. A lot of people dream about stuff like this and it doesn't come true all of the time. This is one time where it's probably going to come true. I'm just happy for that.