Imposing His Will

NC State linebacker Nate Irving fielded questions from the media after being selected by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

On which linebacker spot he prefers to play:
"I don't really have a preference. I am just ready go get started, play some football, and I will compete for a spot."

On his style of play:
"For those people who don't know me, I'm just a physical linebacker who likes to impose my will and punish the ball carrier or get a blocker out of my way to get to the ball carrier."

On where he thinks he will play:
"I talked to the coaches, and they like me in the middle."

On the transition from outside to middle linebacker:
"It was really not a big transition because of the way our defense was set up; the ‘Will' and the ‘Mike' were both stacked linebackers inside the box. The only thing I had to adjust was my vision. As a ‘Will,' I see lot of things coming towards me from the sideline, but in the middle, they come from a lot of different angles."

On whether he thought being drafted was a possibility after his accident:
"I never did. I put everything up in the hands of God, and I just did what I was supposed to do."

On playing with LB Von Miller:
"I was looking at the earlier pick, and I saw Von Miller, and I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing alongside him. With me in the middle and him on the edge, we could wreak some havoc on every offensive team in the league."

On the Labor Situation:
"I can speak for myself and he (Rahim Moore) can answer but I am not too worried about what is going on. I know there will be football and all I can handle is how I come into camp as far as shape and conditioning goes so I am going to work at it as hard as I can. When the time comes, I will report to the facilities, look into work, and get together with my teammates and form relationships and bring back the Orange Crush defense."

On Irving's favorite defensive players growing up:
"My linebackers are Lawrence Taylor and Ray Lewis because of the way that Taylor came off the edge and changed the whole game of pass rushing for outside linebackers. Ray Lewis, today I feel like he is one of the best, if not the best, middle linebacker in the game right now. With how smart he is and how he studies the game and takes care of his body is something that I pay attention to because that is what helped him last a long time in the league. That is what I am trying to do."

On how much weight he thinks he needs to put on to be a middle linebacker:
"I don't think you need to be a certain weight to be a middle linebacker. I don't want to be too heavy where that will hurt you when you need to run and move in pass coverage, but you don't want to be too light to where you will get bumped around by some of the big lineman. I feel like I will be able to talk to the coaches and play at the weight that they want me to play at. My senior year, I played at 235 pounds.

On the medical evaluations during the draft process:
"That was kind of strenuous and stressful because of my car accident. I felt like the first two or three nights that I was in Indy, I was doing X-rays and MRIs, I felt like that is where I spent the most of my time at. I understand the coaches and owners want to look at what they are investing in but the poking and pulling and all those MRIs were just sort of long and stressful for me."

On his car accident:
"June 28th, I was leaving my house going back to school early in the morning, like 3:00. I fell asleep behind the wheel and I ran my car—I overcorrected and drove my truck off the road. I flipped over and hit a couple of trees and I laid there until somebody called the ambulance to come and pick me up."

On his journey from the accident to the NFL Draft:
"I know I had nothing to do with it. It was just a blessing, I felt like God had better plans for me than to sit in that ditch and die. I am embracing every chance I can get to live life and enjoy this opportunity the best that I can."

On if the accident gave him a better perspective on football:
"I feel like it did, I know it did. I noticed that within a snap of a finger it can all be taken away and I want to go out and play every play as hard as I can, every practice as hard as I can, be at every meeting and do every work out. Just to be out there and take full advantage of it and appreciate the game for what it is really worth."

On what his post-accident tattoo means (with the date of the accident):
"It is not a reminder to me. It is a day I will never forget. It is just part of my story. When someone asks what it is about then I can share what I went through and maybe they are going through something and realize that if I could make it through that, then they can make it through whatever they are going through."

On where he was when he was drafted:
"I was actually right around the hot tub area. I was laying down in my bed, and then I got the call. I didn't know it was really the coaches. I thought it might be a joke—my father had been joking about it, so I said, ‘Okay.' I was excited actually seeing my name across the TV. That's when me and my parents and my little brother, we just went crazy in the hotel."

On whether he heard that Bill Parcells graded him as a first-round pick:
"I did not hear about that. I tried not to get caught up in where I was projected to go. I felt like that would just add on to the stress that I already felt from the whole process. I just kind of relaxed and watched it with my family. I got the call and I was happy and excited when I did."

On expectations for the NFL:
"For me, I believe that the NFL is a fraternity of guys that have been through a lot and sacrificed a lot growing up in high school and college. Having made sacrifices and to all be here and sharing this one common goal and doing something that they love to do. It is about fun, but it is about sacrifice too for a lot of people."

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