Watch: Robert Nkemdiche Talks About Arrest, Being 'Lazy' in Revealing Combine Interview

Ole Miss star says he was drunk, not high on marijuana when he fell from hotel window.

Quotes courtesy of Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal:

What sets you a part on the field?

“My skill set, my explosiveness, my football IQ. My growth as a player, my commitment to the team and wanting to keep getting better as a player.”

What are you telling teams about the Atlanta incident?

“I tell them the truth. It was a rash decision by me. Uncharacteristic. That’s not who I am. That’s not what I stand for. That’s not what my family stands for. It was embarrassing for me and my whole family, the Ole Miss family. I tell them that’s not the kind of player they’re getting. They’re getting a straight-forward player. I’m never going to return to that. I’m just moving forward and embracing this moment.”

How do they respond that answer?

“They believe me. It’s the truth, and it’s what I’m going to keep moving forward with. I’m going to stick to my story. That’s what it is. I’m going to keep moving forward, keep being in the moment and get ready to show out on Sunday.”

Were you under the influence of anything in Atlanta?

“Yes. I was drinking. I was drunk.”

Marijuana?

“No sir. No sir.”

Question inaudible, had to do with NFL’s stance on behavior:

“It’s understandable. Like I said, I told them the truth. That’s not the person I am. That’s not the morals I hold myself to, not the standards I hold myself to, and I’m going to keep moving forward and keep working, letting them understand the person that I am, the kind of person I truly am.”

Have you changed?

“I have changed. I’ve lazered my focus to what’s important and kept away from things that can take football away from me and jeopardize my career because I love the game so much. I never want it to be taken away from me, and I know if I’m in situations like that it can be taken away from me. I’ve just cleaned up a little bit.”

What’s the daily process been like for you after Ole Miss?

“Training. I’ve been training for the combine, just focusing on my craft, my technique, things that will make me a great NFL player.”

Are teams most concerned with your character or production?

“It’s my character. Some have asked about my production, of course, but it’s mostly my character, off the field commitment. I’ve cleared it up with every team. I just plan to keep moving forward.”

 

Are you concerned that you will slide in the draft?

“I’ve just got to wait and see. I’m doing everything I can to make teams believe me and believe the person I truly am. I made a mistake as a 21-year-old. I’ve just got to keep moving forward and hopefully they believe me and I can do what I have to do on Sunday to make them see my athleticism. Hopefully I will go as high as possible.”

 

With your family background what does the term African-American mean to you?

“It means something strong. It’s just something I have to stand for and be steady with, keep moving forward. Sometimes you’re going to be judged for it but you have to keep moving forward and stay the course with things.”

Would you like the NFL to have a game in Africa?

“That would be lovely. That would be amazing.”

When you think of other players what does it mean to you to carry on legacy of players with direct African roots?

“It means a lot for people who know how it is over there. It’s not like it is over here. It’s a struggle. So going over there and seeing how it is myself is very humbling. It means a lot to keep going forward and carrying that flag for that culture.”

What’s your reaction if a team asks you about the difference in your talent and production on field?

“Of course. There are times I didn’t finish. I was lazy on some plays at times, but I told them I’m going to keep growing as a player. I’m going to keep learning how to finish and keep becoming more of a student of the game and just focus on being the best NFL player I can be.”

How many teams have you met with?

“I’ve had one formal interview (Washington) and I’ve had a couple of informal interviews. I will have more today.”

Were there any other teammates with you that night in Atlanta?

“Ummmm ... yeah Laremy was there.”

Can you give an example of character, how you pitch it to teams?

“I kind of tell them the truth because I don’t pitch anything. I don’t try to create an act because for the people that do know me as a person ... that wasn’t me. That was rash. It was blunder. The people that know me know that’s not who I am. I don’t do those kind of things. The media’s done a tarnish to my name but I’ve just got to make them understand me as a person who I am. Just got to keep moving forward, just keep being positive and working hard.”

What’s the status of the charge that came out of that?

“I had to pay some fines for it, but it’s still pending I think.”

What’s the reaction when you tell your side of the story?

“They understand. Some of them ask me some more questions, but they understand. I was drinking. I was drunk, and it happened. Just stay way from it. Keep your focus where it needs to be.”

You said you didn’t finish some plays and were lazy at times. Why will that change when getting paid?

“Because I know what’s at stake and I know what I have to do as a player to be great in the NFL. I’m just going to keep focusing on the things I need to focus on as a player that I didn’t focus on so much in college and that I know I need to get better at.”

You say you were drinking. It was a drug possession charge. How do you explain the inconsistency?

“There were more people in my room. The hotel was under my name. Nobody wanted to take the fall. It had to go under my name. It just happened to play out like that.”

Did Laremy go to the hospital with you?

“No sir.”

Did the media tarnish your name or did you tarnish your name?

“It was off my mistake.”

What would it mean to be selected by the Falcons?

“That would be amazing. It would be a dream come true. I’d love to come back to Atlanta and give my all. I’d love to fulfill that and come back to Atlanta and give my all and be the best player for Atlanta I can be.”

Question inaudible. Something to do with people helping him do the right things with money:

“I have those people already in my head. I have my self knowledge also. And I know what I don’t need. I know how to be smart with money and I have people helping me make those decisions.”


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