Dunta Robinson Goes Number 10

University of South Carolina Gamecock Dunta Robinson was taken in the First Round of the NFL Draft today by Houston. Russ Perry has had the chance to talk to Dunta several times about the draft, and we offer the following interview for our Premium Subscribers ...

The following is an interview compiled over two separate days with Dunta Robinson by our Publisher/Editor Russ Perry. Russ told us to save it until Dunta goes in the draft, which he just did, so therefore ... here you go.

Russ: Dunta, your college career is over and now you are looking to take the next step. I know that you have been working hard and are focused on the draft, but do you have any thoughts about your days at USC that you would like to share?

Dunta: Yeah, yeah, I mean I still keep up with all the guys and check to see how they're doing and stuff. It was a great time I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. A great school. I wish we could have done better the last couple of years but we tried hard. We're not far away and people need to understand that. I think I'll see the Gamecocks doing good things soon. I am going to miss it, it is sort of bittersweet leaving old friends. But I am ready to move on to the next stage of my life. I'll always be a Gamecock.

Russ: Okay, you and I are talking in September and I say to you, 'you've got a chance to go in the first round if you work hard Dunta.' Do you remember what you said to me?

Dunta: :::laughts::: I remember that. I remember thinking Rooster was nuts. :::laughs again::: I remember thinking there was no way. I still think that way. I think I said something like, 'Are you serious Russ, do you really think so?' And you said you had been told when the first draft prediction comes out you heard I was going to be in the first round. I don't know. I am not going to think about it too much. If it happens then I'll be happy but I am not going to get my hopes up too much. We were standing outside the Letterman's Lounge right?

Russ: Good memory. I'll never forget that wide eyed look of shock on your face. It was the first time it had ever crossed your mind was it not? Was it the first time anyone had ever suggested it to you?

Dunta: Yeah. I mean when you said it I honestly thought you might be reaching. I mean it made me think about it and I started trying to play like a possible first round draft pick right then. But you just gotta go out and give it everything you've got every time you step on the field. That's all I have tried to do. If it happens I'll be happy. Whatever happens, I just want the chance to play in the NFL.

Russ: Is there any particular team you would like to be drafted by - any favorite?

Dunta: I mean in the back of your mind you always have favorites and you can always imagine yourself playing for one team or another. I really don't care where right now though, I haven't thought about it that much. All I have been thinking about is getting through the combines and showing them I can play at the next level.

Russ: You've done well so far in the combines. I understand you ran a 4.34 forty and you are holding your own against some of the better wide receivers out there.

Dunta: There is a lot more to it than just your forty time. You are learning as you go through the combines. I mean I decided to go work out at a prep camp and I learned a lot of new things there that have helped me. You do some things different in the NFL and I have had tutors teaching me how to prepare and all that. It is different than college in some respects ... In a lot of respects actually. But I was taught well at USC. I owe Coach Gutnekust a lot for preparing me to have a chance to make it.

Russ: Let's go back to your high school recruitment. You came straight out of Athens and Georgia did not come after you hard. Why did you come to USC?

Dunta: A chance to play early. Plus I liked the way it felt when I visited there. I mean I was in walking distance of Georgia but they never really showed me too much attention like South Carolina did. South Carolina got on me early even though I was close on some grades. So when I qualified all of the sudden Georgia decided they wanted me but I wanted to remain loyal to South Carolina and I am glad I did. Plus I wanted to get away from home by then too.

Russ: What about the pressure of waiting for the draft? What's that like?

Dunta: Oh, I mean I don't think about it much. I try not to anyway. I have no control over that so it would be a waste of energy to think about it too much. If I go in the first round then that's fine. Wherever I go all I want is a chance to show them I can play at that level.

Russ: What is it like choosing an agent. I know you chose an agent pretty late in the process compared to some others ... can you share with our readers what that's like and what you look for in an agent?

Dunta: Yeah, sure. You look for someone that you can trust. Someone that is looking out for your best interest and is going to work hard for you. You ask around and find out about which ones are the best liked and doing the best job with other guys already in the league. You look for someone with negotiating experience and all that. I mean you are going to have to live with that decision through the life of your first contract at the very least so it is an important decision in your professional life.

Russ: Do you think about the potential money to be made, especially the difference between a first round pick and the following rounds?

Dunta: I mean it is there, everyone knows about it. It's a lot of money. I try not to think about that too much. If you work hard and concentrate on doing the job then the money will come. It should not be the most important thing to think about. Doing the job is the most important thing.

Russ: In the last five years there have been a number of South Carolina defensive backs make it to the NFL. Off the top of my head: Willie Offord, Arturo Freeman, Sheldon Brown, Kevin House, Andrea Goodman ... and it looks like your friend DeAndre Eiland might go in this draft with you too. That's probably as many DBs as any other college in the country over the same amount of time. Is South Carolina about to become known as a great DB school?

Dunta: I hope so. It should. I mean I had't thought about that but you are right Russ. I mean I would like to be part of a DB tradition at South Carolina. I hope DeAndre gets picked too that would be great and I think he will. There will be some more taken next year too. I only see great things for South Carolina in the future and once I get past getting used to the NFL I will be watching what the Gamecocks are doing closely.

Russ: Gamecock fans love the effort you put out and your work ethic. Any last things you would like to add or say to your fans out there.

Dunta: Gamecock fans are the best in the world. I tell everybody that. I mean I could not have asked for more or had a better college experience than I did at South Carolina. I will never forget my time there and the day will come when I will be asked to return and I will. I want to say thanks to all the Gamecock fans everywhere and I will never forget them. It was the best college experience I could have wished for and I will always be a Gamecock.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories