NFL Draft Q&A: USF Star LB Stephen Nicholas

Counting down the days to the NFL Draft, USFNation had a chance to catch up with former All-Big East linebacker for USF, Stephen Nicholas. Find out what the former Bull has been doing since the end of the season. He talks about his visits and his preparation for the draft on April 28th and 29th. Only on -- Get it First, Get it Fast!

Stephen Nicholas


How are things going for you?

"Everything is going really good, I've been holding up well."


Has it been stressful?

"Just a little bit, it hasn't hit me yet too hard. I know that day April 28th and 29th, it is definitely gonna' be a very stressful day."


What teams have had you in for a visit?

"I've worked out Jacksonville and I also worked out here for the Bucs."


You also went up to Baltimore, what was it like up there?

"Yea, it was good! There were like two other players up there, Troy Smith and Tanard Jackson from Syracuse. It was nice; it kind of reminded me of a college visit. They take you out to eat, they put you in a nice hotel, and they show you around. They [also] have you go in for a physical. They treated me really nice; it was very similar to a college visit."


Did Baltimore work you out up there?

"No, it was more like a visit. They showed me the complex, I talked to coaches. I also talked to the general manager; it was just like a [normal] visit."


What stood out for you at the Jacksonville visit?

"Well, I worked out during the visit for Coach Duffner, who is their linebacker coach. It was good. I also met a couple of their other coaches and some of their scouts. It was just more of a working out thing."


When they worked you out, what did they work you out on?

"They worked me out on the field. It was kind of like what I did on Pro Day. Position Drills and stuff like that. I also did one-on-one's with the linebacker coach."


Were you the only person doing this or were there others? Was there as much pressure there as the combine or was it more relaxed?

"There were other people there for different positions. I was the only linebacker there. Well, I feel more relaxed when I am doing stuff on the field anyways, that's kind of what I do. I get a little nervous when I'm not on the field. Not knowing what to what to expect, because I haven't played football in a long time. You gotta' know what the coaches are looking for on the field."


What was it like to workout for the Bucs?

"It was good, it was similar to Jacksonville. They get your weight and height and stuff like that. They work you out. It was pretty much the same thing as Jacksonville."


Was the Jacksonville and Bucs visit more like a job interview?

"I take all of them as if they were a job interview. Everywhere I've been feels like a job interview. That's just the mind set I have taken in approaching them."


Which team stood out to you the most?

"That's hard to say, because a lot of teams say the same thing. They tell you that they want you and this and that. It's hard to say because all of the teams I've been in contact with have said the same thing. They've all said good things."


Do you have any preferences for any of those teams?

"No. It's a draft and when you have a draft it doesn't really matter what your preference is. I just love to play the game."


Besides the three teams that were already mentioned, are there any other teams that have been showing strong interest in you?

"A lot of teams have shown interest, even at the combine. A lot of teams have called to talk me and have shown interest. The teams I talked to on Pro Day have showed interest. A lot of teams I talked to at the Combine have shown interest. I mean, a lot of them say the same thing, that they like me and they like the way I play on the field. It's hard to single out a team and say ‘this team right here really likes me when they all say the same thing.'"


What are your plans for Draft Day?

"I'm not sure, I may go fishing, I may take my wife to the mall. I just want to be out and about. I'm not sure though, I'm definitely gonna' be with my family. I'm not sure if I wanna' watch the whole thing. I want to catch a glimpse and see where the other guys I've met get drafted and wish them good luck and congratulations. If I do watch the whole thing, I met get too nervous. It will definitely be on my mind though."


Do you have any projections, for what you think may happen?

"I really don't have any projections. I'd have to ask Mel Kiper. I can't even so though because there are too many things that could happen such as teams trading draft picks and players. I don't really have a word to describe the draft process, its crazy! You never know what's gonna' happen."


Would that be special thing for you to be picked by the Bucs?

"That would be really nice! I've been in Tampa the last five years. I'm familiar with the area and the community and it would be wonderful to play in Raymond James Stadium again as my home field! I just want to play again; so all 32 teams would be nice to play for."


Have you talked to any of the other USF guys about their draft status?

"Well, I've spoken to them, I talked to Pat [St. Louis], and he's approaching it the same why I am, he's gonna' do something different. Like me, he's hoping his name is called. It's out of our hands."



Have you followed the Bulls at all through their spring practice?

"I get the scoop. I call [Ben] Moffit every chance I get to find out what's going on. Stuff like ‘what needs improvement? He gives me the low-down about what he thinks. I didn't get a chance to go out to the spring game because I had the workouts to go to. I read two of the practice reports on the website though."



Who did Ben say stood out the most being next to him going into summer?

"Well, some of these guys I thought were gonna' be this way, you have Chris Robinson at the strong side, Bruce [Mompremière] at the WILL and Moffit at the MIKE. These are the most experienced guys there and they will have the first crack at the starting position. Nothing is cemented though, the guys have to go out there and practice everyday and do what they do best and play football."


Did he mention anything about how any of the new offensive guys looked?

"He told me that the running back they just got in, Mike [Ford] did a good job, he told me the other guys did a good job too."


What are your plans between now and the draft?

"Just keep working out like I have been doing, spend time with my wife, watch some of my game film and that's about it."


Talk about it on the  Message Boards - Get it First, Get it Fast!


Bulls Daily Top Stories