USF's Stephen Nicholas Ready for the NFL

USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas who had a prolific career with the Bulls was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons with the 10th pick of the fourth round, 109th overall. Read this USFN exclusive interview and find out how Nicholas found out, what the draft weekend was like, and more. Only on !

USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas who had a prolific career with the Bulls was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons with the 10th pick of the fourth round, 109th overall.


Falcon's new head Coach Bobby Petrino formerly of Louisville has seen Nicholas up close and knows what the linebacker can do. Nicholas's 45 starts at USF were a school record, he also totaled 326 tackles and his 20 sacks are a school record.


How do you feel now that it's all over?

"All I can say is that I feel good, real good."


Where were you when you found out?

"I was in church. It was definitely a blessing.


How did it all unfold for you?

"I was in church and I got the call and went into the lobby and answered the phone. They called and said ‘Are you ready to be a Falcon?' I was like yeah I'm ready to be a Falcon! The church was full, and the whole church heard me. Then they told me to hold on for a min, and that they were on the clock. Then the calls started to come in, my phone, my wife's phone. They told me they were going to take me, and this and that, I was happy man, that's all I can say is that I was real happy."


Once you knew it was final what was it like, what did you do?

"I was so happy, and man, I was going crazy in the lobby. It's kind of hard to remember exactly what I did. My wife came out after a few minutes. She didn't know exactly what was going on but then she received some phone calls and knew I was getting picked by the Atlanta and what ever. So my wife was there for me and I hugged her to death, I think I squeezed the life out of her. It was a real, real good moment in my life for me."


How do you feel about where you were selected?

"I thought I was going to go in the third round, late in the third round. Atlanta called me early Saturday before the draft started and they told me ‘that they liked me and that they wanted to draft me, and we'll see how it plays out, and we're going to try and pick you up.' I said okay, bye and hung up the phone.  It came around to the third round, and they had a late pick late in the third round, but it didn't happen. So I just figured if the Falcons don't pick me then someone else will. Then the next day they picked me


Leading up to the draft, did you have an idea that the Atlanta was high on you?

"Well I kind of thought lot of teams was very high on me, because I got the same feedback from a lot of teams. It was very hard to pinpoint a team. Besides the ones that had me on a visit, there were a lot of teams that showed interest and they all said the same thing to me."


How do you think you'll fit in Atlanta's defensive scheme?

"I think it's a great situation, I just got to go in and work hard


How do you feel about your chances with the injuries to Demario Williams?

"I feel real about it. But I know I got to go out there everyday and compete. That's just my mentality period. Even if I had a starting job and was there for two or three years.  I would go in there and work hard and compete the same way, I work hard, that's what I do, and what ever happens from me working hard happens. So I'm ready to go up there and work hard."


How does it feel knowing that you'll be coming back to Raymond James Stadium at least once a year?

"It feels good, it'll be great. I know I'll be playing a lot of different teams, but it'll be good to play at the Ray Jay again. Man, I played a lot of football there, and it'll be good to come back. But we'll also be playing Jacksonville, and a lot of other neat places, I'm excited."


When do you leave for camp?

"Camp is on the eleventh, but I'll be going up before that. I'm not exactly sure when.


You excited to get up there?

"Oh, I'm very excited. Now that's over, I can count my blessings and thank god for this opportunity that I have, and use the talent that he gave me."






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