USF receiver Taurus Johnson finished his career at USF with 112 catches for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns, and performed well enough at the annual Shrine game to get invited to the NFL combine, which he just returned home from.
On the NFL combine experience
"It was amazing, and it was like a dream come true just being there. Being with the best players in college football and meeting all the NFL coaches and GM's, it was crazy. It's something you dream about as a kid and something I'll never forget."
On his arrival
"From the minute I got off the plane it was snowing, and it was snowed every day I was there. It wasn't too bad, because we stayed in the hotel right across the street. As soon as you stepped inside you knew you were there. All the players, coaches GM's, scouts were there. It was crazy absorbing it all in."
On being around top talent
"It was crazy being around all those guys, guys like Moreno, Stafford, Deon Butler & Percy Harvin, but they're just regular people just like me. They were excited to be there too, and they're just trying to show their skills to the GM's and coaches just like me. Everybody was having fun. It was very laid back, we all hung out together and had fun. Everybody got together and was talking about where they may go. "
On players that stood out and made you say wow he's good
On his performance
"I think I did well. All the coaches and scouts were telling me I was one of the most relaxed players that they've seen come through the combine. I was out there having fun, smiling, and had the coaches cracking up out there."
On how he was so composed
"I owe that to Coach Canales, Leavitt and Phil (McGeoghan) the new receivers coach. I learned a lot about composure from Coach Canales. I learned so much while at South Florida and they gave me the opportunity to get better and do my thing. I've been practicing all the combine drills at Saddle Brook for last month and a half. I'm pumped up and laid back at the same time and that really helped."
On how Coach Canales helped prepare him for the next level
"He's prepared me since he got in there. He told us what it's like, what the coaches were going to ask and what they're going to expect. The main thing he told me was to be myself and have fun. That's what the coaches want to see. They want to know your personality. They know you can run and catch, but they want to see what kind of a person you are."
On Phil McGeoghan helping him at the combine
"He would pump me up, coach me up and get me right. He came up and we were hanging out, having a good time and laughing. Then he put all the joking aside and said this is what you're here for, what you do here can set you up for the rest of your life. You worked hard to get here and now go out there have fun and show them what you can do. We all love you and support you 110 percent. Me, Coach C, Coach Leavitt and all of USF is behind you. That really made feel comfortable and helped me relax and have a good showing."
On how he thought he did during drills
"I did pretty well. All the scouts were saying I did a good job. I caught all the balls thrown to me, and did what I was supposed to do in the 40 yard dash. On the laser time I ran a 4.43, and a 4.47. I did well in the gauntlet where you catch the ball while running down the line. They were saying very good and positive things."
On putting up 18 reps of 225 on bench
"Yeah I did 18 reps, and that was the top six out of the 40 receivers out there. I put up 19 at USF, and I had one extra at the combine but they took one away from me because I didn't lock my arms out. They are really strict about that."
On all the coaches talking to him during the week
"I talked with a lot of the receiver coaches from a lot of teams. Sean Jefferson from the Detroit Lions, Oakland Coach Sanjay Lal, I talked with the whole staff of the Carolina Panthers, Coach Fox, and the offensive coordinator. I talked to everybody and no less than 15 teams. I know Cleveland, the Chicago Bears, Detroit, and the Broncos liked me a lot too. I also talked a lot with the St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay, and I could keep going on and on."
On the general atmosphere at the combine
"It was fun and it was business. Once you got into the interviews with the coaches it was all business. They really wanted to see your personality and your composure. They ask questions, but they weren't hard questions like I thought it would be. They asked about what you know about coverage's and what type of plays you should run in coverage 2 or coverage 3. They wanted to see if you knew football like you're supposed to know football."
On his highlight of the combine experience
"The whole thing, it was all crazy, everything was more than you expected. Just being there is something that you'll never forget. From the moment you step off of the plane, it's intense. At the weigh in, when they're doing all the measurements in front of all the coaches with all the people in the stands looking at you. Being around all the coaches and players, everything, it was crazy."
Check back later for T.J.'s views onBulls new offensive coordinator Coach Mike Canales and new wide receiver caoch Phil McGeoghan"
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