2004 Draft Prospect Interview: Brandon Pinderhughe

They used to call it the kiss of death. A player that would start their career as a safety and get moved to cornerback, or vice versa, was on their last legs. Now the switch is happening in college and early in training camps instead of as a last hurrah. They are the hybrids and the NFL Draft is becoming laden with such players who boast that versatility. Such is the case for Brandon Pinderhughes.

The Nebraska-Omaha cornerback/safety is among the small school prospects looking to become the next Ricardo Cuclough – busting onto the scene and making everyone remember his name. Brandon Pinderhughes admits it hurt playing at a smaller school, but he also sees the attention.

"I am still getting looked at," Pinderhughes said. "As long as I get the opportunity, I am going to make the best of it."

Pinderhughes was a JuCo transfer to Nebraska-Omaha, playing free safety as a junior in 2002. Appearing in every game, he totaled 59 tackles, two sacks, and two passes defensed. Then he moved to cornerback as a senior and his play took off.

His two pass breakups became 16. He added four interceptions. He forced two fumbles, recovered two and had 77 tackles.

Then he moved on to the Cactus Bowl with something to prove to scouts.

"I proved that I could cover," said Pinderhughes. "I got switched over late in the season and started playing corner. In the Cactus Bowl I proved that I could cover and I am physical and I got some speed."

As he closes another chapter of his football career, another one begins. Pinderhughes began training for the NFL Draft and a Pro Day he will participate in Minnesota. While he admits he is working on everything to prepare to wow scouts, he is unlike many prospects in his thinking.

Usually the focus is solely on the "numbers" that wow fans this time of year, but the truth is the scouts want to see more.

"A lot of players will get caught up in the hype that surrounds the combines, and pro days and forget there is also a game to refine and the way to get better is looking at film," Pinderhughes said.

Yet, Pinderhughes is not under any preconceived notions. He knows he is from a small school, was a JuCo transfer and has really only played cornerback for one season.

"At my level right now I cannot have any weaknesses. I work on everything as far as DB drills, my strength, my quickness, covering and recognizing defenses. I have been working on playing off and reading quarterbacks and their steps and the drops. I am studying the game right now. I am trying to prepare for every aspect of the game."

One thing he will not have to work on is his speed.

"I am running a low 4.4 and by that time I will be running a high 4.3. My trainer is really impressed by my God-given ability and he says he will get me to 4.3."

Pinderhughes is hoping to keep up the trend of small school cornerbacks who make it in the NFL. He is the hybrid; an "unbelievable athlete" as one scout said, and the only kiss of death he wants to see is when he flattens a receiver.

"I like to get up and press receivers. They can't get into their route if they cant get off the line. I am good with my hands and I am good with my feet and once I am close to you, it is hard to lose me."

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