NFL teams are increasingly taking notice of Don Carey, a highly-motivated and intelligent cornerback who was a four-year starter at Norfolk State.
Carey has told Scout.com that he has an official visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers on April 8 and another one with the Seattle Seahawks a week later. And as previously reported by Scout.com, Carey has already worked out for the Miami Dolphins and the Seahawks. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he had formal interviews with the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Steelers.
The very personable and talented 5-foot-11, 192-pound defensive back is going to be a terrific addition to the NFL team that drafts him at the end of the month.
He intercepted five passes, recovered a pair of fumbles and made 42 tackles
during his senior campaign. Carey recently talked to me about his career,
his skills and why he'll be successful at the next level.
Ed Thompson: Talk about the skills you possess that you believe are going to make you successful in the NFL.
Don Carey: I can play both corner and safety equally well and excel at both. I'm a fast learner, and I adapt easily and quickly. I'm a physical player who likes to get up and jam receivers. I like coming up for the run and delivering a hit. Put all that together and that's what I think I have over a lot of other guys.
Thompson: When you look back on your career at Norfolk State, is there a play or a particular moment that you'll always remember?
Carey: My game-winning blocked extra point in 2007 against Hampton. That was the first time that we had them in a long time, and they are rival who are right across the water, maybe 30 minutes away.
Photo: Mark Sutton
Thompson: You're a person who has always made academic achievement a high priority. Where does that come from?
Carey: Growing up, my mother was extremely strict about school. A lot
of times I would be grounded for bringing home a "C" unless I had to
have a very good excuse. So school always comes first. Coming out of high
school, I was accepted into Yale, but I didn't get a scholarship to play
football, so I couldn't afford it.
Thompson: I guess you're not a guy who gets too worried when someone plops a new playbook in front of you.
Carey: (laughs) No, not at all.
Thompson: While interacting with NFL scouts and coaches, how important has it been to them that you were a four-year starter?
Carey: Very important. I think it helps me all that much more since I'm coming from a small school. It lets them know that maybe since I started there for four years that maybe I could have started at another level for at least couple years. I think it's just another positive in my book.
Thompson: You became just the third player in your school's history to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. What was your overall impression of that experience?
Carey: It was fun. There were times when I just sat back, took it all in, and I laughed a lot. I have fun with everything I do. I knew I was experiencing something that very few people from my school had actually been able to experience. So I did have fun with every moment of it.
Thompson: What do you love about the game most of all?
Carey: I love to compete. I am extremely competitive. I feel that football is the ultimate competitive sport.
Thompson: What do you like to do for fun off the field?
Carey: I just try to relax because I'm so busy at school. I'm the head tutor in our department. So when I'm not at practice or in class, I'm usually tutoring. I'm kind of like the team barber as well, cutting the hair of my teammates. I can even cut my own hair. If you can cut your own hair, you can cut anybody's hair. One summer I did it to get some extra money in my pocket, and it helped out a lot. But when I do have a moment to myself, I like to relax and listen to my old-school jams. (laughs)
Thompson: What's the most important thing for everyone to know about you as a person?
Carey: The level of dedication I'll bring to a team is unmatched. I'm always going to be the hardest worker, no matter where I am. I'm always trying to improve my situation, trying to be better than I was yesterday. So I don't think anyone would be more dedicated to the team than I will be.
Read more about Don Carey through the links on his Scout.com profile page.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email through this link.