Q&A with Carl Nicks and Martin Rucker

Nick Athan ran into Nebraska offensive tackle Carl Nicks and Missouri tight end Martin Rucker at the Senior Bowl.


Warpaint Illustrated: What's it like practicing with NFL coaches?

Carl Nicks: It's an honor to be out here first and foremost. With all the coaches watching you everybody's going hard so it's a little bit of extra pressure but that brings the best out in you.

WPI: How did playing at Nebraska, which has a history of developing NFL linemen, help you?

Nicks: It helped me a lot. Nebraska's tradition, and how they teach offensive linemen how to act, there's no place like it. So I went there.

WPI: What's it like squaring off against players you might see someday in the NFL?

Nicks: It's great, everybody's competing at a high level. If you block them, you have to think you're pretty good. It's just everybody busting their butt. You're going to get beat a couple times but as long as you're winning 70/30, it's all good.

WPI: What happened with the Nebraska coaching situation?

Nicks: It wasn't as tough as people might think. I kind of knew what was going on, but I didn't really know what was going on. My whole job was to play hard every snap, so I did.

WPI: What's the one thing you want to take out of this week?

Nicks: I just want to show the scouts that all the bad stuff that they might say is a negative on me, I want to prove them wrong. I want to bust my butt every play, go against some of these top guys and beat them.


WPI: How is playing at Missouri in the spread offense going to help you in the NFL?

Martin Rucker: Playmaking experience. I was put in a lot of different positions to make plays, so there's no getting comfortable at one spot and then getting nervous when they put you in another. They put us all over the field, so I'm pretty comfortable making plays all over the field, so I think that will help me at the next level.

WPI: What's it like squaring off against players you might see someday in the NFL?

Rucker: It's a pretty big adjustment, but at the same time it's fun. I'm excited because these are the best of the best, and I haven't done this in-line blocking stuff in three years, and I'm doing alright. I'm pretty confident about this, it's just going to take some time and getting reps at it to really perfect it.

WPI: What's your take on what happened with the BCS Bowl situation between KU and MU?

Rucker: For the first couple days we were upset, we were mad, because Illinois and KU both got into BCS games and we beat both teams. We felt slighted in the beginning but after a couple days it was just back to business as usual.

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