Friday Combine Quotables

INDIANAPOLIS - Who were the most quotable among the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers? After poring through transcript after transcript, we have the answers. Learn about Desean Jackson's mentor, Danny Amendola's predecessor, and why Sam Baker and Kirk Barton will be just as glad not to face certain teammates in practice anymore.

Tennessee QB Erik Ainge

"The one thing you don't get to do at the combine is play football. You get to do everything, but you still don't get to play. That's why the senior bowl is good. That's why stuff like that is good. That's why when you go out there, some guys look good in drills and they can't play in the game to save their lives. Some guys look terrible in drills and they're great. It's not the only factor, so I think kind of knowing that and not having the attitude that it doesn't matter, but the attitude that it's another piece of the puzzle helps guys get through this weekend and do well on Sunday." -- on the Combine Process.

Texas Tech WR Danny Amendola

" He’s kind of paved the way for the little slot receivers out there." -- on New England's Wes Welker.

USC OT Sam Baker

"Man. Sed(rick Ellis) was unblockable at times. Then having that LB corps, there were a lot of good linebackers that will be coming out next year that could have come out this year. And then you add that with Keith, and it's an awesome defense. You see guys come out, and then they replace them the next year, and they're superstars right away." -- on practicing against his defensive teammates.

Ohio State OT Kirk Barton

"From his second year to his third year he made a tremendous leap. He played as a true freshman and he got injured, so he missed his entire second year. So he was a red-shirt sophomore, and he really came on for us. We weren’t sure what we were going to get out of him. But when he started playing well he became dominant last year, and this year he took it to a new level. I was fortunate to practice against him, and again that’s another great thing about Ohio State. You can’t really put a value on the type of competition you face everyday. Vernon is probably going to be a top-10 or top-15 pick, and he’ll blow up the combine and all the testing. He’s just physically freakish. But going against him you for the all-star games and it helps prepare you for the next level." -- on teammate Vernon Gholston.

Iowa State WR Todd Blythe

"Basketball was probably my worst sport. I really couldn’t dribble or outshoot anybody, but I was taller and more athletic than most of the guys. Football was a lot different. You need to be as athletic as you can be, and everybody at the pro level will be as athletic as you, or more so. You have to really learn techniques, especially at wide receiver as far as running routes." -- on the sport he could never play well.

Georgia Tech P Durant Brooks

"He’s had a great impact. It all started my mom sold him a horse. He was buying a horse for his daughter and she mentioned me, that I was a punter in high school. It was my junior year. He was like, ‘You know, you ought to send him to one of my camps.’ I went that summer before my senior year and got to know him really well. My mom saw him in the grocery store and around town. It’s a small town. He would always ask about me and make sure I’m doing OK. He kept up with me. We didn’t work that much in college. One reason, I think the political aspects of the award. People might say I won the award, or I’m up for it, just because I’m friends with him or something like that. He kind of stayed away, but still kept up with me." -- on his relationship with legendary NFL punter Ray Guy, and the Ray Guy award he won.

Florida WR Andre Caldwell

"He's helped me from day one. What to look for and some of the things to prepare for. I think I've got a head start on most athletes out here because I know what to look for and how to prepare for certain things. I talk to him four times a day and know what's going to be going on out here. He keeps me updated." -- on his relationship with brother Reche Caldwell of the Washington Redskins.

LSU WR Early Doucet

"Yeah, guys like Hines Ward, Anquan Boldin. We’re very similar as far as body, build, being able to run after the catch, and physical type guys who don’t mind going in there and doing the dirty work and blocking upfield, cracking on linebackers. Whatever it takes." -- on who he models his game after.

Michigan RB Mike Hart

"Obviously, I can't do anything about my size. But obviously, when you talk about speed at the running back position, everybody wants you to go out there and run a good 40. But if you talk to coaches, certain coaches care about your 40, other coaches don't. If you want to talk about Ahmad Bradshaw, I think he might have run a 4.6 last year at the combine. Look at what he did in the NFL. He doesn't look like he runs a 4.6. When he's on that field, he's a change-of-pace back. So I think when you look at a guy like that, you can say that a 40 doesn't mean that much. When you look at a guy like Adrian Peterson, who comes out here and runs a 4.38, then speed means a lot. So I guess it's just your take on who the coach is, what they feel." -- on the importance of measurables.

Cal WR DeSean Jackson

"Jerry’s a great dude. I’m just very fortunate for me to be able to work with him. Like I say, he came on and he was just very supportive of me. Like I said, great mentor. He has all the right things to say. Basically off the field was the biggest thing that he tried to preach to me. How you treat people when you go meet people and things like that, because you’ll always be able to build relationships and people will remember you." -- on the mentorship of Jerry Rice.

San Diego QB Josh Johnson

"Coming out of high school, in my senior year, there was a point in the middle where I didn’t think I’d ever play college football because of the fact that at the combine I was 5-11 and 145 pounds, and in my senior year I was playing at about 6-feet, 150, and no one was really recruiting me, so I didn’t know what was ahead of me in the future.
I just wanted the opportunity to play college football, and coach Harbaugh gave me that, and that’s when I began to grow into my body. In high school, I looked like I was about 12. I just developed everything. My physical features started to develop, coach (Jim) Harbaugh really helped my mind grow a lot, and it all started coming together at San Diego. -- on his development as a quarterback.

Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall

"There are positives and negatives to it. One of them is you haven’t taken a lot of the beating as some of the senior guys. But at the same time you don’t have as much experience. It’s definitely a double-edged sword as far as being a junior and coming out early." -- on coming out as a junior.

Rutgers RB Ray Rice

"I think I really just have to be myself. I actually ran the ball a lot at Rutgers and we stuck to our game plans. I definitely want to go out there and start catching the ball. I think that will stick out. It's not going to be a problem. I caught a lot of passes during practice and during spring ball where I was lined up in a slot and ran routes. That's just a part of my game that hasn't been seen.

"But with this weekend and all the events here and me being able to participate in all the events you'll definitely see a lot more to my game that probably wasn't shown on TV or shown on film." -- on what sets him apart from all the great junior backs.

Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart

“Since I was little. It’s a passion of mine to play football. It’s something I’ve been blessed to do. It’s something that god gave me the talent to be good at. I’m just thankful, really. That’s the word of the day – thankful.” -- on his dreams of playing in the NFL.

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