Rookie Minicamp Q&A: Gerald Riggs Jr.

The rookie minicamp provided a chance to catch up and chat with some of the Dolphins' newest members. With that in mind, we present this Q&A with former Tennessee running back Gerald Riggs Jr., who joined the team as a undrafted rookie free agent.

Q. Can you talk about your ups and downs at Tennessee, then not getting drafted and getting this opportunity?

A. "Tennessee was a learning experience, a valuable learning experience, especially coming to the next level. You know, I was a little disappointed on draft day, but at the same time, I understood the circumstances of why. I had the injury and our team didn't really have a great year, so it's kind of understandable. But I've put that in the past. I'm worried about coming out here and trying to make this team."

Q. Are you 100 percent now?

A. "Yeah, I'm ready to go. I'm healed up and ready to go out and do what I do."

Q. How much of an influence has your dad (Gerald Riggs, former NFL running back) been throughout this whole process?

A. "He's mainly been there just as support and somebody who's been there just to kind of help me out with some of the things that I'll be going through. I pretty much don't need any more motivation than I've got already. He's not trying to be that. He's not trying to really be hands-on at all. He's just being somebody that, if I do have a question, I can go to him and ask."

Q. You had a successful junior season; how much can you use that as motivation to get back to where you were?

A. "Nothing, really, because that's in the past. It's all about what you do right now and what you do out here every day. They don't really care what you did. They tell you when you come in, you've got a clean slate. No matter what you did good, what you did bad, that's all in the past. You don't really worry about that. It's all about coming out here and doing what you've got to do and proving to them that you deserve to be on this team."

Q. You and Jason Allen must be like kindred spirits, having gone through season-ending injuries. Did it help to talk about it, and is it cool that you're both here?

A. "It's good, because everything's come full circle. We were recruited by (Nick) Saban coming out of high school and we ended up staying together and going to Tennessee and now we're here. It's funny how things come full circle. But it's been a blessing for us to have each other, going through the same thing. He's probably kept my head together, because I was really disappointed, and likewise with him. We're just trying to keep each other motivated to go out and do what we do."

Q. Did the fact that Ricky Williams is suspended for the season aid in your decision to sign with the Dolphins?

A. "I really didn't think about that as much. It just turned out that that happened. It made the opportunity, I guess, a little more open for me. But at the same time, I felt like I was capable of going into anybody's camp. It just felt like where I was more comfortable. I felt comfortable in this part of the country. I've got family here. I like this area and wanted a chance to come down here and play for the Dolphins. It's a historic program and I wanted to be a part of it."

Q. Who's here?

A. "My brother lives down here with his side of the family and he's younger than me. He's going into high school. I wanted to down here, close to him. I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity."

Q. So how big is that chip you're going to be carrying around on your shoulders?

Q. "Oh, it's really big. Really big. I've got a lot to prove. Everybody knows what I can do when I'm healthy, but the thing is going out and showing it and proving all the people wrong that passed up on me and didn't want to give me a chance. That's what I'm out here to prove."

Q. Can you tell us something about Jason Allen we might not know?

A. "Your guess is about as good as mine, man. He keeps secrets from me, man. Nah, he's a good guy. He talks a lot. I don't know if you saw that, but he talks a lot. You'll see that as the days go by. When he gets more comfortable and gets ready to go, you'll see him start talking a whole lot. But I'm happy for him and ready to see him go out and do his thing."

Q. Did you read all the pre-draft guides. It said you felt a sense of entitlement because of your dad?

A. "None of that stuff matters, man. I don't care about that. My dad did what he did, and that was his time. It's mine now. I'm not really worried about what he did. I'm proud of him. I'm proud to have a dad who did something. I don't care if he was playing chess, I'm proud of my dad no matter what. But that's in the past. I've never brought that up, never cared about that. I've always been my own guy. I wanted to go out and make my own mark in this world, and that's the way I'm going to live my life."

Q. Do you remember watching him play at all?

A. "Yeah, I remember. I remember more of his years in Washington, not as much in Atlanta. But I do remember. And I got a chance to watch some film. He was pretty good. He wasn't bad."

Could you be better?

A. (Smiles) "Yeah."

Q. What do you do better than your old man

A. "I'm faster than him. I think he was just a different-style back. He was a little bit bigger. We're both physical guys, but at the same time, he had a little bit more weight than I did. He wanted to punish guys a lot more, where myself, I'm trying to get away from you and get up the field. He was a good player in his own way and the same for me."

Q. People still call you "Little G"?

A. "Not as much anymore. It's just G now. It's not Little G anymore. Everybody's like, I'm not little anymore. That nickname's kind of gone now." 

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