Thursday Combine Quotables

Here are the Thursday highlights from the Convention Center podiums, as the players began their press conferences.

Virginia G Branden Albert

“I just felt like it was the best situation for me this year. I just looked at the situation, the draft class, the guards and whatnot. I just felt like I could make a strong, competitive effort by coming out.” -- on why he decided to enter the NFL draft as an underclassman.

Texas A & M TE Martellus Bennett

"It was real touching. Me and Kevin became close through the process. When I went to Miami for my visit he was there and I’ve talked him ever since my high school time. I wore his jersey number in the Monroe game (9/15/07) and then in the Miami game because he played at Miami. After the Miami game we had some down time because it was a Thursday night game so I went down to the hospital and as soon as I got there he started talking trash because we lost to them. Me and him have always had a good relationship." -- on his relationship with Bills TE Kevin Everett, who suffered a serious spinal cord injury in the 2007 season.

Notre Dame TE John Carlson

"It was about two weeks before the Senior Bowl. I caught what I believe was a parasite, and I ended up losing 17 pounds in eight days. It was unfortunate. I've gained most of the weight back. I've gained most of the strength back. I feel healthy today. It was disappointing not to play in the Senior Bowl, especially after a tough season in which we didn't get to a bowl game. The Senior Bowl was my bowl game. I'd been training since Dec. 11. It was disappointing, but I had no control over it. I've done everything I can to get back healthy and where I am." -- on the "bug" that prevented him from playing in the Senior Bowl.

Kansas OT Anthony Collins

"I was a basketball player. I thought I could make it in basketball. I thought I could make it in basketball. I thought I could play basketball. It turns out I couldn't jump worth nothing." -- on being recruited out of Beaumont, Texas in a different sport.

Tennessee TE Brad Cottam

"I’ve kind of had an injury-plagued career. That’s a big question with me is my durability. Today we had all the medical testing and everything went fine for me. So I think that question is kind of being erased for me now. All this is maybe a little more important for me, missing nine games of my senior season. There might be a little more emphasis. They might be watching me a little more closely. -- on his injury history.

UTEP OT Oniel Cousins

“No, I wasn’t against it. I usually do what a coach tells me to do. It worked out pretty good for me. I enjoy playing offense, and I like it when defensive linemen complain that offensive linemen are holding them.” -- on the move from left to right tackle in 2007.

"I think I gave up one sack (last year). I don’t remember. I have a short memory. I’m like a quarterback.”

USC TE Fred Davis

“That was my wakeup call. I made the transition all the way from Ohio to California, I think I still had a little bit of homesickness in me. Not being used to that, I made a mistake. I could’ve made my flight earlier to come back, but I didn’t. I learned a lot from that, and to make better decisions since then.” -- on staying home instead of going to the Orange Bowl as a freshman.

Auburn OT King Dunlap

"We actually only lost four games in eight years playing little league. So we were a dominant team around the area. … The Uni-Bears?? … John Patton?? And Patrick Abernathy?? They started me off. I definitely keep in contact with them. Not only did I play football for them, but basketball and baseball. So I was around them for a long time." -- on his very early sporting exploits.

Arkansas OL Robert Felson

"The only word you can use is exceptional. You can’t ask for better running backs than we had in our backfield. As an offensive lineman, that’s what you dream about is having good running backs like that so you don’t have to block, just right. Those guys will make you right every time, so it was a wonderful experience." -- on blocking for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

Michigan OT Jake Long

"I think it is a skill if you can get away with it and not get caught. I try to make sure I get my hands inside every single play so that if I do hold a little bit the, refs will not be able to see it." -- on his ability to hold without "holding".

Pitt OL Mike McGlynn

"Last night, I was asked, 'what's the coolest thing you've ever done?' You hear all these questions that are real serious, you get hit with, 'What's the coolest thing you've ever done?' You think, 'I didn't prepare for this one.' I told 'em 'Meeting Kenny Chesney last summer.' The experience has been great so far." -- on the weirdest question he's been asked.

Marshall QB Bernard Morris

"How much of a leader on and off the field I am and my character is something a lot of guys can look up to. I have other hobbies and things I like to do besides football. Fishing is something I love to do and I always think I'm going to be the next bassmaster champion. But just my character and just me being a leader, it's something that if NFL teams don't know now, they will know later." -- on what he wants teams to know about him.

Colorado OT Tyler Polumbus

"Combine prep is a whole animal in itself. I mean you're preparing for drills you've never done before – we've done them before but we've never really practiced for them – and after this we'll never have to do them again.' It's like a two-month process of training for three or four drills that after this, it will be over and we'll be back to training for football." -- on his preparation for this event.

USC OL Chilo Rachal

"The reason I came out early because is because of my mother. My mother has a tumor the size on a six-month old in her stomach, but my mother has no insurance. My dad’s dealing with injuries - two hernias got taken out of his stomach - and he has no insurance. So basically, I had an opportunity and I had to go. I would have loved to have come back and get my degree and play another year under Coach Carroll. At the same time, I had to do what’s best for my family." -- on why he declared early for the draft.

Oregon State OG Roy Schuening

"I'm going to be with my family. I'm from a small town. There's probably going to be a draft party. My dad and his buddies want to do something. I think before the draft I'm going to be a nervous wreck waiting for the phone calls. I'm probably going to be off doing my own thing. Maybe I'll be shooting guns. I do a lot of hunting and fishing." -- on how he’ll stay calm during the draft.

Tennessee OL Eric Young

"I've been nicked on, pulled on, ex-rayed and MRIed to death. The MRI is a big thing. If you are a big guy you feel violated in a sense because you can't move and it's such a tight space...You feel like you're being violated." -- on the Combine medical tests.

Rutgers OG Jeremy Zuttah

"It's going to be an adjustment phase. You're used to guys being either big and strong or little and fast. Out here, they're both. It's going to take time to get used to, but I'm confident I have all the physical attributes that I'll be able to adjust." -- on how he'll adjust at the next level.


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