Getting To Know Pierre Desir

Pierre Desir is a 6-1, 198-pound CB with 33-inch arms and an 11-1 broad jump. He intercepted 25 passes at two D-2 schools. Here's his inspiring combine transcript:

Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood (Mo.)

Q: Talk about your time at Washburn University and why you left?

PD: I was at Washburn three years. After my redshirt freshman year my fiance at the time, who is currently my wife, and my two daughters were living with me. Trying to balance football, school and taking care of my kids just didn't all work out, so I decided to move back home in St. Charles (Mo.), where Lindenwood is, just so I could get some assistance from my parents and my wife's parents to help us out.

Q: Does that maturity reflect well?

PD: Absolutely. I feel that speaks to what I had to go through, where my mind was at: taking care of my family and still wanting to pursue my football goals. I had my priorities straight and I knew what I wanted to do and what I had to do to do it.

Q: What was your day like then?

PD: I did a couple different jobs. I worked on the side of the highway. I would wake up in the morning, get my older daughter ready for school, about 5:30-6, get her all ready, take her to school. Then I would go to Labor Ready, a temp service where they would pick you out of a group of guys and then you would go to different work stations and work. Did all different kind of jobs: cleaned gun ranges, cleaned sewers, worked in sewage, just all different kind of jobs to make some money.

Q: When were classes?

PD: After a couple hours of that I would go to class about 11 to 2, something like that, depending on the day of class. And after school I would have to go pick up my daughter from school.

Q: You did this last year too?

PD: Last year I had to do the same thing but I actually had a job at Charter Communications where I would do the same thing: wake up, get my daughter ready, work out between 8-10, then go to class from 10-2, pick up my daughter, then go to work from 4:30 to 2:30.

Q: When did you sleep?

PD: Can't. Can't sleep. Gotta grind, man.

Q: Ever dream you would be sitting here at combine?

PD: No, I didn't. It was always a dream and a goal of mine but my priority was just to take care of my family first, and whatever came with it I was just going to take.

Q: What do you feel you have to prove here coming from a small school?

PD: I have to prove I have the skill set to go against these guys, that I'm a smooth defensive back in my backpedal, and that I can run a good 40.

Q: What's your mindset?

PD: To show everyone I'm here for a reason and just to show everyone that I'm supposed to be here and that I earned my right to be here at the combine.

Q: Thoughts on the Senior Bowl?

PD: I proved I can go toe-to-toe with the bigger-school receivers and that coming from a small school the level of competition would not be an issue.

Q: Considering what the tall corners did in the last NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, do you feel you're coming out at the right time?

PD: Yeah, absolutely. Watching Richard Sherman and all the other bigger corners has helped me. It helps scouts look at me in a different light to see that I'm a guy with range and that I can be one of the great big corners in the future.

Q: Strengths?

PD: My ball skills and my ability to understand receivers' routes and what offenses are doing during the game.

Q: Has being a father prepared you for the NFL?

PD: Being a father has made me become more focused. It's made me pay attention to my goals and kept me motivated on what I wanted to do.

Q: Did your Senior Bowl teammates ask you where Lindenwood was?

PD: No one knew where Lindenwood was. (Laughs) Even when I was doing the little autograph things, just about every person was like 'Hey, where's Lindenwood?' I had to keep telling them. No one knows, but I don't take it as anything. I just tell them St. Charles and move on.

Q: What's Lindenwood known for?

PD: First it was a girls school, so it was a small private school. It's good for sports and academics. Still, no one in football knows where Lindenwood is.

Q: What do you tell those who ask if you're ready to take step up in competition?

PD: At these all-star games I've shown that I can compete with these guys, that the level of competition is not an issue because I was able to go out there and make plays in both of the games and show I was supposed to be there and was able to compete with bigger-school guys.

Q: Did you need the Senior Bowl to prove to yourself?

PD: Yeah. I definitely needed that to see where I stood and how I could handle the level of speed. It was a big difference at the Senior Bowl, so it was a great confidence boost that I was able to be out there and compete and make plays in practice.

Q: Was there a specific point when this became known to you?

PD: After the first practice getting great responses from the coaches and just being in the right place at the right time making plays, so it was really after the first practice I felt comfortable and confident at the Senior Bowl.

Q: Did Washburn give you your release right away?

PD: No, they didn't.

Q: How much did that complicate things that you were trying to balance already?

PD: It made things complicated because I wasn't able to grab a scholarship at Lindenwood, so I had to work and pay for school, so it made things a little more complicated.

Q: What did you improve at Sr Bowl?

PD: I felt I improved on my backpedal and my man and off-man coverage skills.

Q: What 40 time do you expect?

PD: Fast (laughs). Just fast. No time, just going out there and doing my best. [Was 4.59.]

Q: Did you ever play receiver?

PD: Coming out of high school I was a receiver and I made the transition at Washburn to defensive back.

Q: What is it going to mean to you to have it all pay off in May?

PD: It'll mean all the hard work that I went through is going to be paid off, and that all the sacrifice that myself and my family went through will prove it wasn't for nothing, that we did this for a reason. Everyone's going to be happy in myself.

Q: Ever ask yourself: What the Hell am I doing?

PD: No, not really. My daughters kept me motivated. I always wanted to do whatever I could to provide for them, so no questions. I just looked at them and kept moving.

Q: Children's ages?

PD: Oldest just turned 7 yesterday and my youngest is 3.

Q: How much is your height a factor in you being here?

PD: I think a lot of teams are looking for bigger corners who can be aggressive, because the receivers now are 6-3 plus. So just a guy who is tall and long that can put their hands on receivers and be able to run with them as well, so height would be a big plus just because the receivers are a little bit bigger now.

Q: Any offers other than Washburn?

PD: I had offers from Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State. If things would've went well with my ACT scores I would've been a Division One player. It didn't work out so I had to go the Division Two route.

Q: Who was the toughest receiver at the Senior Bowl?

PD: They were all great receivers but probably the one who's skill set was a little bit better is Josh Huff from Oregon. Just the way he got off the ball and how he got out of his breaks.

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