"This tradition has been going on for a long time and the captains that are selected come back before the A-Day game and on Denny Chimes they have every captain put their cleat mark and they're handprint and in little square they get their name and the year there, so it's a big deal," Simpson said during our recent interview. "It's such a pleasure and a honor to be in this category amongst some great players and I'm happy that I can do that."
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker is preparing himself for draft weekend, and believes his extensive special teams work will help him make an impact with an NFL team right away.
|Juwan Simpson (left) is congratulated by teammate Wallace Gilberry after making an interception (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)|
"My first two years I did every special teams except for field goal," he said. "But I was on kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. As I got into the starter rotation and playing more snaps my junior/senior season, I was reduced to just punt team. But I was a backup on all the other teams so I was still practicing and involved in the special teams."
Until just recently, Simpson hasn't been able to do any personal workouts for
teams because of a hamstring pull he suffered on his Pro Day.
"I was a little disappointed I couldn't do all of the drills that day, but the main thing I was worried about then was getting my hamstring back right," he said. "And now its fine. I'm running, I'm back at 100 percent so that's a good thing."
Simpson said that he and his agent were going to be contacting teams to let them know of his availability for workouts prior to draft weekend. He believes that whether or not he gets together with teams between now and then, they will recognize the traits and skills he possesses from watching game film and from scouting reports that will convince them that he'll be a strong contributor at the pro level.
"My instincts help me stand out," he explained. "I feel like I get to the ball real well. I feel like I'm around the ball every play and I think that's what distinguishes me.
"A lot of the guys in this year's draft class are real good, but can they be good throughout consecutive games or throughout consecutive seasons? I think my numbers show that I'm pretty good game-in and game-out, and I think that's a major plus for me."
Scout.com subscribers can listen in on the rest of my exclusive interview
with Juwan Simpson where he talks about the team he sat down with at the
Combine, valuable insight he got from former teammate DeMeco Ryans, his skills
against the run and the pass, and more:
Learn more about Juwan Simpson by visiting his player profile page here at Scout.com.
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|