7 Points With Colts Rookie Keyunta Dawson

Just before he headed to Indianapolis for his first rookie camp, former Texas Tech DE Keyunta "Key" Dawson talked to Scout.com's Ed Thompson about his crazy draft day experience, the other teams who showed interest in him, why he'll be a good fit in Indy and more...

Ed Thompson: Where were you as you waited through draft weekend?

Key Dawson: It's a crazy story.  Most of my family was at church when it happened. I said I was going to stay at home and stay by the phone. Something happened and our cable went out while I was at home, so I had to watch the draft on my cell phone, just watching the updates the whole time. My dad got in, he's a pastor at the church, and he had just gotten in when Coach Dungy called me.  It was a really exciting time and we got a chance to celebrate and spend that time together.

ET: That's the best story I've heard so far. I can't believe you were just sitting there with your cell phone...

KD: [laughs] Yeah, I didn't get to watch it, I didn't know anything.  I just watched the names, that's all I got to watch.

ET: Were the Colts the first team you heard from that day?

KD: No, I had gotten some calls earlier and the crazy thing about it was Cincinnati called me before Indianapolis, and they were planning on taking me with their next available pick. They told me just to relax and wait.  And as soon as I got off the phone with them, Indianapolis called and said they were taking me now. I always felt like I was a good fit for this team and I love the staff and Coach Dungy. It was cool how the day worked out.

(Photo: Texas Tech Athletics)
ET: Who else did you visit besides the Colts before the draft?

KD: After the Colts I went to Jacksonville, Cincinnati, and Houston.

ET: But if the Colts hadn't taken you, you would have gone to Cincinnati…

KD: Draft day is crazy, I didn't even know that was going to happen. I just sat there waiting with my eyes on the phone and Coach Dungy had the next pick. They were the kind of team I was hoping for, the defense they run and it was cool that I was blessed with that.

ET: You must be proud of what you accomplished during your college career: 58 tackles 2nd best by a defensive lineman in the Big-12 last year and 6 sacks…what do you think makes you so successful out there on the field?

KD: I give all the glory to God for all of my talents and everything. I feel like it was instilled in my from an early age to work hard from being in a pastoral household and my brothers in something. So that's something that's been instilled in me to be self-motivated and be disciplined. Just a hard workout can make up for a lot of things, I always try to push myself and push people around me, so I think that's the one thing that I excelled at on the field and in practice. Hard work and studying in the film room and learning more about my opponent and things like that really helped me have the type of career that I did in college.

ET: Why do you think you're a good fit for their scheme?

KD: The prototypical defensive end in the NFL is a bigger guy, but I have other assets I use on the field. Just the type of D-ends, the type of linemen they use, the fact that they get off the ball and get up the field every play and just blow things up, I love that type of defense. They use a lot of quicker guys, a lot of speed and they compensate for some of the size difference with the NFL, but they do a great job. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, those two are guys that I used to watch and patterned my game after them.  So it will be cool to be in the locker room with them when I get down there.

Scout.com subscribers can read the rest of this interview this weekend where Key will talk about his visit with the Colts in early April, what he's noticed about the Colts' defensive ends, his unique first name, transitioning to the NFL and much more! In the meantime, you can learn more about him by visiting his Scout.com player profile page.

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.

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