Senior Bowl Q&A: DE Austen Lane

Don't tell Murray State's Austen Lane that he's not one of the "big boys" at this year's Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-6, 267-pound defensive end is holding his own in Mobile, and he's got a personality that NFL teams are going to want in their locker room. Learn more about him in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson: What's your week been like so far?

Austen Lane: I came here on short notice, I got the phone call on Sunday night around 9:30, so I got here Monday morning at about 10:30. The first day was just getting my feet underneath me, but ever since then I've been hitting the ground running and trying to compete with these big boys over here.

Thompson: What's it been like to work with NFL coaches for the first time?

Lane: It's the best! It's been really high tempo and intensity. It's giving me a really big advantage to experience this now for when I get up to the next level.

Thompson: I'm sure that playing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the other top talent in the country is helping all of you learn from each other as well.

Lane: Absolutely. The question I've been getting all week is about being a small-school guy among the big boys, but the way I see it, it doesn't really matter where you came from, it matters where you're going. We're all going to the same place, we're wearing the same jersey. So as far as I'm concerned, we're all equal out here.

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Thompson: Talk about your skill set and why you're going to be successful in the NFL.

Lane: I think my speed, my edge rush is what teams are really keying on, maybe as an outside linebacker, too. We'll see what happens.

Thompson: Have some teams been talking to you about linebacker?

Lane: As a 3-4 rush linebacker, and I'll play wherever they want me. It kind of depends on where my weight takes me. If I stay where I'm at, I'd probably be an outside linebacker in a 3-4, but if I get up to 280 or so, then you might want to put me at defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.

Thompson: What makes football so much fun for you?

Lane: Oh, man. When you cross these white lines, nothing else matters, everything else goes away. I'm like a kid at a playground out here--this is my playground out here. When I'm out here, I'm smiling every day.

Thompson: What is it that you want NFL teams to know about you as a person?

Lane: Off the field I'm just a laid-back person, I'm a really chill guy. When I get on the field, that's when something clicks in my head, and I'm a crazy guy out there.(laughs)

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