(What went into your decision not to run here?)
Well I just didn’t have enough time … well I had enough time to prepare, but I was training at one facility. I switched facilities in the mid-training process, just wasn’t getting the work I needed to run my best time. Now I’m just getting comfortable at the new spot and learning my techniques. I figured if I have enough time to work on it I’ll get the time I want.
(Are you confident you’ll run the time you want on your pro day?)
(What do you think about the lingering questions about your speed?)
The questions, they don’t really bother me. I still have to go out there and play and have the production on the field. I don’t let it get to me. I’ll run what I run and just stay confident in myself.
(What would you hope to run at your pro day?)
Low 4.5s. Anything lower is better. I’m just going to work hard towards it, and hopefully I’ll run that.
(There are teams disappointed you won’t run here. Do you understand that?)
(How would you say to them I’m not going to give you what you’re hoping to see here at the combine?)
I’ve just got to do what’s best for me right now. I think it will all work out if I do my best and my hardest. I think it will all work out in the end.
(There is commentary that has you pegged as a possession receiver. Do you think that is a fair assessment of where you’ll be in the NFL?)
I don’t. I think I’ll only get better. I’ll continue to work, continue to get the best training now that I’m at the highest level. I’ll just continue to push myself to get better, and my game will show eventually.
(How do you assess yourself in the vertical passing game?)
Just work on it. I’ve just got to work on it. Continue to get better. Learning from guys that’s already there on the team that I’m drafted to. Just continue to get better.
(What’s your favorite route?)
I don’t have a favorite route honestly. I work on them all just as much as I would work on a slant or a fade. Just love playing football, love the game. Passionate for it, and just ready to get back to work.
(Is there anyone in the NFL that you model your game after?)
I wouldn’t say that I would model my game after anyone. I do like the way Dez Bryant plays, the way he attacks the ball and makes plays, makes the difficult plays, so there are similarities there, but I don’t like to model myself after anyone. I have learned to create my own style of play.
(Since you are not running, what do you want teams to see from you in the other drills?)
Just my energy for the game, my passion, my competitiveness in any other thing I do. Just my personality. Learn more about me, and get to know me as a person.
(Who is the toughest DB you ever went against in college?)
I mean, I wouldn’t consider anyone tough in college. You had teams that had great players. I just never got a one-on-one matchup where I (thought) that guy would stop me or that guy would shut me down. There were some great guys … Cyrus Jones, the guy from Florida, not Vernon Hargreaves, the younger guy. The Mississippi State cornerback was great. It’s a lot of good cornerbacks.
(How has your comeback from the injury helped prepare you for this transition?)
Mentally. I just feel like I can overcome anything. I’ve been through so much in a certain time period, coming back from the injury in 2014 and being here today. It made me appreciate the game more and made me want to work harder. Just continue to get better, continue to push myself to a new level. I just don’t take the game for granted. My mentality towards the game is completely different.
(Do you sense that NFL clubs value your comeback from injury?)
To a certain extent. Some look at it as, ‘He can overcome adversity.’ Some really don’t care, so I just feel like it showed how I really love the game, how passionate I am, my dedication toward the game and my commitment.
(That was a gruesome injury. Do you feel lucky that you’re still here right now and were able to have the season you had last year?)
I feel blessed for sure. Coming back from that, having the team around me, the players to push me and my family to push me to get back, to still inspire me to chase my dreams and believing in me. I just feel blessed and honored to be here.
(Ever feel down on yourself in the moments after the injury?)
The first night I just told myself I knew how I got where I was. I knew what I had to do was work. Some days I would be down and be like, ‘Aw man, it’s tough,’ but I just stayed with it, kept my faith. My teammates pushed me, my coaches. My family, like I said, just made sure I stayed up and (in) high spirits. I just continued to work hard. It was night and day from 6 in the morning to 11 at night. Sometimes I would sleep in the facility and just stay up there and watch film, watch myself before and just try to get that comfort level, that confidence back. Some days I was getting pushed out of bounds by defensive backs and talking trash to me, but that all made me the person I am today, and I just don’t take the game for granted.
(What do you think about preparing for the draft with the draft being in your hometown?)
It’s amazing. They say God works in mysterious ways. Just the draft being in Chicago, me being hurt last year then being back healthy and being able to be drafted in my home city, family going to be there. It’s going to be historical. It’s going to be an amazing time for me. I’ll cherish it, and that’s something I’ll never forget.