How much were you in touch with the Saints throughout this process?
“The Saints have always been one of the teams I believe I can fit right in with. I’m so excited right now I really can’t explain my feelings. I’m so anxious to get down to New Orleans and so ready to put on that black and gold again.”
Sean Payton has said plenty of times that left tackle is open competition, how does that make you feel?
“Definitely music to my ears. I’m a serious competitor, real serious. I’m going to come in and I’m looking to fight for the job day one.”
You said, ‘black and gold again’, what do you mean by that?
“Arkansas-Pine Bluff is black and gold, so I don’t have to change my color scheme.”
Did you run a 4.65 at the combine?
“Yes sir, the unofficial.”
Do you get a lot of your speed from track and being a shot putter?
“A whole lot of it was God given, really just naturally talented. I worked on my speed over the years but I have to give a lot of it to God given ability.”
Why did you turn down Division I offers?
“I lost a lot of my Division I recruitment because of my ACT scores being so late after signing day, a lot of the smaller schools were coming at me and being able to do track at Arkansas-Pine Bluff was a deciding factor in why I chose Arkansas-Pine Bluff and I believe it helped me tremendously. It was a humbling experience going to a smaller school and I thought I was going to go big out of high school, so it’s been a longer road but I just kept fighting.”
What made you believe you could get to this point coming out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff?
“I never doubted, I never doubted myself. I saw myself going big out of high school and when I didn’t I kind of questioned it for a minute, but I kept fighting trying to get better as a player, learn more about the game, and I never doubted myself.”
I know a lot of people started noticing you at the East West Shrine game, then to the Senior Bowl and then you were successful at the NFL Combine, discuss that process.
“The East West Shrine game was definitely a huge opportunity for me especially coming from a small school getting a chance to go against some bigger competition. The biggest question coming out of my school was the level of competition so having that opportunity that I went down with a chip on my shoulder of course and just tried to answer the question about level of competition. Then I went to the Senior Bowl the next week and tried to continue the same thing and I believe I just topped it off at the Combine and I got to show all the teams my athleticism.”
Have you thought about coming from a small school and now possibly blocking for a guy like
“Yes sir, I’m really excited about blocking for one of the greats of all time Drew Brees, I’m really really excited about that.”
Did you grow up a football fan of any particular pro team?
“I’m from the St. Louis area, so when I was growing up I was a fan of the greatest show on turf.”
What is your timeline for playing?
“I really don’t see myself sitting out. I love to play, I love the game of football, I love being on the field and I have a problem sitting on the bench. I know I have a lot to learn and I’m willing and ready to learn as fast as I can, as fast as I possibly can to get on the field.”