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New Orleans Saints first-round pick Marcus Davenport meets the press

2018 Saints Draft coverage is presented by Dixie Light

See photos of the New Orleans Saints No. 14 draft pick, Marcus Davenport from UTSA. Draft coverage is presented by Dixie Light.

New Orleans Saints Defensive End Marcus Davenport

Conference Call With New Orleans Media

Thursday, April 26, 2018

And what was your reaction when the Saints picked you.

"My reaction was surprised because my dad yelled. He started crying and so it was just a surreal moment."

When you saw that they traded up to 14, you didn't have any suspicion that it might be for you?

"I didn't know. I didn't know at all."

Did you think coming into the draft that the Saints might be a potential landing spot for you? Or did you think that they were going to be too far down?

"I had heard but I didn't know."

What about coming to a team, there's certainly a veteran defensive end with Cam Jordan playing his best football. How excited are you to be able to play with someone like him and kind of learn from him?

"That's great. I want to get there and soak up the knowledge to get better."

When you think about where you were when you started your college career, is it crazy to think about being picked 14th?

"Yes, I still can't realize it. Like it just happened and it's still so crazy."

What's your sense of how you can help a team that's already a contender here? What do you think is going to be expected of you and what are your hopes for your first season?

"My hopes for my first season? I want to shoot big. I want a Super Bowl. I just want to be able to impact (and) be an impact player, help out in any way I can."

Do you think there will be a learning curve at all coming from a small school?

"I don't think of it so much as a small school, more of a young school. And learning curve, I'm just going to have to work to get over that as soon as possible."

You're only the second player drafted out of UTSA, from the time you've been there, how have you seen that program grow?

"Now we have more of a like fan base and we are growing. We're creating better athletes and winning more games."

Sean Payton was just praising your instincts, obviously forced fumbles, passes defensed and things like that, where did that come from? How did you sort of develop those instincts beyond just getting to the passer?

"It was working with my coaches. I credit my coaches for that. We worked that everyday so eventually that becomes second nature."

Do you have any experience with playing with your hand down? And will that be a transition for you if they ask you to do that?

"No, that'd be cool. My first two years I played with my hand down so going back (will be fine for me."

You clearly have a lot of pride in UTSA, do you see this as a big moment not just for you but for your school?

"Yes, for my school, for my city. It's kind of crazy, I still don't realize that I just got selected number 14 to the New Orleans Saints."

Do you think being drafted this high is a big moment for the Texas-San Antonio football program?

"It's my school, my city. It's crazy. I still can't believe it. I still don't realize that I was just selected at 14 (overall) by the New Orleans Saints."

Why did you go to UTSA compared to any other college program?

"My reason for going to UTSA was I met some really great players (there) that I felt were a family."

What others schools were you considering?

"UNLV, New Mexico, it was really between those three."

How happy are you that you were drafted by a team so close to San Antonio?

"Oh that's great. My people are from New Orleans so that's even better. My dad, grandfather, my uncles a lot of my family."

Do you know what part of New Orleans is your family is from?

"New Orleans East. My dad went to JFK (Kennedy high school) before it was torn down. My grandfather coached (track) at Southern University (of New Orleans). He is in the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame."

What is your grandfather's name?

"Artis Davenport."

Have you spent much time here?

"(I've) been a couple times. Not enough times though."

Did any of your family members know your college coach?

"No, but they did kind of grow up in the same section (of New Orleans) and knew a lot of the same people."

What were those meetings like with the Saints prior to the draft? Did you talk to Sean Payton or Mickey Loomis?

"I got to meet them at my first meeting at the Senior Bowl and got to meet them again at the combine twice. It was good."

Did they seem like they were very interested in you or did it just seem like another meeting with a team?

"I don't know, I couldn't really think of it. I was still trying to figure them out. I'm still trying to figure them out."

Is it hard during the draft process to tell if a team is interested or not?

"Yes, very hard."

What does it mean to you that they traded next year's first round pick to select you at 14?

"It's a great feeling, but it just means we have to get to work."

How would you describe your approach to football over the past four years?

"Prideful. I approach football with pride."

How would you describe your personality?

"Calm, methodical, something like that."

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