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Tavon Rooks talks about joining the Saints

Quotes from the Saints 202nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Tavon Rooks first conference call with the New Orleans media on Saturday, May 10, 2014

New Orleans Saints Tackle Tavon Rooks
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Saturday, May 10, 2014

How did it feel to get the call?

"It was a wonderful feeling man.  I mean, I didn't know if I was going to get drafted.  You know, coming in I thought, everybody was talking to me about being an undrafted free agent.  So, I mean, God is good man.  So me and my mom be talking on the phone.  We prayed and the blessings came down. So I'm just happy."

So how did you spend your day? What were you doing?

"To tell you the truth, I was up here in South Dakota with my girlfriend.  I was at her brother's baseball championship game and we went out to dinner, just to eat.  I really wasn't waiting by the phone.  I was just spending time with them, just eating, and I got a call from coach Sean Payton and we talked.  He called me and told me that I was going to be with the New Orleans Saints.  So, it's a great day."

Tavon, you didn't think anyone was trying to pull a prank on you, did you?

"(Laughing) to tell you the truth I did when coach Payton called me the first time.  I was like, "coach Payton? No, this is not him" and he talked to me about it and he told me they were drafting me in the next round and don't be too excited.  So I didn't get my hopes up too high.  But like I said, I'm just grateful for this feeling to be drafted.  It's been a long journey, so I'm just happy."

Speaking of that journey, you've been to 3 junior colleges. Can you take us through that real quick?

Yeah, I've been to a junior college back home.  It's called Kingsville Community College, that's where I started at.  The reason why I started there is because I wasn't a high recruit coming out of high school.  So I just took classes there just to try to get my degree.  Me and my mom were just talking and one of the college's coaches called me and I told my mom that this might be my last time stepping on the field so I think this might be the best situation.  So I flew out to California, played at the College of the Canyons and transferred to Navarro down in Texas and played there, and that's when I ended up in Kansas State."

You have a teammate from New Orleans, Cornelius Lucas, who hasn't been drafted yet. Have you called him up and let him know about it?

"I haven't really talked to him.  He shot me a text message, told me congratulations but I really haven't talked to him because my family members have been calling.  It's been a crazy emotional roller coaster right now, but I'm definitely going to call him back.  Tell him to keep his head up and stay positive."

Coach Sean Payton talked about how once you get to camp, everybody gets a chance to make the team.  Tell me about that chance to do even more than you were "expected" to.  What are you going to do coming in?

"All I can do is just compete.  I mean the spot's not given to me, I've got to go out there and earn it.  Whatever I've got to do, I'm there.  If I've got to play guard, I'll play guard.  Even if I've got to punt the ball, whatever I've got to do to make the team.  I've just got to do my job.  Compete, that's what I'm going to do.  I want to touch the field, so that's what I want to do.

You were listed at 265 going into your senior season, and now you're up to 300?

"That was my playing weight.  My weight through my senior season was 280, I got up to 305.  You'd be lucky playing tackle in this league at 280, so you know I had to get my weight up to 305 and start eating good, start eating right.  It's something that I wanted, so I just had to make a sacrifice."

Are you the only guy from Kansas St. that's gotten drafted?

"I believe so, and the funny part about it was I didn't think I was getting drafted.  I thought Cornelius Lucas, he was the most talked about offensive tackle.  I thought all the offensive line coaches wanted him, so it was a shocker to me.  I'm just grateful, and I wish all the Kansas St. players the best in the draft."

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