What was it like getting the call and figuring out that you're going in New Orleans to join the Saints?
“Pretty great. (I was) sitting here all day waiting and when I get to talk to the GM (Mickey Loomis) and whatnot it was pretty special. It was an exciting time.”
You're obviously somebody who's familiar with the NFL with your Dad being a former player. What does it mean to kind of keep this going and your family and be the second player drafted and your family?
“It's exciting. He's always been there for me. He’s been pushing me my whole life and encouraging me. It's pretty fun to kind of keep it going. I’ve got some brothers coming down the line who are going to be pretty great players too. It's just an exciting thing for us and I'm just excited that God has given me this opportunity.”
What was it like playing for your dad with him being an assistant at Idaho?
“It was great. He coaches the defensive line and I did a lot of pass rush last year and played some defensive end so I got to work with him quite a bit. Even when I wasn't and I was playing linebacker, he was there coaching me up with that too. Being with him is special, he's the most passionate person I've ever been around, the most competitive. Just being with him and having his energy there with me was really special.”
What kind of advice did he just give you about this whole process?
“He told me to just trust God, especially as those picks were going by and the rounds were going by. Through the whole thing it's been that. (his message was) to keep working to, to know that no matter where you get selected, you still have to go in and earn it. Again, the most important thing’s just to trust the Lord with what he has planned. That’s kind of the advice he’s given.”
You sound like you anticipated being picked a little bit earlier today. What were you kind of expecting going into today?
“I wouldn't say necessarily that. I don't know. You don't really know where you’re going to get picked. It's kind of a domino effect. Just seeing each pick go by and finally getting that call, it was special. My wife and I started freaking out. My heart started racing. It is just a special time.”
Have they told you what position they envision you playing? Playing linebacker or edge rusher?
“They told me they want me to be able to play a couple of positions. They said they believe I'm smart enough to play a few so they want me to know a few, to come in and learn, and be a great special teams player. Whatever opportunities they give me, I'm going to go in and capitalize on it. I'm excited to make a mark down there.”
Is one or two of those a primary position for you?
“Honestly, I will leave that all up to the coaches. I don’t know. It’s whatever they envision me, and however they envision me. I’m going to go out there and play my hardest, and make plays. I’m excited to see where they want to use me, how they want to use me, and how I can help this team.”
Did you play special teams at Idaho?
“Yes sir, I did. Freshman year I started on all four, and the next three years it was punt and punt return depending on the game plan.”
What do you feel are your best strengths?
“I love to pass rush, I think it’s the greatest thing in football. It’s a beautiful thing and I work very hard at it. I love it. I love the coverage game, covering guys, and getting to play QB eyes. I’m excited to get to the NFL so I can start working with those coaches, (Defensive Assistant) Coach (Michael) Hodges, (Linebackers) Coach (Mike) Nolan, and everybody else so I can find some more strengths, work on my weaknesses, and just become the best player I can be.”
*Have you watched the Saints much, and do you know much about the team?
*“Yeah, I know a decent amount. We had practice on Sundays, so they were normally spent watching film and getting ready for that first practice of the week. But I watched them decently. I have always been a Drew Brees fan and have cheered for them in the Super Bowl. It’s a pretty cool spot, and I got to come down and visit. It was really special getting to see that locker room, to see those halls, and see all of the players that have been through there. I’m psyched. New Orleans is a really special place.”
Was there anything that specifically stood out about your visit?
“Getting to meet those coaches down there was pretty special. Getting to see a team that’s at the top of their game. Last year they probably should’ve been in the Super Bowl. Just getting to see and be around that atmosphere was really special. It is a winning culture. That was really cool and something that did stick out to me -- the culture of the team. Obviously, I was not around all of the players, but from the staff, the coaches, scouts, everybody who interacted with me, you could tell the culture’s to win. That was something that was special to me.”