Conference Call With New Orleans Media, 4/27/13
Have the Saints shown any interest in you before the draft?
“Not that I know of, my agent dealt with most of that stuff. I definitely didn’t expect New Orleans to pick me when they were on the clock, so when I got a call from them I was definitely excited and wasn’t expecting it.”
What are your thoughts about coming down here and playing with guys like
“It’s amazing. In high school I caught some passes from Drew Brees when he was in San Diego, so I know what he is capable of. I watch him every year in the NFL. It’s a prolific offense and a huge opportunity for me to go in and play with veterans, learn and be a sponge.”
Who called you when the Saints picked you?
“I talked to everyone, I talked to Coach (Sean) Payton, Mickey Loomis and pretty much everyone. They were all congratulating me and I tried to hold in all my excitement.”
What were the circumstances when you were in high school and you got to throw with Drew Brees?
“He was playing for the San Diego Chargers still and they just needed extra bodies to go catch balls at one of the local high schools, so I was one of the receivers they called and caught some passes from him.”
I understand you had another year of eligibility and that you were advised that you wouldn’t go any better than the third round and you went in the fifth, any regrets?
“No regrets at all, I have a strong faith in my plan and God’s plan for me was to go in the fifth round and I am where I am because of that and all I have to do is go to work now and prove people wrong, all the people that doubted me and I love it. I love being the underdog.”
Watching the draft last night, were you anticipating going in the third round?
“I have a pessimistic outlook on a lot of things so I told my family I didn’t expect to go yesterday and I spent some time at the beach hanging out with friends. Today, I figured, today is the day with the rest of the rounds coming around, so I sat by the TV and I have my family here and it’s just exciting for all of us.”
The Saints have a number of guys whose fathers have played in the NFL, how do you think that helps you and do you think the Saints like having players with the NFL in the bloodlines?
“I think it’s the understanding we have about the business. We know how we have to treat it, we have to come in and work our tails off every single day and nothing less is expected from us.”
Growing up around the NFL, was this something you envisioned for a long time?
“Since age six, when I started playing football, I dreamed of playing in the NFL especially being that my dad played and it was almost that we were in competition. Obviously he played defense, but for me to make it, get drafted, and get drafted before him, now I just have to go out there and prove myself and have a great career.”
Your uncle also played linebacker in the NFL, is that correct?
“Yes, Gary Stills.”
How did you end up playing offense?
“I wanted to play defense, but coming out of high school I weighed 170 pounds, was a safety and didn’t get recruited much at safety because they didn’t use me much in high school at it. I came in as a receiver as a freshman, worked on my craft and I feel like it’s something that I ran with.”
How much do you feel like you can compete for playing time this season?
“You can never really say anything right to answer that question, but I’m going to go out there and work my tail off everyday. I’m going to be the first one in the building and the last one to leave and if things work out, I’ll be out there playing. Obviously I want to do everything I can to help make an impact on the field. If not I will have to learn and when my time comes I have to be ready.”
What did you think of Drew Brees when you threw with him in high school?
“Definitely one of the best quarterbacks I have worked with and been around. I can remember hearing the ball whistle coming from his hands to my hands and just smacking me in the hands. I expect and have seen such great things from Drew Brees and I’m excited to be around him, learn as much as I can and go out there and get open for him.”
Have you had any interaction with him since you threw for him in high school?
“No, I work out at the same place he does with Todd Durkin here in San Diego, so I hear a lot of great things about him, like who he is as a person off the field, but I haven’t had any interaction with him besides that day.”
Did you think he was good before that?
“Oh yes, it’s always been a thing around here in San Diego with us getting rid of Drew Brees, or letting him go has been one of the worst things we have done, but Phillip Rivers is good too. I knew he was great and it just proved to me that day even more.”
You had a DUI arrest last year I believe, how did you deal with that and how much did that come up in conversations with teams?
“The DUI was when I was a freshman so that was two years ago, but I dealt with it well. I embarrassed myself, my team and my family, and it’s something I never want to be a part of again and I told the teams that. I let them know that I never want to be a part of that. I learned from it and I have gone from it and matured from it and learned my lesson.”
What are some of your biggest strengths?
“Strengths for me are speed, I proved people wrong with my 40-time, I think on the tape you see a guy that can run smooth, so you don’t necessarily think that he is fast, but the speed and the route running and the competitiveness, all of them are probably my strengths technique wise.”