Over the last couple of weeks it was a privilege to interview three young men who were trying to make their football dreams a reality. There was Josh Reynolds, the wide receiver from Texas A&M University. Next was Tim Williams, outside linebacker from Alabama University. Finally, there was Tim Patrick, wide receiver from Utah University.
Stenson: What is the process to prepare for the combine and the NFL Draft?
Reynolds: Right after the bowl game I was off to Florida to begin training. You train on drills that you never really train for. It’s different because it’s not really football stuff. It’s more lateral movement, vertical movement. It’s different because most people who don’t play don’t really understand because all they see is the receiver drills at combine. They don’t know how much really goes into it.
Stenson: The joke is that in Texas is that the top three things are high school football, high school football, and Dallas Cowboys. How was it growing up playing football in Texas?
Reynolds: Ah man! It’s ridiculous. From Pee-Wee football it’s ridiculous. All you are taught to do is win. You learn how to tackle from a young age, the proper way. It helps a lot in the long run, but It’s no joke in Texas.
Stenson: You had one of the outstanding coaches in football, Kevin Sumlin. What are you going to miss about him?
Reynolds: He a smooth dude man. Me and him would always talk the day before the game. We go to the movies the day before the game, he was a funny dude. He is always chill, just his demeanor is smooth. He has his moments when he will go off on somebody. So you have to always stay on his good side.
Stenson: Where will you watch the draft?
Reynolds: In San Antonio with my family.
Stenson: Where are you going to watch the draft?
Williams: I’m going to be back home in Baton Rouge with my family.
Stenson: How did you escape LSU and end up in Alabama?
Williams: I wanted to be a part of a championship legacy. I wanted to go work for my position. Coming out of high school, a lot of positions and plays were going to be given to me because I was number one in my state. Alabama was the only team that didn’t come at me like that. They were like “Look, you come in here and focus on books, and focus on cracking the depth chart.” Everybody was number one this and a number one that. I wanted to battle for mine, I wanted to earn it.
Stenson: There were a lot players that have been drafted by Alabama, what advice have they given you?
Williams: At Alabama, everybody wanted us to lose because we were so use to winning. But we can only control what we can do. We can only control our box. They told me as long as you strap on that helmet and strap on those cleats, just go out there and dominate.
Stenson: Going back to the national championship game, I know it was tough. Describe your feelings after the game, and then a week or two later.
Williams: The game started 14-0, and they took away our running back in Bo Scarbrough. That left a lot of pressure on our freshman quarterback Jalen Hurt. We always had Bo to take the pressure off him by running the ball and make him loosen up. As a defense, we tried to do what we could do and let the offense play behind us. It was a great game honestly, but I feel like Clemson earned it, that they fought for it. The quarterback they got, Deshaun Watson, is the truth. He is a physical quarterback. It’s been a lot of quarterbacks I’ve hit and others, they come back the next series, and they look scared. He’s a warrior. After the game and a week later, I was just excited to be there. Playing for Alabama, we are always going be in that championship bracket because we work hard.
Stenson: Where are you going to watch the draft?
Patrick: I’m going to my grandmother’s house in San Diego. I want my grandmother to be a part of it, because it’s such a blessing to be in this situation right now. My grandmother has helped with everything in my life. She’s the number one woman in my life right now. My mom, my dad, all my uncles and aunts have been a part of this long journey. They finally get to see if pay off.
Stenson: How was it playing for Utah in the Pac-12?
Patrick: It was love. I played against the best. It’s five DB’s that could potentially go in the first round in this draft. So you could say I went up against the best DB’s week in and week out. Just to be a part of that is a blessing.
Stenson: Are there any wide receivers in the league now that you try to take pieces of their game from?
Patrick: Mike Evans for sure. His ball skills and he high points the ball. AJ Green and his releases, the way he makes acrobatic catches every game. Chad Johnson, just the way he talks. You can literally beat a DB before the game evens starts if you can get into his head. You have to talk trash these days because DBs think they hot stuff, so I have to put them back in they place.
Stenson: Give me your sales pitch for why you should be drafted?
Patrick: You can’t teach 6’5”, 4.4 speed, great hands, great route runner, I’m the total package. It don’t get no better than this.
To listen to the entire interviews go to DNASportsTalk.com/Showtime.html. There you will find the podcasts for the April 17th and 24th shows that contain the interviews. Since the NFL Draft, it is great that all three of them have made it to an NFL team. Williams and Patrick will be teammates for the Baltimore Ravens. Reynolds will be playing for the Los Angeles Rams. Congratulations and wishing them nothing but success in their NFL life.