Q: Is there any award or honor you wanted and did not achieve this year?
A: Not really, the National Championship is the ultimate award so I feel like I have achieved everything I wanted to.
Q: You working out here?
A: No sir. I decided not to work out. I had a death in my family so I had to take some time off. I decided to work out on my Pro Day which is March 26 down at LSU.
Q: Did that delay you in getting here?
A: No sir. I got here on time. I didn’t know about the reports that I was not coming at all. I don’t know where that came from. I arrived on time.
Q: What family member?
A: My grandmother.
Q: Can you talk about what your injury is?
A: I know I had a hairline fracture my junior year on my right tibia. I’m not sure how the test came out. I have not spoken with anyone about it.
Q: How much of an issue was it for you?
A: Not at all. I did it summertime my junior year and I played the whole year with it.
Q: How did it happen?
A: I bumped it up against something in the weight room.
Q: You talked about your injury; you talked about people saying you were not coming. Are you amazed with this whole draft process and how some of this stuff comes out?
A: I’m never surprised. I always try to set myself up to hear wild things. Some stuff I just wonder where people get it from. Even the reports saying I was not coming. I don’t know where that came from. It is what it is. I’m just trying to enjoy myself and make sure I’m taking care of my responsibility. Everybody is going to have their opinion on what they think about me and my game, but as long as I’m taking care of my business, that is all that matters to me.
Q: Between the tibia and the knee last year, what is your health and are you concerned it will be a factor?
A: No concerns. I have not missed a game since I got to LSU. Everybody gets bruised up. That’s the way I look at it. Who does not go through a season without getting bumps and bruises? I don’t think it’s an issue at all. I’ve played every game since I’ve been at LSU, my whole four years, so I do not think it’s a problem at all.
Q: Have you seen many chopped blocks?
A: I’ve seen quite a few. Most of the time you are able to slide your foot with it. But a couple of times, I just got caught in it at the wrong time.
Q: What happened in Auburn?
A: It just happened in a play where a guy accidentally went high on me and a guy hit me low. It kind of twisted my knee up a little bit.
Q: You think that was accidental?
A: I’m not concerned about it. I let it go. I’m out here with you guys at the Combine. I’m National Champion. I’m on cloud nine to tell you the truth.
Q: Have you talked to the Falcons and have they expressed any concerns about you?
A: I’ve talked to a few coaches but I have not talked to the head guys. None of the teams have come to me about injuries at all.
Q: Do you think some of these questions are because the consensus seems to be that you are the top player in the draft? Do you think that because you are number one they look for stuff to pick at?
A: A little bit. There are a lot of great players out there. It is just an honor to be considered one of the top players out there. When you are one of the top players, a lot of people are looking for negatives. Even with saying I have injury problems. I played every game at LSU for four years. I don’t have injury problems. Who doesn’t get hurt during the year?
Q: What do you tell the teams that you bring to the table?
A: I tell them I bring my heart and soul. That is all I can do. I stayed at LSU an extra year because I had a commitment to LSU. I try to work hard. I like to give it all I got.
Q: Because of the tibia, how much extra time did that require you to stay?
A: I have no idea. I got to the hospital around 9. I left about 6:30. MRI’s, cat scans, everything. Things from high school that they want to check out. It was quite interesting. Just had to stay patient and know it will pay off one day.
Q: Is it your preference to play nose tackle?
A: It doesn’t matter to me. Whatever the team wants me to do, I’ll do.
Q: Rams have the second pick. What would it be like for you to play in that system?
A: It’ll be great. I just need an opportunity. Any team that gives me an opportunity, I’m going to give them 100%. I’m just going to be thankful and grateful to the team that drafts me and I’m going to give them my all.
Q: Looks like you are set to make millions of dollars before ever setting foot on an NFL field, is that remarkable to you?
A: I try not to think about it. Even though it is hard because you turn on TV, your cousins call and your friends call. I try not to think about it but it’s hard. I just want to make sure I am taking care of my responsibilities right now. I’ll worry about that after the fact if it ever happens.
Q: What did JaMarcus Russell tell you about this process?
A: Basically, just stay within myself and don’t listen to all the hoopla. People always have opinions. Some people like you, others don’t. He just told me to make sure that at the end of the day I’m taking care of my responsibilities and working hard.
Q: What did you learn from Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten?
A: What didn’t I learn? Kyle is a mentor to me. He taught me how to come out and play hard no matter what. It didn’t matter if it was 1 degree or 1,000 degrees. Claude taught me how to use athleticism in the game. He wasn’t a big technician but he was a gifted athlete. I took from both of them.
Q: Where are you in the mix of those two guys?
A: I’m kind of in between. I come out and play hard like Kyle and I think I have athleticism like Claude.
Q: Do you look forward to possibly being the first pick of the draft? Is that a goal?
A: Without a doubt. That’s why everybody is out here today. You want to be that guy that gets his name called first. You want to set yourself up to go as high as possible. That would be a dream. That is the ultimate goal.
Q: Do you think you can play nose-tackle at 297?
A: I think I can. I’ll just have to go into the system and if they need me to gain weight, I’ll gain weight. If they need me to lose weight, I’ll lose weight. That’s just the way I’m approaching it. Anything the coach wants me to do, I’ll do.
Q: What are the challenges of playing that nose-guard position in a 3-4?
A: You have to deal with the center a lot more. Sometimes you’ll be taking on two guys at the same time a lot. I’m equipped for both. When guys came on and try to one-on-one me, I won the majority of those. I’m use to both styles.
Q: But now you are facing bigger, stronger, faster athletes.
A: Right, but I’m going to be bigger, stronger, and faster also. The more experience I get in the game, the better off I will be. I have to go into it as a sponge, trying to absorb everything, learn as much as possible.
Q: If something happens and you slip to three. How do you feel about the Falcons?
A: I’d love to go to the Falcons. I’d love to be a bird. They play the 4-3. We play the 4-3 at LSU also. You have to understand that I’m just approaching this as all I need is an opportunity.
Q: What is it like in the process knowing that teams are trying to pick apart every single bit of you?
A: It’s to be expected. I’m not surprised by it at all, there’s a lot of money they put in. Even if you were not hurt, you are going to be sore after all these examinations.
Q: What day was it that you were at the hospital?
Courtesy of the NFL