There are a ton of prospects for the Indianapolis Colts to have their eyes on in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. Tuesday, I had the opportunity to not only watch some of them live in the practices, but to also chat with a couple guys at the Media Day section of the week. Unfortunately I was not able to talk to every player I wanted to but I did get some interviews from some talented players.
Before I drop some of the quotes I got in this article, I would like to say that I asked every one of these players if they have had an interview with the Colts at all. Each and every one of them said that they have. Chris Ballard and his scouts are combing through every player it seems this year. With that being said, here are a few quotes though from my interviews with Senior Bowl players.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
Q: How would you describe yourself in press-man coverage?
A: I feel like I’m a dominant press-man corner. I feel like I play sound technique when I doing it.
Q: Where do you feel like you really developed that aspect of your game?
A: I feel like it started somewhat with wrestling, being in a one-on-one sport for a while. I love the team aspect of football but sometimes it turns into one-on-one matchups and I’m not afraid to compete one-on-one with these guys.
Q: So run defense is a big aspect of playing cornerback, how do you in particular feel about run defense for corners though?
A: Playing at Temple its all about be tough so you have to able to come down and run fit and tackle. I feel like as a corner you have to be able to tackle, it’s very important.
Bruce Anderson, RB, North Dakota State
Q: When I watch your tape, I see a powerful runner despite you not being the biggest player. Is that something you really pride yourself in being?
A: Yeah just fighting for that every inch and keep driving my legs and that’s real important. Turning a 5 yard run into a first down or just being physical out there I think that is very important and every running back should have that quality in my opinion.
Q: Do you see yourself as more of a zone runner or power runner? Which scheme do you feel most comfortable in?
A: I have no preference. Coming from North Dakota State, we ran a lot of zone, we ran a lot of power and I think that helps me be a more well rounded running back. Some guys just don’t have that itch for power running but being at NDSU just helped me going forward.
Q: Do you think that your receiving ability is something you can add to a team in the NFL?
A: Yeah, most definitely. I think that just makes me so much more dynamic and makes it so I can be more utilized so it is very important.
Tyre Brady, WR, Marshall
Q: Coming off of a relative down year at Marshall, what are you looking to prove here in Mobile with these talented receivers?
A: You know, we had trouble with two quarterbacks this past year and I was still able to put up 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns but it was tough. I feel like I could’ve done a lot more this year though for sure. Having a quarterback like Chase (Litton) a year ago, me and him were able to change and adjust to coverage on our own. That’s the difference that people tend to miss when you go to a freshman quarterback so I just want to show people that I’m the same receiver.
Q: What is your favorite route to run?
A: Go. Just throw it up and I’ll go get it.
Q: I’ve noticed you have very nimble feet, especially around the sidelines, how is a guy your size so nimble though?
A: Yeah they’re tough man. I mean, I work on it but then you have to have a feel for knowing how to just know where the sideline is at. So if I’m running, I’m getting a feeling for how much room I have before the sidelines and catching the ball. I have long arms so I can slow my body up and use my arms to grab passes out there.
Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida State
Q: You come from Florida State, a big name program, why should we be talking Demarcus Christmas though after this week?
A: I’m a hard worker. I have great ethic and I’m just excited to be here and showcase what I have.
Q: You were a late add to the roster this week, what was your reaction when you got the call?
A: I got the invite Saturday night and I drove up Sunday night. I was happy, I’m just glad to be out here so I can come out here and compete and showcase who I am.
Q: Which scheme/ position to you feel you fit best on the defensive line?
A: I can play nose, 3-Tech... I’ve pretty much played it all. I’ll slim down or bulk up for whatever the team wants me to do.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, NC State
Q: So your biggest highlight, juking out Derwin James (in 2017), is all over YouTube. Did you know that was Derwin James or were you just making a football play?
A: I was just playing football. I didn’t realize it until people kept sending it to me that night. They were like “Man, you just juked Derwin James, he’s an All-American..” and I was just trying to make a play, you know? That was a time in my career where I wasn’t necessarily a go-to guy but I was trying to make a name for myself.
Q: How helpful is it to go through this process with guys like your Quarterback (Ryan Finley), your center (Garrett Bradbury) and past NFL players (Nyheim Hines) all coming from your school?
A: It has to be an attest to NC State itself. None of us were 5-star or 4-star except maybe Nyheim but they helped develop us all to get to this point. We didn’t come in promised anything. We came in and worked for it everyday and now we are all here chasing our dreams.
Q: The NC State guys tore it up last year down here, are you guys going to keep it up this year?
A: We are gonna make it a trend.
Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois
Q: So being an offensive lineman, you have to be a mean and nasty guy, how do you separate that once you get off the field though?
A: It’s like you mentioned, it’s a switch. You have to know what hat you’re wearing at all times. It is just something we all have to do, in college and in high school, and a little but with recruiting so we kind of get used to it.
Q: Coming from a small school like Northern Illinois, this is probably very big for you. What is this whole experience like so far?
A: I mean, yeah its pretty cool. I’ve never quite had something like this before but, you know, its just a chance to prove that small school guys can compete with the big boys.
Q: Do you see yourself as more of a zone blocker or power blocker when run blocking?
A: I did both in college so either one. You can kind of get after guys when doing either one if you know the right technique. Its run blocking and you know... I like run blocking so no matter which one it is I’m getting after guys.
Will Harris, SAF, Boston College
Q: So, I’ve wanted to ask this question for a long time. How does Boston College of all places churn out so many NFL defensive backs?
A: With discipline, coaching, and recruiting. John (Johnson), Justin (Simmons), Isaac (Yiadom) those are all guys who could’ve played any where they wanted to in the country. Ended up at a great school in BC, had a great opportunity to go to a power five school in the ACC, and they all ended up here having great careers. We’ve seen now that those guys can play with top talent, and they did play with top talent at BC playing in the ACC. You have to be prepared everyday. To answer your question though, discipline and recruiting man. They got all of us to come here and see what happened.
Q: So you attribute a lot of the success to your defensive back coach and defensive coordinator?
A: Yes, definitely. They just care. And I think they care a lot more than most places— even though I can’t speculate on other programs. Coach Camp (DB coach Anthony Campanile) came in my sophomore year and completely had an effect on my career and the rest of the DBs. This is a guy who has such a deep passion for football that we wouldn’t leave the field until everything was perfect. We wouldn’t leave the film room until we were 100% sure what we needed to do. He was a big proponent of discipline, playing with your eyes right, technique, fundamentals so he did a lot.
Q: Your role was to be the more disciplined safety while paired with a guy like Lukas (Denis). Is that a role you are comfortable in or you feel like you could do more?
A: We didn’t really have a true free safety and strong safety at Boston College. We more had interchangeable. One thing that both of us had to be able to do though was play man on the perimeter. I’m glad we ran a multiple defense. I’ve seen every single zone in football, I know the zone blitzes, I’ve played in every man coverage and all the packages. To play safety at BC, you have to do it all and be versatile.
Q: It’s big in the NFL to play man coverage for safeties now, do you feel comfortable doing it?
A: Very comfortable, very comfortable. I love it and I invite it. There’s nothing quite like being on that island and its just you and him and you have to win. I believe it is the greatest matchup opportunity in football and as a DB you want that. You want to know that when I line up against those guys, who will come out on top. I feel really comfortable in man, any zone, one high, on the hash, coming off the hash, cover four.. really doesn’t matter to me, wherever they put me.
Q: Press man though?
A: Oh yeah for sure! Anytime you can get your hands on a receiver and knock him off his route is one of the greatest feelings in football.