Patrick Stoudamire

Today at The Football Fan Spot we have Western Illinois cornerback and NFL Draft Prospect, Patrick Stoudamire. He made the Division I-AA All-American 2nd team last year and made the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team in each of the last 3 years. He is regarded, for the most part, as a 4th-6th round prospect. A merchant cash advance is something that we will not see in Stoudamire’s immediate future, his prospects as an NFL player looks like a good one! Today he has come around to talk to us about his experience playing this game and his Pre-Draft thoughts.

The Football Fan Spot: You played last year in Division I-AA. How do you think playing in Division I-AA compares to playing in Division I? Would you say it’s a bit of a disadvantage coming from a smaller school background as you try to transition to the NFL?

Patrick Stoudamire: I believe the only thing that is different between D1-AA and D1-A is the front 7, because it is shown in the past that D1-AA and smaller are actually producing well in the NFL. I believe if you can lock up a receiver at D1-AA you can in D1-A. I showed that in the East-West game and practices. The only disadvantage I would say is the quarterbacks in D1-AA do not throw at a good corner but the D1-A school quarterbacks do over and over which allows those corners to rack up INTs and pass break-ups, and also a lot of passes caught and scored on. But the transition into the NFL is always going to be a shocker just like it was to become a collegiate player. The speed and the strength and crisp routes by the receivers and the arm accuracy and strength and power of the quarterbacks all improve.

TFFS: You got a chance to play in the East-West shrine game despite your small school background. What was that experience like?

PS: The experience of the East/West game was a once in the life time experience because of the kids, visiting the hospital was very life changing, we were running so those kids can walk. And on the football aspect it was great because I got to go against the best, Freddie Barnes and Blair White in practice everyday and showing the scouts that I can guard whoever is in front of me.

TFFS: Do you think you did a good job of showing what kind of pro you could be to the scouts watching or were there a few things you wish you could have done differently?

PS: I hope I grabbed the attention of the scouts even if it was only one because all it takes is one.

TFFS: Which players at the East/West game, either on your team or the opposing team, really impressed you most?

PS: Blair White impressed me the most. His routes were very crisp and he was faster and more quicker than I thought.

TFFS: You didn’t get a chance to work out at the Combine, but you have a Pro Day coming up. How have you been preparing for that?

PS: Even though I didn’t get an invite to the combine, I still went on my way to train even harder to prove that I should have and I have been working out at Perfect Competition with Auto Bolden as my speed coach and Brain Martin and his crew. Now I am working on my starts to better my 40.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

PS: Champ Bailey, a lock down corner and my style of play is like Nnamdi Asomugha he is just so dominant out there.

TFFS: A little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Who did were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch?

PS: I started playing football in 4th grade I believe. The earlier years were just for fun, started out in flag. My favorite players as a kid were Brett Favre and Champ Bailey. My favorite team was Green Bay with Brett Favre, Antonio Freeman, Reggie White, and Dorsey Levens. Beast team.

TFFS: When did you first realize that you had a really got shot at the NFL?

PS: I realized my sophomore year that I had a great chance in playing in the NFL so I gave up playing basketball. I did play two sports my freshman year that is why I went to WIU and not a bigger school.

TFFS: Give me a little bit of a self scouting report, what do you say you could contribute most to an NFL team? What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

PS: A very good sized corner with speed and the determination to do what it takes to get the job done. The biggest thing I need to work on and can always improve is driving through the receiver, which I worked on a lot in the East/West Shrine game/practice.

TFFS: Which, if any, NFL teams have contacted you up to this point?

PS: I talked with the Bears, Jaguars, Falcons, Patriots, Redskins, Buccaneers, Panthers, just to name a few.

TFFS: Your former teammate, Jason Williams, was a 3rd round pick of the Dallas Cowboys last year. Have you been keeping in contact with him throughout this Pre-Draft process and if so, what has he told you and how has he helped you?

PS: Yes, Jason is a close friend and he is always giving me advice throughout this process. He has gotten me ready to come into a business not just a sport. Another person who has helped me a lot was my mentor and my late cousin Chris Mims. He told me to always keep my body in the tubs and treat this like a business and go back to school and finish your degree because football is just the beginning and the leather ball will open doors for you that not many people even get the chance, so take every opportunity to listen to people who are successful.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

PS: I am a reliable person, will do whatever it takes to get the job done and that you can rely on me.

TFFS: Thanks again for doing this. Good luck in the NFL.

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Scott Sicko

Today at The Football Fan Spot we have New Hampshire tight end and NFL Draft Prospect, Scott Sicko. He made the Division I-AA All-American 2nd team last year and the Division I-AA All-American 1st team in 2008. He caught 160 passes in his college career, with all but two of those coming in the last 3 years. He is regarded, for the most part, as a 5th-6th round prospect. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-NFL Draft experience.

The Football Fan Spot: First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Who did were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch? When did you first realize that you had a really good shot at the NFL?

Scott Sicko: I started playing football very young. As long as I can remember I have been playing football. Not always in an organized setting but I remember as little kid playing with my father and the other kids around my house. When I was younger I never really had any favorite players, I always just like to watch the game. My favorite team when I was younger was the Raiders because that is who my father like so I grew up liking them, but now I like multiple teams. There are a lot of teams out their that I have a lot of respect for.

TFFS: You played last year in Division I-AA. How do you think playing in Division I-AA compares to playing in Division I? Would you say it’s a bit of a disadvantage coming from a smaller school background as you try to transition to the NFL?

SS: I honestly don’t know how to compare the two levels just because I haven’t played at both. I don’t know if coming from a D-1 AA will hurt me. I do know however that it will be a big change from college to profession and that I am going to work as hard as possible to make the best transition I can.

TFFS: Throughout the season, you were listed anywhere from 235 pounds to 240, yet at your Pro Day weigh in you measured in at an impressive 6-5 251 and still managed to put up an impressive 40 time. How much do you think that affects your draft stock and how much of a priority was bulking up for you after the season?

SS: Bulking up was a huge priority for me after the season. I knew that for teams to look seriously at me that I would have to be at least close to 250lbs if not over. As for how my 40 time affected my draft stock I really don’t know, I can just hope that it helps.

TFFS: Its been roughly 3 months since the end of your season. Aside from the added bulk, do you think are an improved player since the end of the season and if so, in what way?

SS: Since the end of the season I have worked hard to keep my catching ability at least at the same level that it was previously. Also, I know that I have increased both my speed and my strength, which I think will greatly help me on the field

TFFS: You didn’t get a Combine invite, but there were a lot of bigger school athletes that got Combine invites yet chose to skip a drill or multiple drills in favor of doing them at their Pro Day. As someone who did not get to attend at all, what do you think of that?

SS: That is a situation in which those players have to do what they think is best for them and you can’t hold that against them.

TFFS: Which, if any, NFL teams have contacted you up to this point? Which teams sent scouts to your Pro Day?

SS: Multiple teams have been in contract with my agent. The Patriots and the Colts attended our Pro Day here at UNH.

TFFS: How would you compare yourself to guys like Jermaine Gresham, Ed Dickson, and Aaron Hernandez?

SS: All of those guys are very good players. I don’t think I would be able to compare myself to them, I usually leave the comparisons up to other people.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

SS: Honestly, I have no idea. That is one reason that this process is so exciting though. I mean, I have never been though this process before and I have only seen a couple of other players go though it and witnessed it from a distance. All I can do I work as hard as I can to perform to the best of my ability and hope that the teams like me.

TFFS: A lot of rookies have to play significant amounts of time on special teams. What is your experience playing on special teams and did you enjoy it?

SS: I have been a back up long snapper all of my 4 years at UNH and I have also been back up short snapper and was first string for a large part of my junior year. For me special teams are just another opportunity to get on the field and any chance you get to be on the field is great in my eyes.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

SS: I think that there are a lot of very good tight ends in the NFL. I really have never modeled my game directly after any players, but I always try to learn new thing from a variety of players.

TFFS: Switching from you to your former team, what is one thing about New Hampshire Wildcat football that you would want the common fan to know?

SS:  I would want them to know the amount of work that UNH football players put in. We work incredibly hard here so we can go out a perform well and we take a great deal of pride in that.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

SS: I would tell him that I would do any amount of work that it took for me to help to contribute to the team in order for it to be successful.

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Scott Wedige

Today at The Football Fan Spot, we have Scott Wedige, a center prospect out of Northern Illinois. Wedige is a smaller school player, but stood out on Northern Illinois’ offensive line, making the All-MAC 1st team in 2010 and 2011. He blocked for Chandler Harnish, another potential draftable prospect, who was sacked a mere 23 times in the last 2 seasons. He’s expected to be a late round pick or a priority free agent. He has a bright future ahead of him. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-NFL Draft experience.
The Football Fan Spot:First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Who did were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch? When did you first realize that you had a really good shot at the NFL?

Scott Wedige: Been playing football since grade school. Favorite players growing up, Brett Favre and Reggie White. Favorite player now Jeff Saturday. Favorite team Green Bay. I never really knew I had a chance until I started getting calls from agents and it kind of never felt real until Pro Day and saw scouts meeting with me.

TFFS: It’s been roughly 2 or 3 months since the end of your season. In what ways, if any, do you think you’ve improved since the end of the season?

SW: I have improved my overall conditioning, strength as well as my athleticism. My trainer Kevin Barcal of Breakaway Athletics does a great job and pushes us farther than I thought I could.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

SW: I have heard anything from 5th-7th round as well as priority free agent. If I am drafted it will be a blessing and I have no idea where or when I will be drafted if at all.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

SW: I would say I like to model my game after my favorite player Jeff Saturday. He is an extremely intelligent player who plays hard and goes about things the right way on and off the field.

TFFS: Which NFL players, if any, have been helping you as you transition to being an NFL player?

SW: I have got to meet with Ryan Diem and Jeff Saturday to work out. Those guys taught me a ton and have been a guide for my transition from college to pro. My agent Cliff Brady has also been a mentor and a great friend through this entire process.

TFFS: You didn’t get a chance to attend The Combine so your Pro Day was extremely important. Were you satisfied with your performance? Which drills do you think best displayed your abilities?

SW: I was pleased with my numbers. I have done better in training but I ran a 5.1 40, 4.5 shuttle, 7.8 L drill and 25 bench reps. I think that the on field drills shows my football talents as well as how well I can move and bend. I think my pro agility displayed my quickness and flexibility.

TFFS: Give me a little bit of a self scouting report, what do you say you could contribute most to an NFL team? What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

SW: I think that what I offer a team is an intelligent player that plays hard and has a great work ethic on and off the field.

TFFS: Shifting from you to your team, what is one thing about Northern Illinois football you think the common fan should know?

SW: NIU is a university with more pride and love surrounding it because we do thing the hard way and the right way. I am proud to be a Huskie.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

SW: If a GM was in front of me I would say that you are drafting a guy who has a great work ethic, a great student of the game, and nasty playing style who can help your club right away and I promise I won’t let you down.

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Brooks Reed

Today at The Football Fan Spot, we have Brooks Reed, a defensive end prospect out of Arizona. Reed started 3 seasons as a defensive end at Arizona and was one of the premier pass rushers of the Pac-10. He was a team captain and is known for his non-stop motor. He stood out at The Senior Bowl and is widely regarded as a 2nd round pick lock, thanks to his experience, his motor, and his ability to play both a 3-4 and a 4-3 scheme. He has a bright future ahead of him. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-NFL Draft experience. 

The Football Fan Spot: First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Who did were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch? When did you first realize that you had a really good shot at the NFL?

Brooks Reed: I started playing football at about the age of 8 or 9. I grew up watching the desert swarm at the UofA (University of Arizona) with Tedy Bruschi and co. I never watched that much NFL, mostly college on Saturdays. I knew I wanted to play in the NFL when I was young but I never realized my potential until later in college.

TFFS: It’s been roughly 2 or 3 months since the end of your season. In what ways, if any, do you think you’ve improved since the end of the season?

BR: I had a great learning experience at the Senior Bowl. I had a chance to be coached by the Bills D-line coach, and really learned a lot in a short amount of time. It was nice to see how NFL coaches ran practice. The speed and intensity of practice was about what I expected, considering every player was trying to impress scouts and coaches. I also had a great opportunity to work with Barry Gardner, my linebacker position coach. I feel like I have come a long way with his help.

TFFS: Which, if any, NFL teams have met with you up to this point?

BR: I talked to a lot of 3-4 teams looking for a standup linebacker, and a few 4-3 teams looking at me as a D-end.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

BR: The lowest I have heard was 2nd-3rd round, but I try not to put too much into mock drafts. I guess I don’t want to get my hopes up.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

BR: I don’t really compare myself to anyone particularly, but I try to emulate my game after DeMarcus Ware, Dwight Freeney, Clay Matthews.

TFFS: Which NFL players, if any, have been helping you through the draft process?

BR: Earl Mitchell (former teammate of Reed’s at Arizona, a 2010 3rd round pick by the Houston Texans) has helped me through the process, mostly words of wisdom.

TFFS: There is a very serious threat of a lockout in the NFL, how are you prepared to deal with that once you get drafted?

BR: I am prepared to just stay in my home town and train until it’s over.

TFFS: Give me a little bit of a self scouting report, what do you say you could contribute most to an NFL team? What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

BR: I would contribute versatility and the ability and desire to play special teams. I would say my biggest weakness is being comfortable dropping into coverage and pattern reading due to the fact that I did very little of that in college, but that is a work in progress.

TFFS: A lot of rookies have to play significant amounts of time on special teams. What is your experience playing on special teams and did you enjoy it?

BR: I was a pure special teams guy in 2007, and just did punt team while I started at D-end for the remaining of my career. I love special teams, especially kickoff coverage. It’s something I take pride in.

TFFS: The general consensus around your Combine performance was that it helped your stock. Were you satisfied with how you performed at The Combine or are there some things you wish you could have done a little better?

BR: I felt pretty satisfied with my 40, but I felt a little disappointed with some of my other timed drills. I felt good about my position drills overall.

TFFS: You got a chance to play in the Senior Bowl. What was that experience like?

BR: The Senior Bowl was a great warm-up for The Combine, as far as interviews and competitive nature. It was cool playing with and against some of the best players in the nation. It really exposed things I need to work on at the next level.

TFFS: Depending on who you ask, you had anywhere from 18 to 21 sacks in college. Did you have a favorite sack, one you remember more than the others?

BR: One of my favorite sacks was against USC in 2008. It was a strip sack, and really was a momentum changer.

TFFS: More and more teams in the NFL are switching to a 3-4 scheme. Both the Packers and the Steelers ran a 3-4, as did teams like the Patriots, the Jets, and the Ravens. How do you think you translate to a 3-4 as a so called “rush” linebacker? Have you played linebacker extensively before? Are you comfortable dropping back into coverage and rushing the passer from a 2 point stance? Is that something you’ve been working on this offseason?

BR: I think I would translate well and I believe I have the athleticism to stand up and rush. I have zone dropped in college before and that was never really a big deal. I think the 3-4 rush linebacker is the best position on the field, but I feel like you have to be the most complete player, pass rush, play run and cover.

TFFS: Something that really stands out to me about your game, and I’m not alone in this, is that your motor never shuts off, ever. That kind of thing is actually pretty rare in the NFL. Has this just been the way you’ve always played or something you’ve had to work at?

BR: It is something that I really worked on in college, or when I made the position change to D-end. I have made a lot of plays with downright hustle, even with little technique. A great motor is essential for a defensive player, it’s all attitude.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

BR: I am a player that will provide versatility and a player that will give 100 percent effort every play.

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Coby Fleener

Today at The Football Fan Spot, we have Coby Fleener, a tight end prospect out of Stanford. He spent 4 years at Stanford as a tight end, starting for 3 years from 2009-2011. He and Andrew Luck hooked up for a team leading 10 touchdowns in 2011 and 17 touchdowns over the last 2 seasons. His 34 catches for 667 yards in 2011 put him 2nd on the team.

At The Combine, Fleener benched 27 reps of 225 at 6-6 244 and though he did not run because of an ankle injury, he is expected to run in the 4.5s or 4.6s at his Pro Day, which would make him one of the fastest tight ends in this draft class. He’s a borderline first round pick who probably won’t make it out of the first 40 picks. He has a bright future ahead of him. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-NFL Draft experience.

The Football Fan Spot: First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Favorite team to watch?

Coby Fleener: I started playing in high school. Growing up in Chicago, I was a fan of the Bears, but I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard.

TFFS: It’s been roughly 2 or 3 months since the end of your season. In what ways, if any, do you think you’ve improved since the end of the season?

CF: I have been trying to get healthy and strong, as I suffered an ankle injury at the end of the year. It has been tough to not be able to train fully with my other teammates trying for the NFL, but my ankle is getting stronger.

TFFS: Which NFL teams have met with you up to this point?

CF: I have met with a lot of NFL teams and nearly all of the tight end coaches. I have only visited one facility thus far.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

CF: I don’t know where I will be drafted, but my goal is to be drafted as high as possible.

TFFS: You didn’t get a chance to run or do drills at the Combine, but you have a Pro Day coming up. How have you been preparing for that? How is the ankle healing?

CF: I am still working on my ankle, and trying to make it strong. I’ve been practicing the various drills and running routes in addition to weight room work.

TFFS: Players always seem to get asked at least one weird question at The Combine. What was the weirdest one you were asked and how did you answer?

CF: The weirdest that I can remember is, “When was the last time you did something wrong, knowing it was wrong, and you did it anyway?” I explained the story of me sneaking out of the house in high school. In hindsight, speeding was probably a more recent answer.

TFFS: Give me a little bit of a self scouting report, what do you say you could contribute most to an NFL team? What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

CF: I think I can contribute in a variety of ways offensively and on special teams. I think every part of my game could be improved. I’m excited to just solely focus on football.

TFFS: A lot of rookies have to play significant amounts of time on special teams. What is your experience playing on special teams?

CF: I have played a good amount on almost all special teams. Most of my special teams playing was done in my first few years at Stanford, but I played KOR every year during my college career.

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Conte Cuttino

Today at The Football Fan Spot we have Stony Brook running back and NFL Draft prospect Conte Cuttino. Conte has been working hard in this draft preseason trying to get his name out there and get himself drafted. He is Stony Brook’s all time leading rusher with 3067 career yards and also added 245 yards through the air as well as 20 rushing touchdowns. He was part of two Pro Days, Fordham’s and U Albany’s, showing very good measurables with 40 times of 4.45 and 4.53 at 5-10 200, as well as a 40.5 inch vertical leap and a 10 foot 7 inch broad jump. He is currently regarded as a late round prospect. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-Draft experience.

The Football Fan Spot: First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football? Who did were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch? When did you first realize that you had a really good shot at the NFL?

Conte Cuttino: I started playing when I was 7 years old. My favorite players to watch were Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson. I don’t really have a favorite team, I just like to watch a good game. I have always believed I was capable of making it to the NFL, even as a kid. But it really set in when I was a junior and senior in high school – football came easy for me.

TFFS: You played last year in Division I-AA. How do you think playing in Division I-AA compares to playing in Division I? Would you say it’s a bit of a disadvantage coming from a smaller school background as you try to transition to the NFL?

CC: The major disadvantage comes now, during the draft process, because of the lack of exposure during my college career and because I was not invited to the NFL Combine. My college games were not nationally televised, and ESPN is not tracking my draft process. I have to push hard to get my name into the draft atmosphere, and there is always a comment made about the competition I played against coming from a small school. There is not enough credit given to the talent of D I-AA football players. If you compare my pro day numbers to that of the running backs at the NFL Combine, I rank amongst the top 5%. That should speak for itself in regards to the stereotype of D-IAA competition.

TFFS: Its been roughly 3 months since the end of your season. Do you think are an improved player since the end of the season and if so, in what way?

CC: I have been training at Parisi Speed School since the beginning of January. My trainers have definitely helped to improve my speed and change of direction, as well as my catching abilities, all of which is important for me to showcase at my pro day and team workouts.

TFFS: Which, if any, NFL teams have contacted you up to this point? Which teams sent scouts to your Pro Days?

CC: So far the Jets and Giants have been in contact with me. Many teams’ scouts were at the Fordham Pro day, including the Bengals, Bills, Browns, Chargers, Colts, Eagles, Giants, Jets, Packers, Raiders, Saints, Vikings and Dolphins.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

CC: I believe I am a hybrid type of back that is useful in many positions, so that increases my value. I would say I am a late 5th to 7th round pick.

TFFS: A lot of guys, especially from small school backgrounds go undrafted, sign with a team, make the practice squad, and then bounce around from practice squad to practice squad, maybe get a job as a 4th running back on a roster somewhere and then back down to the practice squad. I’m not saying that will be your fate and I certainly hope for the best for you, but if that were the case, how long of that could you take? At what point would you say, I know I’m a good running back, but this just isn’t working out for me, and then go down another career path?

CC: I’m a player that loves the game so, God forbid that happens, I’ll make the best of my opportunity and keep fighting, because the dream is never over until you stop trying.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

CC: I can compare myself to a Westbrook type of player, who can run on the inside and outside and is also a threat in the pass game with screens and in the slot position. I really have no one specific person that I model my game after. I try to take a little piece from all the great running backs and formulate their moves into a style of my own.

TFFS: You’re New York born and raised, what would it mean to you to be drafted by a hometown team like the Giants or Jets?

CC: It would be the greatest feeling in the world to live out my dream and be able to play in front of my family and friends.

TFFS: One of the biggest differences I see between college running backs who don’t make it as every down backs and those who do is pass catching and pass blocking. How comfortable are you running routes out of the backfield and picking up blitzes?

CC: I did a lot of that during my college career, so I am completely comfortable with running routes and blocking. Even though there is a big difference in size and speed from college to the pro’s, I’m sure I will be able to make that adjustment and be the productive back a team needs me to be.

TFFS: Give me a little bit of a self scouting report, what do you say you could contribute most to an NFL team? What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

CC: I am a very elusive, change of pace, type of back. I can make the first guy miss and am able to see the hole and hit it fast. I can catch the ball out the back field very well, and can be a weapon in the screen game. I also have experience in kick return and punt return. My weakness would be my size for the blocking game but I can still be effective in it.

TFFS: Shifting from you to your team, what is one thing about Stony Brook football you think the common fan should know?

CC: Stony Brook Football has very talented athletes that have the talent to play on Sundays. In the near future, Stony Brook will be a place where NFL players get drafted from often.

TFFS: Any plans for draft day?

CC: No plans, just relaxing and not letting the day get the best of me. Definitely a lot of praying with the family, and eyes and ears tuned into the TV.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

CC: I am a great character player. Growing up in a household with correction officers for parents, I was raised with great discipline and respect. I am a versatile back and can be used in multiple ways within your offense. I can also return kickoffs and punts while still being a threat in the pass game. You can always count on me to represent your team and the league in a respectful manor.

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David DeCastro

Today at The Football Fan Spot, we have David DeCastro, a guard prospect out of Stanford. He spent 3 years at Stanford as the starting right guard, starting as a freshman in 2009. He helped pass protect for Andrew Luck (sacked 23 times in 3 seasons), as well as run blocking for three top-20 running games (10th in 2009, 18th in 2010, 20th in 2011). In 2010, he was a 2nd team All-American and a unanimous 1st team All-American in 2011.
He declared for the draft this year as a junior. Some consider him the best interior line prospect since Steve Hutchinson went 17th overall in 2001 and the safest pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He is a virtual top-20 pick lock and could go as high as 11 to Kansas City. Other options include 12 to Seattle, 13 to Arizona, 17 to Cincinnati, 18 to San Diego, 19 to Chicago, or 20 to Tennessee. If he goes in the top 14, he would be the highest drafted true interior lineman since Colorado’s Chris Naoele went 10th overall in 1997.

He has a bright future ahead of him. Today, he is here to tell us about his game and his Pre-NFL Draft experience.

The Football Fan Spot: First, a little bit of background stuff, when did you start playing football?

David DeCastro: I started playing in high school.

The Football Fan Spot: Who were some of your favorite players to watch as a kid? Favorite team to watch?

David DeCastro: I’m from Seattle so I always liked watching the Seahawks especially when they had Steve Hutchinson.

TFFS: It’s been roughly 2 or 3 months since the end of your season. In what ways, if any, do you think you’ve improved since the end of the season?

DD: I’ve been training hard so definitely getting bigger stronger and faster.

TFFS: Which NFL teams have met with you up to this point?

DD: I met with a good amount at the combine.

TFFS: I have always found it very interesting to ask prospects what round they believe they will be drafted in, so, honestly, putting aside where you think you should be drafted, what draft range do you think you will be drafted in?

DD: I honestly I could care less. People ask me this and I tell them the same thing every time. Why bother trying to figure out something that you have no control over. I’d rather spend my time and energy focusing on the things I can control and can get better at that will allow me the potential to be drafted as high as possible.

TFFS: Who do you compare yourself most to in the NFL? Is there anyone you model your game after?

DD: I like to try and imitate guys like Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca and Logan Mankins.

TFFS: Were you satisfied with your Combine performance? Which drills do you think best displayed your abilities?

DD: For the most part I thought I did ok. I wasn’t happy with my forty. Could’ve done better on the broad. Vert was about right. 3 cone was solid. Short shuttle I stumbled and I could’ve sworn that we were going to be given two tries. Bench was ok.

TFFS: What is your biggest weakness or thing you need to work on most?

DD: There are plenty of things. But I need to focus most on anything technical. Using my hands both in the run and pass game with better placement and having better center of balance.

TFFS: How do you plan to spend draft day? What’s the first thing you’ll do once you get drafted?

DD: Haven’t thought that far ahead.

TFFS: One final question, if an NFL GM were standing right in front of you and asked you, why should we draft you, what would you say to him?

DD: Hopefully they already know the answer to that question or I wouldn’t be in that position.

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