What have you been working on getting ready for the draft? I’ve been trying to clean up everything and be as clean and polished as possible. As efficient with my movements as possible. Keep my feet in the ground and not be so up and down. Little things like that. Quincy Avery and Shawn McLemore (?), my QB coaches over the last 6 months, having this time has been a huge benefit to me personally as far as working on the things I need to work on.
Do you think you can thrive in a west coast offense where you have to make quick decisions and get the ball out? Honestly, whatever situation I’m put in to, I’m going to be as prepared as possible to be ready to go whenever the coaches see fit. But I’m just looking for an opportunity anywhere. I don’t pick where I go. I’ll be super grateful to go anywhere.
Are you ready to be a starter? Whatever organization I go to, I’m going to be as ready as I possibly can day one. I’m a competitor first and foremost. So I’m going to compete for that spot regardless of where I’m at or what the situation is.
Your dad played defense and coached defense; would you say one of your strengths is being able to dissect defenses? Yeah, I would say just my football IQ overall and what goes into it. Not just my dad, but my coaching staff at North Dakota State helped prepare me with that. And the coaches I’ve worked with the last six months.
Who were your favorite quarterbacks growing up? I was a Florida Gator fan growing up. So Tim Tebow was my guy in middle school and early high school. Love the physicality he brought to the game and his passion for the game.
In today’s NFL game; how good a fit is it for you with your dual-threat ability? It’s huge. You see Lamar Jackson, and not only Lamar Jackson, but countless quarterbacks around the league that can move. That’s one of my strengths for sure. So I’m anxious to show what I’ve got and what I can do.
Difficulty missing a season and then no combine; what were the challenges going through the draft process? The biggest challenge was the combine being cancelled. Not having that opportunity, that’s something you dream of. My dad went to the combine. So that was something I was looking forward to. Not being able to meet teams face to face (was a challenge). Zoom meetings are, they’re good. But not being able to shake hands and meet with them and get up on the board a couple of feet away from you would’ve been really cool, and an awesome experience. But everything’s been going really well for me the last six months.
You incorporated some pro concepts into your workout today, particularly from Atlanta and San Francisco’s offenses. What were you trying to show there and what was it about those offenses? That was Quincy and my agent and the guys in my corner doing that and helping me out with those throws. I made most of my (throwing) script. But they added a good amount of stuff. There were some throws, certain play-action throws and a tight end leak and stuff like that that translated really well to what we did at North Dakota State. They were throws that I already had made at ND State on a pretty consistent basis, which helped me out for sure. But the purpose obviously was to show what I could do and show how I could fit to not only those offenses but any offense around the league.
Did you watch other college quarterbacks this fall since you guys only played one game? Not playing on Saturdays, I got a chance to watch a ton of college football. Which I wasn’t really used to. Watched the guys that I’m real close with. Was a ton of fun to cheer them on.
You were recruited by bigger school to play other positions; was that a source of motivation? It was a huge chip on my shoulder. When somebody tells you you’re not good enough at something, the competitor in me is going to want to prove to them that I am. It was pretty quick conversations with those schools. I felt I was a quarterback. I believed in myself. I had enough people that believed in me, that mattered to me. So it was a thank you but no thank you situation.
What’s the next month look like for you as you get ready for the draft? Stay in shape. I’m in the best shape of my life right now. There’s no reason for me to get out of shape. Just continue to stay healthy and get work in. A whole lot of Zoom meetings. Have as many as possible with teams. Get in front of as many people as I possibly can and just get to know whoever is going to be my future coach.
You had one interception in your college career, zero losses. How do you handle adversity in the huddle? A dropped pass? A pass breakup? I’m a very confident guy. Humble, but confident. For me it’s about turning the page on a situation. Positive energy is contagious. It’s a good thing.
Would you be opposed to sitting behind a vet for a year or two? My mindset is I’m going to come in and compete regardless of where I’m at. I don’t think teams want me to come in any other way. I’m a competitor first and foremost.