What was your reaction when the Broncos drafted you?
“Just a sigh of relief because I was sitting there at the table for a while. I didn’t think I would drop that far in the draft but as soon as I saw the Colorado area code calling my phone, I was excited because I knew immediately that I was in a great position. Watching the Super Bowl, I was thinking ‘Man, they need some extra DB help,’ so I knew if I could get there that I would be in a great position but I didn’t think I would be there. But the fact that I was and that I’m here now is a blessing by God because I really feel like this is a perfect position for me. I have great coaches, I have great older players to mentor me. It’s a championship team. I’m going against great receivers every day so I’m going to push myself. We have one of the best quarterbacks of all time, going against him. All of his throws are perfect so just going against that every day is going to get me prepared for the season and I’m going to be ahead of the other rookies in this same position as me because who I’m facing.”
Who was on the phone and what did they say?
“It was either John Elway or Coach Fox but they just told me that they were going to draft me and that they were excited that I was still there and they wanted me to come and compete right away so that’s what I was looking forward to. Then John Elway got on the phone. He was like ‘Hey, it’s John Elway’ and I was like ‘Man, it’s great talking to you. I’m excited and appreciate the opportunity and let’s get to work.’”
How excited were you to join a team like the Broncos?
“Very excited. It’s a team with great tradition, great winning tradition. I went to a school that had great winning tradition in Ohio State so just to be at another team with that same caliber was great for me because I could have got drafted anywhere where it was kind of poor, I’m not going to name any teams but there are definitely some organizations out there. The fact that I’m in this position, it’s just a blessing. A lot of things happened to me throughout that draft process but at the end of the day I think it worked out for my best interest, I just had to keep faith and know that it will work out.”
How do you think your transition from college to the NFL is going?
“It’s going alright. On a mental standpoint, you’re going to have to catch up to all the little things. For corners, it’s all about the little things, paying attention to the little things. At first it can be kind of fast and you’re going against great receivers every play and you can get mad at yourself and give up a catch here and there but you just have to brush it off and see what you did wrong and just continue to work on the small things.”
How big of a jump is it from the college playing level to the NFL?
“I think it’s a big jump. It depends on what school you went to. Practice-wise, Coach [Urban] Meyer, he practices us like crazy so the practice tempo is not the big thing. It’s just that every time you line up, you’re going against a guy that can beat you on your A game. That’s something that’s the biggest thing in the NFL that I see. If I’m not on my ‘A’ game and slacking for one play, it can be bad for me. It’s just that consistent attention to detail every play is going to take you far.”
What did you think when you were drafted with a fellow Big 10 player in
“I was happy for him because he was there [New York] also but he didn’t get picked in the first day. I kind of felt for him because I was almost in the same position. I had known him before and played against him a few times, we know common people and the fact that he’s on my team now is good. He’s a big guy so going against him is going to help me go against the bigger receivers in the NFL. Going against Cody is helping me a lot, we push each other to get better and I think right now he’s winning the battle, I can’t lie. But I’ll win in the long run.”
How have your teammates helped you during your transition from college to the NFL?
“I can’t even point out one single person because everybody is helping me. If they see me struggling, they’ll help me. Aqib [Talib], as a veteran, he helps me. Chris [Harris] helps me. Even Kayvon [Webster], he’s a second year player but he knows what I’m going through right now so he’s helping me. Cory [Nelson], my coach, Jack Del Rio, he helps me. Rod Woodson, we’ve got Rod Woodson, a Hall of Famer on the sidelines, I go to him all the time. All those guys, they see me as a young guy coming in and they know how it is. It’s tough for a DB to come in as a rookie and they’re helping me every day.”
What is the biggest change for you?
“The biggest adjustment is just the attention to detail on every play. I think that’s something that’s still something a great thing I possess yet. I think it’s something that got me in trouble in college. I’m still working every day to fix it but just that attention to detail, because like I said, you’re going against great receivers every play so if you’re slacking in your area it’s going to be exposed, especially with one of the greatest quarterbacks, he’s going to go find that matchup immediately so I think that’s the biggest thing but it’s a learning process. I’m going to get it down, I’m working on it. I can feel myself getting better, it’s all about momentum. As long as you have that good momentum, it doesn’t matter how you are in June or July, it matters how you are when the season starts. By that first game I definitely feel like I’ll be playing my ‘A’ game.”