ST. PETERSBURG, FL - DECEMBER 20: Coach Doc Holliday of the Marshall Thundering herd directs play against the Florida International University Panthers December 20, 2011 in the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
BTSC's Seton Hall and Steelers recently sat down with Marshall defensive tackle Delvin Johnson. After a solid three initial years for the Thundering Herd, Johnson came on his senior season, and has put himself in position to be selected in April's NFL Draft. The interview was so good (along with a technical malfunction), Johnson was kind enough to be interviewed twice.
1. What would you say was the toughest moment of your life and how did it make you a better player and a better person?
a. My toughest moment of my life would had to be when i propped because i didn't my grades did not qualify. I was forced to sit out of football for a year in order to get better grades. This moment made me a better football player because i did not take the sport for granted i realized that it could be taken away from you at any moment and it caused me to go harder.
2. What was the best moment of your life?
a. My best moment was starting my first game of my college career as a freshman. I then started to see all the hard work pay off and it was a good transition over for me. This was a very pivotal point in my career because it symbolized my crossing over from a boy to a man
3. What was your favorite moment in a college game?
a. My favorite moment in a college game was running out of the tunnel at marshall university. That place holds a very strong tradition and contains a lot of energy. Its just a wonderful place to play at and has the best fan support.
4. If you had to describe yourself to an NFL scout in three sentences or less what would you say?
a. I would say that i am a team oriented guy. I was raised by a married mother and father of 19 years so i understand the hard work that you blindly put in only to get results based on faith.
5. What is your biggest strength as a player? Weakness? How are you working to improve that weakness?
a. Biggest strength as a nose tackle would have to be my strength. I have great upper and lower body strength. My weakness i would say is my lateral quickness. I been working to improve that by aquatic workouts and treadmill workouts. So far i would say im seeing changes
6. What do you look for when you watch players like Raji and Hamtpon play the NT position?
a. when i watch the great nt's play the position like Raji and hampton i just study their leverage and how they play the game. They have brought so much to the position where it is looked at differently than it used to be.
7. What have you been hearing for a draft grade? How are you working to improve that stock?
a. Right now im hearing that i have a late round grade. When i work i work to prove doubters wrong. I work for a job. That way i will never loose edge dont. Right now im just working and improving my qualities to open up some more eyes on pro-day.
8. What are you looking to prove at your pro day?
a. A strong pro-day will just solidify myself as a elite nose tackle. I think that i have been lost in the shuffle a little bit. So a strong pro-day will most definitely open up some more eyes.
9. What is your favorite NFL team and why? Have any NFL teams interviewed you yet?
a. My favorite team is the carolina panthers because i am from South Carolina. Growing up as a kid i seen where the franchise was started and where they are now. I have been rooting for them every since they started. So far i have a couple of teams want me to interview.
10. Who would you like to thank for where you are in your life today?
a. I would thank my parents for where im at today. I was lucky enough to have two loving parents that raised a young man the correct way. At an early age it was instilled in my brain that you get out what you put in and ive been living by that standard my whole life.
11. Were you heavily recruited out of High School? What was that process like?
a. I was heavily recruited out of hs. The process was fun because i was a 17 year old getting letters from schools i been watching all my life. i just did not have the grades to qualify and get into those schools.
12. How does the recruiting process compare to the NFL scouting process? What are some differences?
a. That process is a small picture compared to the nfl process. Because coming out of high school i knew that college was promised for at least 4 years and the nfl is not. Your body is your vehicle and it you keep it tuned up it will take you as far as you wanna go.
13. Did sitting out a year before playing at Marshall help you or hurt you?
a. Yes sitting out that year made me realize my gifts and not to take them for granted any more. it made the game more fun when i stepped on the field. It re energized me in a way.
14. What was it like playing with Vinny Curry?
a. Vinny Curry is one of my best friends. When something was wrong he knew and would make me laugh. It was really fun playing beside him. And if i got to play with him in the nfl it would be great and fun.
15. If you could change one thing in your game to make you more elite what would it be?
a. if i could change one thing to make me more elite it would be my pad level. Sometimes i have the tendency to play a little high and it i would play lower it would be better.
16. Who do you think your game resembles?
a. I watch nick fairly a lot. He is a really dominant player. My game resembles a prototype nose tackle. I am 324 and move really great for my size.
17. Do you watch the Steelers play a lot? Would you like to play in their organization?
a. I watch the steelers a lot. I love their aggressive style of defense that they play. I would absolutely love to be a part of that. I would be thankful for any opportunity i got though.
18. You said you played basketball in high school. Were you a good player and how did that help with football?
a. I played basketball throughout high school and was good at it. I reached 1,000 points my junior year and started varsity every since the 9th grade. But playing that sport you have to be agile and mobile. When i learned that football would probably take me farther than basketball it was a easy transition from the hardwoods to the grass. I took my foot work and mobility and it made me better as a football player.
19. Would you say you are built for a 4-3 or a 3-4?
a. I think i am versatile and could thrive in any system placed upon me. I am not a stranger to any of those systems i have played them both throughout my college career.
20. Fill in the blanks: In ten years I will be ________________
a. In ten years i will be in the latter part of my nfl career. I will be looking to retire and put my college degree to good use.