BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Podcast of April 29, 2017:BBI’s Mike Siegel chats with veteran draft scout, Dave Te Thomas of The NFL Draft Report, and BBI’s SY’56 about the New York Giants’ selection of running back Wayne Gallman (Clemson) in the fourth round, DE Avery Moss (Youngstown State) in the fifth round, and offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh) in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Since 1968, Dave Te Thomas has been producing scouting reports on draft prospects for professional football teams, writing articles about the draft and NFL preseason, and appearing on local and national broadcasts across the country.
SY’56 has been scouting 500+ players per year since 2006 and has developed his own grading system. His work has landed him a position with Ourlads.com. He spends 20-25 hours per week on scouting players throughout the year.
On the third and final day of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected running back Wayne Gallman (Clemson) in the 4th round, defensive end Avery Moss (Youngstown State) in the 5th round, and traded up in the 6th round for offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh). The Giants gave up their 7th round pick (241th overall) to move up seven spots in the 6th round to draft Bisnowaty.
WAYNE GALLMAN SCOUTING REPORT: Fourth-year junior. Gallman is a well-rounded running back with good size (6’1”, 215lbs), vision, and decent elusiveness and speed. He is a slashing, cutback runner. Gallman lacks explosiveness, but he is very competitive and runs hard. Gallman can pass protect and catch the football.
SY’56’s Take: “Gallman is a pro ready back but I don’t think he is ever going to be a feature guy, which is fine. His ability to plant his foot and burst combined with his toughness can make him a dangerous player. He became a much better blocker and receiver this season as well. I wish he could hold on to more weight and protect the ball better, but you could do much worse than having him as your number two back.”
AVERY MOSS SCOUTING REPORT: Moss began his collegiate career at Nebraska where he was dismissed for an off-the-field incident. Moss has good size (6’3, 264lbs) with long arms and is a good athlete. Moss flashes as a disruptive run defender and pass rusher, but he needs to get stronger at the point-of-attack. He is a competitor who plays hard. Needs technique work.
ADAM BISNOWATY SCOUTING REPORT: Fifth-year senior. Bisnowaty played left tackle at the collegiate level but could project to right tackle or either guard spot in the pros. Bisnowaty looks the part with a good frame (6’6”, 304lbs) with long arms and huge hands. He lacks ideal agility in pass protection and mauling power as a run blocker, but he is a scrappy player with good intangibles. Smart, tough, and aggressive. Bisnowaty works to finish his blocks and has a mean streak. Somewhat injury prone.
SY’56’s Take: “Early in the 2016 season, scouts were talking about Bisnowaty as being the top guy in this class. Potential top 10 overall type. It’s easy to see why because of his easy movement out of his stance and ability to mirror a defender with excellent lower half balance and quickness. He did suffer an injury somewhere around the midpoint of the season that made his tape look weak in the second half, but even at full strength I never quite saw it from him. He didn’t move guys. More of an absorber rather than an attacker. Too easily thrown around. Those things bother me as much as a guy with really slow feet. I think he may be best suited for backup swing duty.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: The fourth round pick we took, Wayne Gallman from Clemson, running back. Wayne’s a versatile back and is very productive. Three years of production there. High level of competition. I think he ended up with 36 touchdowns. We think he can create a lot of competition in that running back group. Very versatile, played on special teams as well. Actually, I think he was a linebacker in high school, so that helps him as a special teamer when those guys play different positions in high school. We thought he was a nice addition to our running back group.
Avery Moss, defensive end from Youngstown. Avery is really a true defensive end. You don’t see a lot of those guys these days but he’s a true defensive end that can play the run, rush the passer. Big guy, has a lot of upside. We think he is just now scratching the surface of where we think he can be. We really like his skill set and really think he can come in and help us in that d-line group and at that defensive end position.
Bisnowaty, a tackle from Pittsburgh. He played a lot of football for them. A big guy that is tough and rugged. He’ll get into our offensive line group and challenge for a spot there as well.
Q: Do you see Bisnowaty as a tackle or a guard?
A: We think he’s a tackle. We’ll start him out at tackle. That’s the coaches. They can do whatever they want to do with him. I think he’s a tackle.
Q: You traded up seven spots and gave up a draft pick to get him. Why?
A: We thought that there wasn’t a lot left on the board in respect to offensive line. He could’ve easily been there but we had a little huddle and said let’s go get this guy if we can. We gave up our seventh round pick to get him.
Q: How important was it to get an offensive lineman in this draft?
A: We wanted to help the offensive line but we didn’t want to reach for anyone and we did that. We always want to help every position and offensive line is a position that we tried to help, but again, we’re not going to reach for anyone.
Q: How difficult was taking Moss as far as character and background?
A: Yes, he has had some issues. I think you have talked to him some already but he has had some issues and we think he’s well past those things. We’ll definitely keep an eye on that and if he needs any help in respect to that, we’ll definitely be there to help him. He’s a really well spoken young man that has been through some things. We think he has everything together now.
Q: How much did you evaluate that type of situation?
A: I can’t talk about some of the personal stuff that we talked about in respect to him, but we had a lot of conversations about it and we feel good at this point. We think he’s gotten past those things.
Q: Does Gallman preclude you picking up a veteran running back in the next couple weeks?
A: No, we keep all our options open in respect to that. We keep all our options open as we move forward. There’s a long way to go before we play. We will keep all our options open.
Q: Did you have Joe Mixon on your board?
A: I’m not going to talk about who we had on our board.
Q: How do you come away from this draft feeling about it overall?
A: We always try to get players that can help us now and obviously players that can help us down the road. I think we have a good combination of both of that. I always tell you guys, our first three picks we think should come in and be contributors right away. Hopefully the guys on the back side of your picks can help you as well.
Q: What’s next for these guys?
A: Not a lot to do until they get here (in two weeks).
Q: When you look at your roster that you have at this point, where do you see the team most improved at this point?
A: We tried to improve every part of the team. I don’t know what part is the most improved position. As we move forward, we have plenty of things we would like to do before we get to preseason. Obviously, after preseason there will be cuts. We will be tinkering with the roster all the way until we play Dallas.
Q: Is there one thing that you focused on this offseason that you feel you got accomplished?
A: No, we just focus on trying to get good players added to the roster.
Q: Is the placekicking situation something that needs to be addressed?
A: We’ll continue to look at that. We have a young kid (Aldrick Rosas) on the roster with a big leg that we want to take a look at and see how he looks in the spring. There’s always going to be veteran kickers out there available. We will see where that goes. There will be free agency after the draft here and we will see what’s left out there after that as well.
Q: Do you expect to add one as a priority?
A: We’ll see. We’ll keep our options open but that’s a possibility.
Q: How do you think Gallman works with Perkins?
A: That’s up to the coaches. We just try and pick a good football player right there. We think he’s that. He’s a three-year producer there. Young kid, tough, kind of linear for a running back. Tall for a running back. I think he’s a little bit over six foot, maybe just six foot. He looks taller when you think about running backs.
Q: You have 13 roster spots open. Do you plan on being aggressive and filling 13 spots?
A: Yes, we’ll go hard and look and see what’s left on the board. We’ll see if there is a position that we want to fill moving into training camp. We’ll go hard in free agency. That’s a big part of what we’re trying to do right here right now.
Q: Were there any trends that you noticed in this draft that were different?
A: I really haven’t thought about that much but I try not to be surprised by anything that happens in the draft.
Q: What was Ben’s involvement like and was it greater, less than or different than last year in any way?
A: He was very involved like all of our coaches are and all of our personnel people are. We pick players together. We come to a consensus to who we like and we live with the consequences after we take them.
Q: Have you talked to Eli?
A: We did communicate with him, yes.
Q: Were you happy with what you were able to do?
A: We’re always happy with the draft. It’s a long process and a big project. A lot of time, work and effort goes into it. Our scouts, who again probably no one in here knows or most don’t know who they are, just happy for them. We feel like we got some good players for the labor that they put into being on the road for probably close to 200 days a year and really digging these guys out to put them in front of myself and all of our personnel people. Happy for them that we feel like we got some good players.
Q: Does the extra week from now to the start of rookie minicamp change how you approach the undrafted process?
A: No, not really.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: How do you evaluate how this draft looks?
A: It feels good when it’s over, but it’s not over because we have all these undrafted free agents. Got to start attacking and this is really the fun part right now. Everything else was structured and easy, this process is very hectic.
Q: Those phone calls already started?
A: No, that’s not legal.
Q: Jerry Reese mentioned that you traded your 7th round pick because no one at the top of your board was left, is this true?
A: Yes. We felt really good about Adam Bisnowaty and we didn’t want to miss out on him, compared to some other people that you may have to wait on in the sixth, and then wait on in the seventh round. We felt that he was worth packaging those two picks to get.
Q: Can you take us through the process on Avery Moss and his checkered past?
A: Just like any player, our scouts do an excellent job with digging into the background with the coaches, with his former coaches, off the field. We have tests that we give, a psychological test; obviously, with a person like Avery, who has something that was known, you do extra. That’s what we’ve done throughout the whole process and we felt good about taking him right now, based on his last two years of maturity and the help that he’s received. So we felt good about him as a person.
Q: Did you count on Coach Pelini’s recommendation?
A: Without a doubt. One of our scouts, Steve Devine, has a very close relationship with him. You have to rely on your scouts and trust the people that they talk to and trust throughout the process.
Q: How much is that talked about before you draft a guy?
A: We have draft meetings, extensive draft meetings, where we thoroughly vet every single player. Those things are talked about and the way we do our process, which is maybe different than other teams, we kind of go through a mini-meeting about each player as we are approaching our time on the clock.
Q: Waiting until the sixth round to get an offensive lineman, is it safe to say that you guys thought this offensive line class was bad?
A: We stuck to our board from the first round until the sixth. We’re not going to reach. If we feel like there is a player of value and need at the right place and the right time, we are going to take him. We’re just not going to jump over players that we feel are better players who can contribute to reach for a perceived position of need.
Q: You drafted three guys within an hour of each other in Georgia. Has that ever happened before?
A: Yeah, we wanted to save on flights. Get to Atlanta, Delta and all get on the same flight and come on up.
Q: Is that abnormal?
A: I guess, I don’t know. Check it out, do the research. There might be a lot of guys from Florida, Miami that might have got picked. I don’t know, I never even thought about that.
Q: The offensive line is perceived as a position of need. Do you look at it like you really need an offensive lineman?
A: We look at it as we need good players at every position, at every position.
Q: It was a perceived position of need with others and you got one. Why so late for a tackle?
A: We took six players. How many positions are there on the field? Ten. So you can kind of check, oh man we could’ve got four, maybe if we had four more picks we could have got those. We’ll see when we get in free agency.
Q: Is it fair to say that inside this building you feel better about your offensive line than outsiders?
A: Probably inside this building we feel better about a lot of things than most outsiders feel. We say left, you guys say right. We say up, you say down. It’s just the nature of what we do. We trust the people that we have here from the coaches to the scouts and that’s what we have to rely on.
Q: Are we right sometimes?
A: I don’t know, are you?
Q: Ereck Flowers just turned 23, and I believe that the lineman you picked today is 23. Is it fair that you guys believe, heading into his third season, Flowers has room to grow and that he’ll show that?
A: We still have high hopes for Ereck. He’s young. The guy started two years in the NFL and the guy is still young. He really should be coming out in this draft. So to say that you are going to throw a guy away for having inconsistencies his first two years in the NFL, I don’t think that is very fair to Ereck. We think he’s going to get better; he’s going to take a big jump. He does everything possible to get better; he’s in here every day working his butt off, so we have high hopes for him.
Q: Did Gallman and Tomlinson have any one-on-one interactions in the championship game?
A: I don’t remember a certain play where he tackled him or what not. But I have to check the tape on that one.
Q: You took 11 players from the Senior Bowl the last five years. How does that week factor into your evaluation?
A: It wasn’t something that was intentional. It’s just another venue. You want them to be good in the fall, you want them to be good at the Senior Bowl, you want them to be good at the combine, the pro day. You just want at each step of the way for them to have positive results. At the Senior Bowl, you get to see the best go against the best, especially for small school guys. Like a guy like Moss, he was at the East-West and really stood out there, so those are the types of players that you really like to see in those venues.
Q: What goes into the process of picking someone that you’ve not shown interest in?
A: Our scouts do an excellent job throughout the fall, and we have three scouts that look at them. I watch them, Jerry, the coaches watch them. We see them at the all-star games, the combine, so we’ve had plenty of exposure to a guy like that.
Q: Andrew Adams said last year that because Coach Merritt called him during the undrafted free agency period, it made a difference to him. Do you have a philosophy on that, or how you go about that?
A: We try to make those guys feel special throughout the process. We host players here, we try to stay in contact with them, almost as if it’s college recruiting. So we want those guys to feel special so when the time comes and we’re calling them, it’s not just a coach going down a list and checking off who is next. It’s that they actually feel like the New York Giants want them to be a part of this organization.
Q: Does it vary from the coaches and scouts who call guys?
A: We try to hit them with everything that we’ve got.
Q: You guys always talk about the importance of the first three picks coming in and making an impact. With this draft, I don’t think you’re expecting your third round pick to be contributing right away. So what are your expectations for Davis Webb?
A: Well, the thing is the instant gratification. But as long as he shows progress and the coaches are happy with him, and he’s doing the things that we think he can do, on and off the field, then you’re happy about the pick.
Q: Did you as an organization view it as a positive or a negative when Webb transferred after he lost his job at Texas Tech?
A: It was a positive. He wanted to play, he didn’t want to sit behind a guy. He wanted to show that he was worth being an NFL draft pick.
McAdoo: All right, Wayne Gallman, productive third-year player out of Clemson. (He has) upside in the pass game, comes from a winning program, glad we have him. Avery Moss is a physical football player; he has good length, plays with an edge to him. Adam Bisnowaty is a tackle or guard from Pitt. He has played a lot of football for them, has been a productive player, he is a physical player and we are glad that we have him. With that, let’s open it up.
Q: Where will Bisnowaty play?
A: It is still early. We are going to bring him in, see how he can play on both sides, both right and left, move him around a little bit and we think he has some flexibility inside as well.
Q: Will he play tackle initially though?
A: We will start him at tackle and see how he does.
Q: What did you like about Gallman?
A: Again, he comes from a winning program, had a tremendous interview and provides a spark and change of pace. He has a lot of upside.
Q: How does he compare or complement (Paul) Perkins?
A: Different type of player. He is a little longer type player. He has some speed and we feel like he has some upside in the pass game.
Q: He also has good ball security skills.
A: Yes, we like to maintain the ball. That is a big part of things and that is a big focus for us this year. He is a productive player.
Q: What about Gallman’s interview stood out?
A: He was well-prepared for the interview. You could see that he got football; it came clean to him. He did a nice job and was very ready, polished.
Q: How much did you put into the vetting process with (Avery) Moss?
A: We did our homework.
Q: Do you feel confident that he is not a risk?
A: We feel that he has turned the corner. If he needs any support or help when he is here, we will offer that support.
Q: With a player that has been through something like that, do you check that personally?
A: We do our homework.
Q: You personally?
A: We do our homework.
Q: Did you have a chance to catch up with Eli?
A: Yes, briefly.
Q: Can you share anything about that?
A: I am going to leave our personal conversations personal.
Q: Was it a positive discussion?
A: It was a personal conversation that I am going to leave personal.
Q: Bisnowaty said that he is a nasty football player. Is that something that you want in all of your linemen?
A: I don’t know that it is the most important quality, but it is nice to have someone that plays physical with that type of physicality and likes to finish plays and plays nasty and he is also from God’s country. That helps him. He is a good, physical football player. We are glad to have him. He fits our profile and has played a lot of football at a high level.
Q: How ready is Gallman in terms of pass blocking?
A: There will be a learning curve there. He has a lot that he has to learn about the pro game. It will be different systematically for him, but again, he did a nice job in the interview. He could really communicate what they were doing offensively and that is a good start.
Q: You told Webb last night that you can’t wait to get him the playbook. How does that process work?
A: We have to go through the CBA first. You have to look at the rules and when they say you can get a playbook in their hands, then you get a playbook in their hands.
Q: Do you think that the picks made today…?
A: Again, let’s get them here, let’s get them a helmet, let’s get them a playbook and we will see how they do.
Q: What are your expectations on the late round picks?
A: As long as they are here, they have a chance. Late round picks, undrafted free agents, we view them all the same. They are going to have an opportunity to go out and compete for a job and whether you get drafted high, drafted low or don’t get drafted at all, you are going to have an opportunity.
Q: After evaluating what you did last year, are you going to make any tweaks to the rookie minicamp?
A: We have made some adjustments, but again, the most important thing is that there are a lot of nerves involved early on in that process. So you want to make sure that you take them out early, give them a chance to walk through some things, jog through some things before you actually practice with them because there are a lot of nerves.
Q: Do you feel that your roster is better today than when you walked off the field in Green Bay?
Q: In what areas do you feel you are better at?
A: I feel that we have added a lot of competition to the roster. Whether it was through free agency, adding some pieces there, or through the draft, we have a competitive roster.
Q: Was there one part where you left Green Bay and thought that there was something you had to address?
A: No, I think it is important that you don’t reach for players. I think we did a nice job of that in this draft, I think we did a nice job last year. We added players who we feel can come in and compete, offer depth and possibly win jobs.
Q: What are your thoughts on the roster after this whole offseason?
A: Again, I think we still have some work to do. The roster is still not complete. There will be some undrafted free agents that will have an opportunity to come in here and compete for jobs as well.
Q: When does Quarterback School start?
A: Monday. I can’t wait.
Q: Will Davis (Webb) be here?
A: No, he will not be here Monday. They will have a few days. They won’t be here next weekend, but the weekend after. When the rookies get here, they will stay here.
Q: Is there any reason why it is a week later this year?
A: The schedule is different because of the two extra weeks that you had. You could bump things up two extra weeks last year.
Q: Did this draft feel different as opposed to last year?
A: Just going through the process, trusting the process. Nothing new for me.
Q: Did you look at last year and think of anything going into this year that you could improve on?
A: I may have budgeted my time a little differently in some different areas, but I am not going to get into that.
Q: Do you look at the personnel on your offensive line this year and say that they will play better this upcoming season?
A: Yeah, I am excited to see the offensive line develop this year. I think that we have added some guys that will build competition there. We just added Adam (Bisnowaty). Ereck (Flowers) and Bobby (Hart) are both working very hard at the tackle spots and I look forward to seeing the competition and see how things shake out.
Q: How much do you have a set unit in mind?
A: I don’t have a set unit in mind. I want to see how guys play, how they perform and how they work together. That is a big part of things.
MEDIA Q&A WITH WAYNE GALLMAN:
Q: How’d it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: It was a shock. I’m just sitting here waiting and I heard that phone call. I just couldn’t wait to pick it up. I’m just glad to get that call.
Q: Why do you say shock?
A: I was hearing that I was supposed to go a little earlier than expected. Just this way, I’m relaxing to it and trusted wherever I was going to go through God. When that phone call came, I was just shocked. I didn’t know who it was. I’m glad it was the New York Giants.
Q: Just from seeing your tweet, it seems like you’re coming in with a chip on your shoulder it seems?
A: Of course, no doubt.
Q: How would you describe your running style?
A: I’m a hard, physical runner. I believe I have all the aspects in the running game that a running back is supposed to have. I have speed, power, whatever a team needs to get that extra yard.
Q: Are you familiar at all with Paul Perkins?
A: I watched him in college and watched a couple games from New York last year. I know a little bit about the running game.
Q: Do you think that you would compliment him well from what you’ve seen in his style?
A: Yes. I think I would be able to complement him and the offense well as well as any other thing that they would want me to do. I’m just ready to come in and work.
Q: Reuniting with fellow Clemson player B.J. Goodson?
A: Yeah, we have a relationship. I was just working out with him, these past couple of weeks, in Clemson.
Q: Will that continue when you arrive in the next couple of weeks?
A: Of course
Q: Did you have a lot of battles in practice with Goodson?
A: Yeah, a little bit here and there.
Q: Are you home right now? What is it like there?
A: It’s just me and my mom, my best friend, my dad, and my girlfriend. They are all excited.
Q: What is the feedback along this draft process for you? What did you take from what teams were telling you?
A: Pretty much, there was really no negative thing I’ve heard. That’s why I really didn’t know who I would get picked by. I knew everybody liked me, I don’t have a bad background at all, and I know my film is good, so it was a just a matter of seeing who was going to call.
Q: What was your contact with the Giants?
A: Actually, my first visit at the combine, either the first or second visit on Thursday or Tuesday, was with the Giants. I had a really good meeting with them. From then on, I really liked the Giants and Coach Johnson and everything.
Q: What made it a good meeting? Did you break down the plays, was it the conversation?
A: Conversation, breaking down the plays, and just the vibe that I came into the room with that I felt. I just liked them from then on.
Q: Did you have 100 less carries this season? What happened? Why did the number go down?
A: I did. We wanted to pass more this past year. It was all on my coach, Tony Elliot. That’s what the coaches wanted to do this past year. We ran the ball but it is what it is.
Q: The benefit of that was that you won a National Championship.
Q: Do you think that it hurt you personally though?
A: I am not trying to think about that, but I do know that throughout the year, those carries were ones that I wanted as a running back, of course. But I will do whatever it takes to win and if that means going out pass blocking and receiving, then I will do that.
Q: Who gave you the nickname “Train”?
A: Actually, my coach. (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach, Tony Elliot) and all the Clemson fans.
Q: What do you think of it?
A: At first I thought it was a little corny, but the more it was used – they ended up giving me a train sound whenever I scored or made a big run in Clemson Stadium, so I kind of just went along with it and accept it now.
Q: Did you do more pass protection this year with the offense?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: How did that go?
A: Yes, I believe that I improved over the year. At the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t say that I was doing my best job as a pass protector, but throughout the year I got better with my technique and it got us a championship.
Q: What was it like working with Dabo Sweeney?
A: Man, working with Coach Sweeney is just like working with a father figure. Coach Sweeney is all about family and just going out there and working hard each and every day. His standard is to just be the best and that is what we did every single day.
Q: Did you ever get tackled by Landon Collins?
Q: Did you ever run him over?
A: No, I don’t think I played against Landon.
Q: How about Davlin Tomlinson?
A: No, I don’t really remember Davlin.
MEDIA Q&A WITH AVERY MOSS:
Q: How did it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: Oh, man it felt so great. I am here at the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas with my grandma – she just had a stroke a couple days ago, so I was just with her and we were ecstatic to get the news.
Q: How is she doing?
A: She is doing good. She has shown mass recovery in the last week. She is moving faster than any normal patient really does and I wouldn’t expect nothing else from her. She is a fighter. We have been here with her day and night since about Tuesday. So everything has been going well on her end, to God be the glory, everything is good right now.
Q: Did this throw off your plans for this week?
A: Yeah, we didn’t have a lot planned, but this definitely changed everything. It changed our mood and everything because it is definitely a Lord’s blessing to even have this opportunity. But at the same time, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my grandmother, so it is just a precise thing of life – we had to be here and she was like the number one thing in my mind. It is a blessing that she is alright and it did change, but it was for the better. We are going to go family first on this one, but I am definitely glad that we were able to be here at the hospital and be able to watch the draft with her and celebrate with her, as she is getting better.
Q: Is she awake and alert now? Does she know that you have been drafted?
A: Yes, sir. She has a lot of her cognitive skills back, she is aware and everything like that and once I told her, she cried and I hugged her. She knows and she is excited. She said that she always knew I was going to go back to a cold state anyway.
Q: What do you think you can bring to the Giants?
A: From a defensive end, I know as everything I have had in my life, I have had a lot of adversity. Perseverance is a normal language for me, that is something I am used to and I just keep going through and keep doing. I am relentless when it comes to effort. I never want to give up on a play just because it is never done until the whistle is blown and I think I can definitely try to assist and learn from the D-ends that are already there and then just try to add on in terms of a pass rush standpoint, try to make some noise and help New York get to something big.
Q: Can you explain what happened in your dismissal of Nebraska?
A: My true freshman year, I came in off 17. I got charged with indecent exposure but that wasn’t what led to me actually getting dismissed. I got dismissed for going into a dormitory hall that I was banned from for a year. It is what it is. I waited to try and get back into the University of Nebraska. They dismissed me and I went to the FCS and coach Bo. I definitely learned from everything. I attended counseling from that incident and am two years graduated from that. It was a blessing not only to have this chance to be a New York Giant and play for the National Football League, but it’s a blessing just to get a second chance to play the game at another university. I felt like I was at my lowest in 2014 when I was dismissed. I was going through a crisis and didn’t know what was going on. I really found my faith with my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Everything came to balance once I added Him into my life. From there, everything has been good, so to God be the glory. I’m thankful for this opportunity and the road that came with it because it taught me a lot.
Q: How much of an impact did coach Pelini leave on your life because you followed him to Youngstown?
A: He’s a real life father figure. He may be one of the best coaches, if not the best coach, I’ve had. Another man I would want to have impact my life like he did. He came in from high school and told me, there was a lot of guys that were recruiting me and were telling me that I was going to be a starter and that they could make me an NFL player this and that. He came in and he was genuine and real. He said I may not be a starter there but that he could offer me opportunities. He said he needed me to work hard and this and this could happen. Everyone always sees the yelling coach Bo and all that, but he’s really a good dude. A fun dude. He’s really just the father that you have in the stadium. He cares for his players dearly. He just shows it and he’s a wonderful, good teacher also. He’s taught me a lot about the game of football. I’m sad to be leaving him but ecstatic about the opportunity and blessed that he was in my life.
Q: Was there a chance to go back to Nebraska if the coach stayed?
A: I was originally supposed to go back. The suspension that I had was only a year suspension. So after that year suspension, I was thinking I was going to come back. They had certain rules and protocols that I had to follow during that year that I was off to get re-admitted back into the university. So I went and did that; was expecting a call saying that I was going to be able to come back. After the end of the year after Coach Pelini was fired, they told me to find another school. That’s when I looked into other schools to go to, and I was going to go to another big D-1, but if I did that, I would have to sit another year out for transferring, so I’d only be able to play my senior year. So I decided to go to the FCS and it made perfect sense.
Q: What did you do for that year when you were out of school?
A: I worked at a car dealership called Sid Dillon in Lincoln, Nebraska. For a year, I would put in 45-hour weeks, and all that good stuff. That was my occupation for that entire time, from January to January.
Q: At that point did you think you would be in this position someday?
A: No, sir. I definitely was in a weird space, where I was trying to find myself.
MEDIA Q&A WITH ADAM BISNOWATY:
Q: How did it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: It was awesome. Just sitting here and watching, it is an unbelievable experience and opportunity I have in front of me and I am excited to get started and to get there and get rolling. Like I said, it was awesome.
Q: The Giants traded up to get you. How does that make you feel?
A: I think it says a lot about how they feel about me, which is great. I am ready to come in and get going and start hitting the field and just get out there and help the team to win that Super Bowl. I think it says a lot about how they feel about me and I am pretty excited about that.
Q: Are you a tackle or a guard?
A: I think it is whatever they feel like they want me to do. I played a lot of tackle at Pitt and a little bit of guard, but I am willing to play either one, so wherever the best fit is for me and the team and however we are going to win the most games is going to depend on where I play. I am excited to play either one.
Q: How would you describe your game?
A: I am a nasty football player. I get after people. That is something that I am very proud of – I am out there and I am physical every play, making sure that the guy across from me wants to quit. Everything I do on the field is nasty and physical and I take myself off the field with the preparation and I take that to the next level, so that when I get out there it is all football.
Q: What do you think you have to work on the most?
A: I think just continuing to work on the details of my fundamentals. I think it all comes back to that offensive line play and fundamentals are huge. If you continue to work on those every day and I think just continue to learn, keep learning, keep perfecting my game and skills every day and that will help me to become a better player and to succeed.
Q: Do you know much about the Giants offensive line situation right now?
A: Yeah, I know a little bit. A few years back they drafted a few guys and they have a few guys starting right now and there are some opportunities and right now I am just excited to come in there and get out there and do the best I can and help contribute to this team. I think that is my main thing coming out there.