The San Francisco 49ers spent the 70th overall selection (third round) on USC center
How are you recovering from your knee and ankle injury? And are you healthy enough to play right now?
“My knee and ankle are 100 percent, and yes I am healthy enough to play right now.”
What do you know about the 49ers situation on the offensive line going in?
“I know that they did not re-sign the center from last year, and [G/C Daniel] Kilgore is now the main man basically in charge of that offensive line now.”
So, do you expect to compete with him for that position, or do you think guard is also in the mix for you?
“I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do. Whatever position that they need me to play I’m going to be willing to play. I’m going to come in and compete and represent my organization the best way I can.”
Right now are you more adept maybe on the left side as left guard, or are you equally as comfortable on the right side?
“My versatility allows me to play anywhere each side on the offensive line, whether it’s at left guard, right guard, or center.”
Did the 49ers kind of give you an idea of what to expect as a rookie, where you might be lining up?
“No, no they did not.”
Did you have an inkling that the 49ers were interested in you?
“No, I had no idea. Not at all. I sat back there in the green room in New York and just waited, waited patiently.”
Being from southern California, do you have any affiliation or just connection with the 49ers being a California team, or are you all Chargers and L.A.?
“I had some bias to the 49ers growing up as a little kid. It’s my mother’s favorite team as well.”
Did you get a chance to meet former 49ers offensive line coach Tim Drevno before you left USC?
“Yes, I have a great relationship with coach (Tim) Drevno. He’s an amazing person and a great coach.”
Were you the last guy in the green room?
“Yes, I was the last guy in the green room.”
What was that like?
“It was nerve-wracking. You sit there and you watch everybody else get called. But, obviously I just kept the faith and just kept my head on straight. I wasn’t upset. I sat there and did what I had to do. And when the 49ers called me, it was a great. I was ecstatic. Celebrated with my mom, my dad. You know, it’s a great opportunity for me.”
Aside of the offensive line, what do you know about this team’s offense?
“They are a high-powered offense. They’ve got some great receivers. There’s not too much that the 49ers don’t have. They are an amazing team.”
I assume you were expecting to go in the first round?
“I was expecting to go anywhere from the bottom of the first to the second round.”
Does this put a little bit of a chip on your shoulder?
“Definitely, being drafted later just makes you more hungry. I’m ecstatic to be a part of this organization. But, I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder. I’m going to work the minute I touch down in San Francisco.”
You’re obviously only 20 years old. Do you think your age will be a factor as far as them viewing you being ready to play right away?
“My age doesn’t have anything to do with my ability to play on the field. I think if a player is able to focus on being strong, being fast, being explosive and doing the things that he needs to do to excel at his position, no matter the age, that the player can be great and will be great.”
When will you be up in the Bay Area?
“I have no idea. I’m waiting to find out.”
OK, but you’ll be able to take part in OTAs? There’s nothing that’s going to prevent you from being here for the whole offseason for the rookies?
“Yeah, no I’ll be there.”
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