Recently I was able to conduct an interview with Brandon Spoon, LB, North Carolina. Brandon has been a very consistent player throughout his collegiate career and now will take his talent to the NFL. At 6'2", 244, Spoon plays with the intensity and intelligence that is required to play MLB at the professional level. His performance at the Senior Bowl helped him out tremedously and with good combine numbers, he could elevate even more. Below is some info on Brandon, followed by our interview.
Q: Brandon, what kind of person will an NFL team be getting when they draft you?
B.S.: They will be getting an extremely tough, physical, and hard-working player. I have the athletic and intellectual tools to make an impact, and I will do whatever I have to do to help my team win. I do film work on my own to better prepare myself. I am also the son of a coach so I have been around football all of my life. I am very coachable.
Q: What have you heard from scouts on your current draft status? Are you encouraged by what you've heard?
B.S.: My current understanding is around the 3rd round. Of course I would like to be a 1st round pick, but I am glad I have the opportunity to play in the NFL. I feel that, however, my week at the Senior Bowl along with a good workout at the combine could help me.
Q: Rank you 3 playing strengths.
B.S.: Toughness, physical strength, intensity. (Also my intellectual ability)
Q: Are there any weaknesses in your game that you'd like to improve on?
B.S.: I want to improve my pass drops and coverage.
Q: Who do you credit for your development as both a player and a person. Can you describe your reason behind the answer?
B.S.: My father is my greatest influence. He was a high school coach, and he taught me so much other than football. Football is a game of toughness, both menatl and physical. That part was natural. What he taught me was more about life and people. The things he taught me before he passed away were far more important than any football technique.
Q: What are your goals for your rookie season in the NFL? Do expect to be an impact player immediately?
B.S.: I would love to be an impact player, as would every draft pick. However, my goal is to do whatever I have to do to, first, make the team, and then help the team win. I just want the opportunity to play and I'll work hard to take it from there.
Q: You're a little over 2 months away from being drafted. Is it overwhelming to you? What's in your head?
B.S.: It is a little overwhelming. I have a wife and a daughter due in April, so I am a little anxious to know where we have to go to help set up everything for them. But I understand a lot of what is going on around me so I just try to keep focused. Nothing is written in stone for me. I can only control what is in front of me.
Q: Do you feel you're menatlly and physically prepared for the NFL style of play? How have you prepared yourself?
B.S.: I feel I am prepared, but there is also a lot more I have to learn. Physically it is a matter of conditioning and ability. Mentally is the tricky part. Playing with 50 other grown men is a lot different than college. The NFL is a business. The players do this to support their families. It is a job. You also have to learn the little things about the game that make it easier. Just like college, you learn tricks to give you an advantage. The NFL has even more. All I can do is work hard and pick up things as I go along.
Q: With everything going on around you, how are you able to stay level and focused?
B.S.: I stay pretty focused. The only hard part for me is getting ready to start a family. That is a big step for my wife and I and we are nervous. We both know that our future is up in the air right now. We are ready to go wherever we have to. Our main thoughts are for a healthy baby.
Q: I have a 14 month old son of my own and it's a beautiful to see the new things he does each day. What do you think fatherhood will do to you? Are you anxious?
B.S.: Fatherhood will keep me at home a lot more. Instead of going to see my friends or taking trips, I am going to want to play with my daughter. That day will be the happiest day of my life.
Q: You had a FANTASTIC college football career at UNC and you topped it off with some dominating practices at the Senior Bowl. In my mind you were the best LB in Mobile. Do you feel you're getting the credit you deserve?
B.S.: I feel that I was initially judged on my play my senior year. I admittedly did not play as well as I wanted. Coming off of a serious injury was an adjustment. I had to get the kinks out early on and it showed in my play. I also did not feel comfortable in our defensive scheme last year until the middle of the season. I feel my last three or four games I played well, and I continued into the Senior Bowl. I can't control they way people see me or rate me. I just have to work hard. A good workout at the combine along with the Senior Bowl will only help me. I played with some great players at the Senior Bowl so it was an honor to be among them.
Q: How do you feel you rank among the other LB prospects in this year's draft?
B.S.: I feel that I rank up there with the top LB's. I have the physical tools along with the athletic ability. I also am very smart and have great instincts, but it doesn't matter what I think. We'll see on draft day.
M.G.: Brandon, you're an excellent football player and I wish you and you're family the best of luck. Congratulations on all your accomplishments on the field, and from one father to another father, congratulations on becoming a Dad. I look forward to us speaking again soon. Thanks.
B.S.: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview Matt.