March 10, 2010
BERKELEY - Former Cal football players DL Tyson Alualu, TB Jahvid Best and DB Syd'Quan Thompson were among those that spoke with the media during Pro Day at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday. Following are selected comments of what each had to say.
DL TYSON ALUALU
On last month's NFL Scouting Combine
"The combine was pretty crazy. It was a great experience for me. I thought it went well. I talked to pretty much every team. You go in a room and all the teams are there. As far as formal meetings, I had about 16 of 17 where you go in and meet with most of the coaches and GM's."
On his performance in the bench press Wednesday
"There were a lot of questions after my bench [at the combine] when I hit 21. I did it here, [and] I hit 24. It's something that I needed improvement on."
On his experiences over the last two months
"It's been pretty hectic. This has probably been the longest two months ... It takes a lot of your time and energy, but I definitely enjoyed every minute of it and tried to make the best of it."
On what he was able to prove today
"It was definitely on the bench press. I wish I was able to do more but it was definitely a big improvement from the combine."
On playing in the NFL
"It's always been a dream of mine to get that opportunity just to play in the NFL and live my dream. It doesn't really matter to me where I get picked up, I just want that shot. I don't really have a preference [where I want to play]. I don't have a favorite team. Whatever team picks me up, that will be my favorite team."
On his excitement level about the next step in his life
"I'm really excited. It's just another chapter in my life. I can't wait for it to get started, to just to be in the NFL and be a professional."
TB JAHVID BEST
On why he did not participate in timed drills
"I came here expecting to do position drills, but there was only one running back coach here and he said he'd seen everything at the [NFL Scouting] combine so I didn't need to do anything else."
On his feelings about his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month, when Best ran the fastest 40-yard dash and three-cone drill among all running backs
"I was happy with my performance and it was a good day."
On whether it was a relief to exit the NFL Combine having given positive responses to all questions about his health
"Definitely, because I felt like going into the combine, a lot of teams felt like I still had a concussion. But they didn't know I got cleared from it so that was good news, and everything else checked out fine, so it was just a good combine for me."
On which mattered more to him, the time in which he ran the 40 at the combine (4.35 seconds) or the fact that it was the best time among all running backs
"I think both. Definitely I'd say time first, but being the fastest running back definitely mattered to me."
On his fondest memory as a Golden Bear and how he hopes to be remembered at Cal
"My fondest memory is the bowl game against Miami [the 2008 Emerald Bowl]. I just want to be remembered as one of the great backs that came out of here. There's a lot of them and if you put my name in that category, that just an honor for me."
On whether he ever thought he would be in the position that he is in now at the time that he entered Cal
"I was praying. It was a dream of mine and I'm in a blessed position that it came true."
On whether he was disappointed not to participate in any of the timed drills today
"A little disappointed. I was warming up and ready but when I was told not to participate, it was good news."
On whether he thinks questions about his durability are overblown
"I do, because my injuries were just freak accidents, out of the blue. As far as the pounding that I take, I do a fine job of taking a pounding."
On what the NFL teams he talked with at the combine would say when it came to questions about his durability
"They either agreed with me or disagreed, it was just kind of white or black in that category ... it was a lot more agreement than I had pictured. I felt like it was going to be a lot more who disagreed, but a lot of teams were good with it. [Regarding teams that disagreed] I think that's just their interview style. They just want to see how I react to that, but I just say what I believe in, so if they disagreed with it, I couldn't argue with them."
On where he would play in the NFL if he had to choose a team
"If I had a choice I think I would have to say the Oakland Raiders. Ever since I was born, my dad was an Oakland Raiders' fan and that's what he preached to me. Through high school that was my favorite team, so if I had to make a choice, I'd say Oakland just because of the history through my family."
On whether he was interviewed by the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, as well his talks with other NFL teams
"[Oakland] did interview me and I think I showed them `Raider speed,' so we'll see how that goes. The Niners were good, too. All the teams I met with, 17 teams, it was all good news."
On how he has changed since first entering Cal
"I've just definitely grown a lot ... I've learned a lot and now it's time to go to the next level."
On what he will miss most about Cal
"I think it's going to be my teammates. Just seeing some of the guys [today], I haven't seen some of them in two months. Just seeing them and bringing back memories, it was fun being here."
On what he looks forward to most about the next step in his life leading up to the NFL Draft this April 22-24
"It's going to be a big challenge, and I love challenges so I'm ready. I'm going to accept the challenge with open arms."
On where and when he thinks he might get slotted in the 2010 NFL Draft
"I have no idea. Personally, I don't care. As long as I get on a team, I know I'm going to get out there and be productive, so it doesn't matter where I go."
On whether this time is more stressful or exciting for him
"I'm excited. It is stressful but I'm more excited."
On what he has planned for draft day
"Right now I'm planning to have a mini family reunion at my house. We're going to pack as many family members as we can and just go from there, pray and wait."
DB SYD'QUAN THOMPSON
On his hamstring injury
"I have a hamstring problem and it was really sticking around today. It kind of effected how I was running."
On his frustration level with his hamstring injury
"It's frustrating because I'm not 100% and able to run full speed, but it's just something that I've got to deal with. I just have to work around it and try to get healthy."
On feedback he received from NFL teams at the combine
"I had good interviews and everything was good. They just need to see me run, other than that everything went good."
On his favorite memories of Cal
"The atmosphere around here, my teammates, and all the chemistry I was able to have with these guys. Just being around the facility and the fans and everything, there are a lot of memories so not just one stands out."