Better Know a Prospect: Reggie Stephens

By: Joe D.

Better Know a Prospect: Reggie Stephens, Center/Guard from Iowa State

Today I had the privilege to interview a local prospect from Iowa State who very well could be drafted by the Cowboys (most likely on the 3rd day).

The readers of The Landry Hat and I would like to thank you for giving us some of your time for this interview.  The first series of questions are just get to know you questions.

1.What is your favorite TV Show? I watch Sportscenter quite a bit.  It’s one of my favorite shows.  The Cosby Show.  I can watch those two things all day.

2.What type of NFL fan are you? (just watch the SB, watch only your favorite team, have the shakes because there are no games) Definitely I watch everytime I get a chance.  During the season it’s kind of hard to watch because we have meetings on Sundays.  So I watch all the Sunday night games and the Monday Night games and then the early morning games.  I’m from Dallas so I’ve always been a pretty big Cowboys supporter.

3.Are you an Xbox or PS3 guy? I’m actually a PS3 guy.  Xbox is cool, but I always been a playstation guy.

4.What was your first paying job? I believe it was as a Camp counselor.  An all sports camp, helping out kids. They were pretty young kids, 8th or 9th grade.

5.I read that you major is business.  That’s correct? Yes.  I graduated in December 2008 with a business degree.

6.Prospects seemingly haven’t graduated college – is it normal to stop going to classes for the spring semester or is that atypical. Since I had the degree, I was taking grad classes.  I decided to stop that and focus on training for pro-day.  I know there have been guys I have gone to school with that take the last semester off and did not graduate.  Now they are back at school.  Depends on your situation and what you try to do after football with the rest of your life.

7.Tony Romo cited Jessica Simpson as his celebrity crush and months later began dating her. Who is your celebrity crush? (Laughing) No, no celebrity crush.

8.Are you concerned about the rigors of celebrity life and the temptations that follow? Are you concerned about being a target? I’ve been fairly fortunate to not have anything like that happen.  We’re a pretty small town in Ames, Iowa.  I think a lot of the football players are recognized.  I’ve been pretty fortunate to not have any type of run ins like that.  So I hope to continue to make good choices and not have to worry about that at the next level.

9.What are your hobbies? I like to listen to music and read.  Walter Mosely is my favorite author right now.  I read a lot of his books, murder mystery novels.  That’s just with the extra free time I’ve been having.  No classes and working out.

The second set of questions are football related.

1.How are you planning on spending your draft weekend? In my apartment in Ames.  I’ll be on the phone with my family.  I didn’t want to drive back home in Dallas.

2.I saw that Mike Tice attended your pro-day.  Were there any Cowboys personnel there? I do not believe so.  No, sir.  At the East West Shrine game I met with scouts from the Cowboys.  And I went to to the Dallas college day a couple of weeks ago.  We did do drills, physical and were on the field with the offensive line coach.

3.Did they fly you out, and did they fly you out first class considering you are a bigger guy? I went to Chicago, I don’t think it was first class.  Teams want you to come out to visit, they will fly you out.  I don’t think I deserve the first class treatment just quite yet.  We’ll reserve that for later on.

4.Were you upset that you didn’t get a combine invite? I was frustrated at first, but I tried to use that as motivation and also use that extra time to focus on things I was trying to accomplish.  I think I did even better at pro-day than I would have at the combine.

5.Is your agent more like Bob Sugar or Jerry McGuire? (Laughing).  I don’t know I can go that far.  He’s a pretty good guy, actually he’s a really good guy.  He’s really funny and he’s really honest.  That’s why we work so well together.

6.Has your agent expressed any concern about being able to finalize a deal, considering the upcoming labor disrest? He’s just taking it as it comes.  I have heard the stuff for the future, but we’re just making sure I have a spot in the current NFL.

7.There are stories that come out every year that some teams will provoke a prospect during the interview to illicit and evaluate their reaction.  Did any team use this tactic on you? I don’t think so.  Coach tice asked me to change a couple things while we were going through the drills to see about my response time to his coaching.  But I don’t think he tried to illicit a respone from me, no sir.

8.How hard do you believe the transition to the NFL will be?  Are you more concerned about the physical nature or the additional mental preparation of scheme and film study? I’m really excited about both of those challenges.  Learning more about football, being more mentally prepared for the game is going to be a challenge as far as learning the verbiage and terminology.  And the physical part, these are grown men, not 18 and 19 years old.

9.Would you say there is anyone overrated in the draft? No, I wouldn’t call anyone overrated.  I think there are a lot of good players from the Big 12.  The Big 12 will be well represented and hopefully they are successful.

10.Do you pay attention to mock drafts at all? No, not really.  They are interesting to look at.  I haven’t looked at one since season started.  They are fun to look at but I haven’t had a chance to look at them.

11.Who is the best player you have played against? Suh from Nebraska.  I read that you did well against him.  Would you characterize yourself as having done well against him?  We played well; we won the game.  He had his tackles and a couple of pressures, but I think for the most part we played pretty well against him.  I think I played pretty well against him; I had my opportunities.

12.Do you have an opinion about the BCS? Do you see any irony in the two big collegiate sports having a 2 team playoff and what could have become a 96 team playoff?  I heard an interesting argument.  The way the bowl system is, the trips and the bowl gifts, and the attention that goes along with bowl system.  I thought that was a compelling argument.  How you are treated when you get down there, and I think that system would be lost in a playoff system.  I don’t have a real big opinion on it.  The guys will play as many games you ask them to.  Play 4 more games after your season, guys will be happy to do so.

13.If you slip late into the 7th round, would you prefer not to be drafted as you have the autonomy to choose where you wish to play, or is it better to have been drafted though it may cost you some money and you can’t decide where? I think it’s a good opportunity.  Anyway I can get into the NFL will be a blessing for me.  Whatever the opportunity comes, I’d be happy to be drafted by anybody that wants me because I think that means they want me to be part of their team or at least believe you can make their team. However it comes, I’ll take it and run with it.

14.According to reports, your weaknesses are as follows: Not a natural knee bender and rarely blocks with leverage. Does not display footwork in space. Would you agree with that assessment and how can you improve upon that? Sure, those are probably fair.  But working on open space and leverage are things you can work on and make better.  I think when you are trying to get to the next level you have to be open to change, learning and I’m open to get better.

15.Some front offices will try and friend players on Facebook/Myspace to see if there are any redflags.  Have you been friended recently by any attractive women? No, not more than regularly for offensive line.  Is that a betrayal of trust or just the nature of the business?  It’s important for you to know what you are getting.  So I can understand that people would go to great lengths – do a background check.  I have been contacted for several background checks.  Going on Facebook you won’t find everything, but you may find something you don’t like.

16.Is there ever a temptation to take steroids to become a “Workout Wonder” and improve your draft stock? Personally, I’d be too afraid of any repercussions.  That’s not a good way to start off your potential NFL career.

17.I have spoken to some prospects who agreed to an interview, only to reneg after persuasion from their management staff.  Have you had any reservations about doing interviews? I haven’t had any reservations.  I have been very honest with teams.  I’ve been fortunate to not have any instances off the field, to where I haven’t had any character red flags.  I think if you are honest with teams, I don’t have anything to worry about.  Honesty rules out.

18.What is going to make you successful in the NFL? Flexibility. I can play different positions and do it effectively.  I’ve been through 3 different offensive schemes in college.  I have a good sense of offensive line play and offense in general.  I can adapt to a different schemes and systems.  I can fit into a lot of teams well.

Again, thank you for you time Reggie.  I wish you the best of luck in the draft.  And if you are drafted by the Cowboys, you better be good!

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