Former Iowa State University defensive tackle and rookie free agent Jerrod Black chatted with NFL writer Matt Thornton this past weekend about his rookie free agent eligibility, what he could bring to the Dallas Cowboys if invited to their rookie minicamp, and finally his experience with former high school running back and current Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton. Check out the full transcript of the interview here.
Matt Thornton: Give me some of your measurable? What’s your height/weight? What is your 40 yard dash time? How many reps can you bench at 225? What is your best vertical jump? How far can you broad jump? What’s your time for the three-cone drill? What’s your time for the 20 yard shuttle?
Jerrod Black: My height and weight are 6’1” 315 lbs. I ran my 40-yard dash low at 5.0 and my high at 5.17. I repped 225 32 times, my vertical was 30” and my broad jump was 8’9”. My three-cone drill time was 7.58, and my 20 yard shuttle was 4.53 low and 4.6 high.
Matt Thornton: I know you graduated from Cypress Falls high school in 2007 and were a blue chip recruit who attended Iowa State. What was the last year you played college football?
Jerrod Black: My last year of playing college football was the 2011-2012 season at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA.
Matt Thornton: What have you been keeping busy with the past year?
Jerrod Black: In 2012-2013, after I had my pro day for the draft, I signed with a bigger named agent and I believed I was going to go to the Saints, but it ended up not happening. So, to get more film and to get more of what the coach’s wanted to see on record, I decided to go to Green Bay and play for the Green Bay Blizzard (Indoor Football League) which was sort of a farm team for the Green Bay Packers. I went to Green Bay, and was starting, and everything was great, but then I had an injury to my ACL right before the season started. I was actually going to get signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but with the injury I needed to go through the long rehab, and spent the summer in Minnesota rehabbing. Then when I felt like my leg was healthy again, I came down to Dallas and have been working out here for about three and half months at 4th and Inches Sports Performance with a bunch of ex Dallas Cowboys like Noel Scarlett and Willie Pile.
Matt Thornton: You started at Iowa State and then ended at Southeastern Louisiana University. Why did you make that transition and how was it?
Jerrod Black: I red-shirted and then graduated early from Iowa State. I then went on to pursue my masters degree at Southeastern Louisiana. I also thought it was prudent to transfer because Iowa State changed defenses when they changed coaches. I was more of a nose/three tech, more of a power guy, and coach was looking for a 6’4” finesse guy, which I just wasn’t that guy. They brought in their new recruits and I just went ahead and graduated and moved on.
Matt Thornton: Tell me a little about 4th and Inches Sports Performance and who you’ve been working out with?
Jerrod Black: 4th and Inches Sports Performance was originally started as a lineman facility. They just added Coach Willie Pile to work more with DB’s and WR’s. But, basically, it’s a great lineman facility. Noel Scarlett does a great job of explaining the game and working on mechanics. They also help you with pass rush and playing the run. Noel uses his football knowledge and what he did playing in the league, and uses that to help us out. I’ve learned so much and hear the stories about when he played with the Cowboys. They also have a number of NFL guys who cycle through there and that is helpful to guys like me as well to interact with them and hear from them. I’m trying to be a sponge and learn from them. This past weekend, as a matter of fact, they brought in Greg Ellis to talk to and work with us on our pass rush, and that was huge. Just being able to learn from a pro like Greg was outstanding. It’s a great place for me personally, because it’s a lineman specific facility, and getting knowledge from Noel and all those guys is great.
Matt Thornton: What makes you a special player in your mind? What are the unique attributes and skill sets you would bring to an NFL team?
Jerrod Black: I’ve been told that I have a great “get-off” the line of scrimmage. I have great power, as I bench 475 pounds which also works to my advantage. I’m also very knowledgeable of the game, I’m coachable, and I’m always around the ball. I also love playing the pass, but I enjoy playing the run as well. I am more comfortable playing the run because I think I’m better at it. As a nose tackle, I love getting into the gaps and really busting up the middle. I really consider myself a blue-collar worker. Going to the Indoor Football League to get more experience, then going through the year of rehab, I’ve never shied away from hard work. I just put my head down and keep grinding away and working. I’m ready to go, to say “I’m ready to go” is an understatement.