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Cecil Shorts conference call transcript


(on his height and weight) "Six feet, about 202 (pounds)."

(on his 40 speed) "I was low 4.4 on my pro day and a 4.52 at the combine."

(on if he knows Pierre Garcon, who also went to Mount Union) "I know him very well."

(on if he played with him) "I actually played two years with him. I learned a lot from him, actually. He was humble off the field and on the field he was just a monster. He really helped me through this process and at the combine, getting ready for that. And then at this point in the draft, knowing that anything can happen, don't believe what the 'experts' say because they don't draft anybody. The teams draft somebody."

(on if he visited Jacksonville) "No, I didn't visit Jacksonville. I met with them in Orlando at the East-West game and I met with them at the combine as well. I met with them twice."

(on who he talked to) "Pretty much everybody, all of the guys in the front office, the head coach and the wide receivers coach. I talked to Gene Smith twice, both at all star game and the combine. Coach Del Rio, he was at the combine."

(on if he thought they'd pick him) "I had a good idea coming into the draft that they would take me. I met with them twice and they seemed very interested. I think both interviews went well with them, both at the East-West game and at the combine. I talked to the receivers coach once after that. They said they were definitely interested, so I had a pretty good idea they were interested, I just didn't know that they would pick me. A lot of teams are 'interested' and whatnot. The draft is crazy, anything can happen so I'm just waiting to see my name called, and it was great when Jacksonville called."

(on if he's watched the whole draft) "Yes. Every year I watch the whole draft though, so it wasn't a big thing."

(on where he lives) "I live in Cleveland."

(on if he's from Cleveland) "Yeah, I'm from Cleveland."

(on where he went to school) "Collinwood High School. I'm a proud Railroader."

(on if he was recruited much coming out of high school) "No I wasn't. I had some Division II and III offers, so I had divisions that don't offer anybody [scholarships]. Division II schools I just wasn't interested, they weren't very good or whatever I didn't like about them, I decided to go to Mount [Union]."

(on if he had to pay his own way) "Definitely. The tuition was $32,000 last year. I was taking out loans and everything else. My parents were helping me along the way."

(on if he spent over $100,000 on his education) "It went up, it started at $27,000 and it went up each year. That's still a lot of money."

(on what made him go to Mount Union) "I just fell in love with the program. Coach Kehres is an excellent guy on and off the field. He's one of the best coaches arguably to ever coach college football. He's lost 25 games in 25 years, over 300-plus wins, 10 national championships. I'm not sure one coach has that many championships. It's a great program. I felt so comfortable when I went there and visited. I went there as a quarterback. I played quarterback for two years and I ended up switching over."

(on why he switched positions) "I had a good track year. My freshman year I got hurt in football. My freshman year I got hurt in football. My freshman year in track that spring I ended up All-American on the relay and then the coach came to me and said, 'Hey would you like to play receiver next year a little bit? You'd still be a quarterback, but you can play both.' So I was the second-string quarterback and the slot receiver. That was my redshirt freshman year of football and that was Pierre's last year. Once he graduated I had three years to myself and the rest is history."

(on what his injury was) "I tore some ligaments in my right ankle."

(on him being at Mount Union for five years) "Yes."

(on the tab being $125,000) "I don't want to talk about the tab. I won't be buying no cars. I've got to hold off on buying my parents a house. I've got to pay these loans off."

(on what he studied) "Physical education and health. I was thinking about communications first and then I decided I wanted to be a coach. That's what my father did and I look up to him really heavy. He's a player that coached himself and that's something I wanted to do in my life. That's why I went physical education and health, which he is as well. I'm kind of following his footsteps I guess."

(on what it was like to be involved with the draft and get picked) "It was a great feeling. I was getting feedback from my agent. We were hoping to go yesterday. We were hearing between (rounds) three and five, so we were hoping yesterday. Then today happened and he talked to me today saying, 'It's quiet, it's quiet. We're going to shoot for five or six [round]. And then right after that Jacksonville called. It's a great feeling."

(on who his agent is) "Bruce Tollner and Chase Callahan from Rep1. They represent guys like Big Ben, Mark Brunell who played with you guys for a little bit."

(on if he knows anybody on the Jaguars) "No, I do not."

(on who he owes the loans to) "I'm not even thinking about that right now. I'm excited about what's going on. It's a great accomplishment, the highest Division III player to ever be picked, by one pick. I'm just so excited right now. I'm not even thinking about the loans, but I'll figure it out soon."

(on who was the previous highest Division III player picked) "I'm not even sure. We've got to look that up. I think it's a guy from the 60s or 70s maybe, maybe the 80s. He went in the fourth round; he went pick 115 and I went pick 114."

(on if he was shooting to be the highest-ever Division III player to be picked) "I was hoping to go high as I can. I really wasn't thinking about beating any record. I was hoping to go as high as I can. I did everything I could. I gave it my all throughout the whole process. It's a long process, but I loved every minute of it. I wasn't thinking about that. My personal goal was to try to go higher than Pierre. He definitely paved the way for me. His success in the NFL definitely opened eyes up for me. I still had to do what I had to do on the field, but he definitely paved the way for me. As long as London Fletcher and other DIII guys, there's a linebacker, Andy Studebaker for the Chiefs, he's doing well, he got drafted. Pierre definitely paved the way for me and is a big reason why I'm in this position today."

(on if he was a quarterback the whole time before changing to wide receiver) "I was quarterback since I was seven years old. From seven years old through my redshirt sophomore year. My redshirt freshman year I was going back and forth. I was the backup quarterback and played slot. During my sophomore year is when I made the total change to receiver."

(on if he can still sling it) "Oh, you know it, no doubt about it. Once I get down there I'm going to challenge Blaine Gabbert to a throwing competition."

(on if he's right handed) "Yes sir."

(on if anyone suggest he play wide receiver coming out of high school) "People would say I had the best hands in high school on the team and whatnot. My father was a receiver at Kent State, so he taught me all of the positions. I was recruited as a running back, quarterback and receiver, but I wanted to play quarterback. I wanted the opportunity, I love the position. I actually think that helped me playing receiver because I know where the quarterback wants me to be, where I need to be. I can read coverages real easily. My knowledge of the game has helped me at receiver, so I think that's a good thing."

(on how big of a boost was it in confidence going to the combine and East-West game) "I was so excited to just actually compete and show everybody that I can play at this level. I played with a chip on my shoulder and I was so excited to just go out there and compete and just show that I can play. Yeah, I'm from a Division III school, but in between these lines it doesn't matter where you're from. You can either play ball or you can't. I think I did a good job at the East-West [game] and at the combine. I'm ready to get out there. I'm going to go work out tonight actually. I've got to come in and prove myself and help this team get to a Super Bowl. Everybody's goal is the Super Bowl, so I'm excited."

(on if the confidence comes from his father) "My dad told me since I was six years old to have dog confidence. You've got to have confidence in yourself. It doesn't mean be cocky or be arrogant. I'm not that type of guy, but I am a confident guy. I'm confident in my abilities and I can't wait to go out there on the field."

(on if he goes by Cecil Shorts or Cecil Shorts III) "Cecil Shorts III."

(on how old Cecil Shorts IV is) "He'll be here May 16."

(on if he was able to hang around Blaine Gabbert at the combine) "No, I didn't get a chance to. He didn't throw at the combine and I didn't talk to him or anything like that."

(on if he's married or engaged) "I'm engaged."

(on the wedding date) "We're not sure yet. We're still deciding on that so we'll see. It might be Memorial Day weekend next year."

(on his fiancé's name) "Chanel Simpson."

(on if she went to Mount Union too) "Yes."
(on where his father is coaching now) "No he's not coaching now. He'll be assisting to my little brother's high school next year as a wide receiver coach, helping out there."

(on if he's coached in the past) "He was my head coach in high school. He's coached everywhere. He's been a head coach, an assistant coach for a long time now, so he definitely knows what he's doing. He's very knowledgeable of the game."

(on if he's retired now) "No he's not retired, he's far from retired. He just wanted to be around everybody, be around the family. A coach has a demanding job, so he just wanted to be with the family and he'll get back at it next year."

(on where his last job was) "South High School in Cleveland."

(on being aware of Mount Union, being from Cleveland) "I didn't really know about Mount until my senior year. Me and my father watched a game on TV, and we're like, 'That Pierre guy is pretty good.' Then about January or February, after the signing day we went to a college fair and we met Mount Union and went down there. I ended up going there and choosing the school. I didn't know much about Mount Union until my senior year."

(on how big their stadium is) "We can fit about 8,000 or 9,000."

(on being a Dennis Northcutt fan growing up in Cleveland) "Big-time because we have the same birthday, December 22. He got drafted and we had the same birthday, so I was a big fan of his. I always hoped he did well."

(on if he remembers that Cleveland-Pittsburgh playoff game) "Yeah. I'm not a Browns fan anymore. I'm all Jacksonville now."

(on who he watched today with) "Yesterday and today, all of my family and friends. I had about 60 or 70 people over last night and then about 40 or 50 over here right now. It was a good moment."

(on where he's at) "I'm at home in Cleveland."

(on if he was thinking NFL when no one really wanted him in college) "It was always a dream. I think when Pierre got drafted, that's when it dawned on me like, 'Hey this can happen.' That's when I really started putting the work in and dedicating myself to try to make something happen. It ended up working out for me. I was hurt because I thought I let down my family and whatnot, but it's just another chip on my shoulder just to prove everybody that I didn't belong at that level. Every week I tried to prove I didn't belong at that level. It ended up working out for me."

(on if any bigger schools tried to recruit him after his first two years) "No, not really."

(on him having a lot to prove now as well) "No doubt. The main goal is to prove I can play here. The goal is the win the Super Bowl, that's the goal. Get to the playoffs, take it game-by-game and win the Super Bowl. I'll do whatever I have to do to contribute to this team. If it's running down on special teams, if it's catching punts, catching kickoffs, being gunner, being slot, inside or outside receiver. The goal is to start at receiver, but I'm going to do whatever I can to help this team win."

(on him liking his chances to play receiver with not being much experience there) "There are good players everywhere. Guys are working hard right now, I'm working hard. We're in a field where if you don't produce your job will get taken. I'm sure those guys are working hard. They've got to be great receivers if they're in the NFL. I'm not going to knock anybody. They got drafted, they got picked up, free agency and whatnot. They got the opportunity and they're doing well. I'm going to go there and I'm going to fight with them and learn from them and hope everything works out."

(on if he's aware that the Jaguars draft a lot of captains and guys from small schools) "No, I was not."

(on if he's big on leadership) "Yeah, I was a two-year captain at my school."

(on if he felt the Jaguars showed more interest than other teams) "I knew they were definitely interested. When the call came I wasn't surprised. I met with them at the all star game and at the combine so I knew they were interested. It was just a matter of how things would work out in the draft. It's on TV and everybody has their draft board. I'm not stupid. Everybody has a list of what receivers they want and whatnot. It worked out."

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