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Hawkins conference call


The following is a transcript of fifth-round selection Brent Hawkins' conference call.

(on his playing career which started at Purdue and ended at Illinois State) "I started out at Purdue and things were going pretty well there. I left there mainly for playing time issues. I headed to junior college for a year just to get things back into perspective. I talked to the linebackers coach at Illinois State and he said they had a scholarship there for me. Then a couple of other schools from the Gateway Conference decided to recruit me and I just thought Illinois State would be the best fit for me."

(on the best competition he faced at Illinois State) "The best competition was probably my junior year against Minnesota. I think they had three All-America and Big Ten selections as lineman. We played pretty well against them. The media was saying that we gave them the best game all year. I played pretty well. I think I had a sack and three or four tackles for loss. I had a pretty good game."

(on if he played mainly defensive end) "Coming out of high school I was an outside linebacker when I came to Purdue. Jumping into that position right now with Jacksonville I don't think will be a big problem for me."

(on if the Jaguars expect him to play linebacker) "Yes. They said they are not going to keep me in the box. They are going to let me play linebacker and rush off the edge."

(describing his game and if it fits Manny Lawson from N.C. State) "I kind of look toward Mario Williams and what he was doing. I thought my moves were more like him."

(on what his playing weight will be this season) "I am going to play about 245."

(on his expectations for his NFL career) "Just to step into the system wherever I am put at and do the best I can do and try to become a Pro Bowl player."

(on if he is comfortable playing linebacker) "Honestly I feel more comfortable playing end because I have been doing it for four years. I think when I was working out as linebacker with all of these teams and the Jaguars, it felt good for me."

(on the interview process with the Jaguars) "They showed me a lot of love. It really meant a lot to me for them to come back and work me out again so late before the draft. Coach (Mark) Duffner and Coach (Ray) Hamilton are great guys. I felt like my interviews with them went really well. Things turned out how I wanted them to."

(on if he played basketball in junior college) "I played the preseason and I started to get a little stress fracture in my foot. The coach knew that I was just pretty much doing it to stay in shape for my next upcoming football season."

(on what he did for the draft) "I had some of my buddies up here. They are here this morning. It wasn't really a draft party because you never know what's going to happen. My family is here. I have just been kind of sitting back with my girlfriend watching and keeping an eye on it and my ear to the phone."

(on if he grew up a Chicago Bears fan) "I grew up a Michael Jordan fan. I love the Bulls. I thought I would be a basketball player coming out of high school. Football was something I just kind of stepped into and it just worked out in the best way for me."

(on why he picked football over basketball) " My uncle said I should play football and I played football in seventh grade and I just kept playing. Our team was really good and I had a coach that was good to play for. I played pretty well. My junior year came around and I was a quarterback. I played quarterback most of the year and played free safety and linebacker on defense. Purdue caught a game of mine and they started recruiting me. It just took off from there. I committed right after my junior year of high school so basketball was just another thing to help me become a better athlete."

(on him sounding like he has no doubts he can play in the NFL) "I don't have a doubt I can play in the NFL. I am pretty confident about where I am and where I am standing. I know there is a lot of improvement that I can do on my end just physically and mentally. There is going to be a lot of improvement that I am going to need to do in the film room. But I don't have a doubt that I can learn that and become a great player."

(on the big jump in level of competition) "It's a big jump, but I don't think I will have much of a problem with it. It's not really that much difference then coming out of high school and playing in a Big 10 game. I didn't find that to be much of problem. It's really me being more mature in the learning process. Now with me being mature and able to handle situations better, I will be fine."

(on if former Jaguars linebacker Akin Ayodele was at Purdue when he played there) "Yes. I really looked up to him a lot. It's really good to know he was there and had a good career. I kind of model myself after him because he not only is a great player, he is a great guy."

(on the most famous player to come out of Illinois State) "Boomer Grigsby with the Chiefs or Estus Hood. They retired his (Hood) number so he had to be good.

(on if he was disappointed that he didn't go higher) "No. I am just happy to be picked up. How can you be disappointed with the percent of athletes that get involved with this (NFL)?"

(on if he paid attention to the pre-draft hype) "You can never feed into the hype because teams have different needs. There were a lot of trade rumours. Maybe I could have went in the third round. Who knows? I am happy to be with Jacksonville in the fifth."

(on if he has ever been to Florida) "Yes. I trained down there at Cris Carter's passing camp in Coral Springs."

(on if has a lot to prove) "You have to. It's not like I came from a 1-A school. It's not like a Vince Young or had my name out there. I had a great I-AA career but some people are going to look down on you for that."

(on winning a job with the Jaguars) "My high motor and my ability to learn football very well. I think those are going to be the two things."

(on who played ahead of him at Purdue that caused him to transfer) "Shawn Phillips and Kevin Nester were there. They had a lot of depth and those guys were coming back for another year. I felt in my mind that I was good enough to play. I went from playing almost 40 reps a game to not getting to play at all. There is no bad blood between me and the coaches or anything like that."

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