NFL Draft Q&A: Arkansas DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
Our daily NFL Draft Q&A continues with Arkansas defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter, who grew up in Orlando but finished his high school career in Gainesville, Ga., and redshirted at junior college before landing with the Razorbacks. At 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, he's likely an end in the NFL but is strong enough to get a look inside as a three-technique as well. He took a few minutes to talk about his path to the upcoming draft. ...
Q: First, where are you training for the draft?
A: "In Pensacola as EXOS. My agent recommended them with their past trainees. We've got (Temple OL) Dion Dawkins up here, (Florida DT) Caleb Brantley, (Clemson DT) Carlos Watkins, (Indiana OL) Dan Feeney and others."
Q: How has that gone for you so far?
A: "Pretty good. It's coming in and working hard every day, following the process they have for us. I'm getting my times down, my bench press. I know what I can do. It's just me going out and performing and showing everybody that I can do it."
Q: What's a good number for you in bench press, in terms of how many reps at 225 pounds?
A: "At least 30. I'll go for 35 or 40."
Q: You don't hear big linemen talking about their vertical leap much. How much can you get there?
A: "When I first came in here, I was breaking 33, 34 inches. With a couple of weeks of training, I've improved that to 37."
Q: Where do you think you fit in best on an NFL defensive line?
A: " I feel like defensive end, right or left. Most teams see me as a right defensive end. I feel like I can come in with quickness there. My first year at Arkansas, I played defensive end. Second year, I played defensive tackle and halfway through the season, they switched me back to defensive end. I can play both. I think I'm a versatile guy."
Q: You grew up in Orlando, went to Olympia High until your senior year. There were some good football players in Orlando when you were there.
A: "Marvin Bracy, a Florida State dude, Trey Griffey, Dee Hart and those guys, yeah."
Q: Your father, Weldon, was drafted by the Bucs in 1983 as a fullback out of Oklahoma. He never played in the NFL, but that has to be a cool thing for you now.
A: "I wasn't born yet, but I know he was drafted to the Bucs. He was a fullback in the wishbone."
Q: What are the NFL teams you've had the most contact with so far?
A: "The Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I talked to (Tampa Bay) at the East-West Shrine Game. I talked to their player personnel guy and the Lions. They've had the most interest, but I don't really know what that means."
Q: Who is the toughest player you went up against in college?
A: "I want to say Braden (Smith), the guard from Auburn. Not so much one-on-one, but on those double-teams when they had me at three-technique, he was strong at the point of attack. I felt like I held my ground."
Q: And who is the best teammate you've played with?
A: "(Arkansas center) Frank Ragnow. Good athlete, smart, intelligent, strong, athletic. It's him."
Q: We ask everybody for food recommendations. Best place to eat in Fayetteville?
A: "We've got a couple of spots. Herman's is a steakhouse, but the food's there. They've got a Philly cheesesteak that's out of this world, good ribs. Basically everything there is good. The other place is Catfish Hole, if you like catfish."
Q: How close are you to graduation at Arkansas?
A: "I already have my degree, in sociology, in December. I know I want to work with sports (after football), maybe an assistant coach or being an athletic director. I'd like to own my own business. My dad owns a laundromat, so maybe I'd invest in that, build that up, something like that."
Check out our other NFL Draft Q&As: Miami cornerback Corn Elder, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, Stanford safety Dallas Lloyd, West Virginia cornerback Rasul Douglas, Florida tackle David Sharpe, Mississippi State WR/RB Brandon Holloway, Minnesota cornerback Jalen Myrick, Oklahoma State tackle Victor Salako, N.C. State center Joe Scelfo, Army linebacker Andrew King, Louisana Tech receiver Trent Taylor, Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara, USC defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and Saint Francis safety Lorenzo Jerome.