NFL Draft Q&A: Minnesota cornerback Jalen Myrick
Our daily NFL Draft Q&A series continues with Minnesota cornerback Jalen Myrick, who hopes to continue a recent trend of Gophers defensive backs making a splash in the NFL. He took a minute to talk to us about his draft prep ...
Q: Where are you training to get ready for the combine and pro day?
A: "I'm training down in Boca Raton with Tony Villani at XPE. I did my research, saw some of the guys he had here in previous years. We've got Quincy Wilson here and Teez Tabor (both from Florida), Rayshawn Jenkins (Miami), Josh Jones (N.C. State), Cam Sutton (Tennessee), Dalvin Cook (FSU), Wayne Gallman (Clemson), a lot of guys here. We've got some dawgs here. And d-ends like Derek Barnett (Tennessee), Carl Lawson (Auburn) and a lot more."
Q: You played at Shrine Game in St. Petersburg -- how did that help you?
A: "It went real well for me. It gave me a chance to put film out playing the nickel. I played more the outside guy in college, so it gave me a showcase to show I can play inside at nickel. It's good to have that versatility."
Q: Who's the best teammate you played with in college at Minnesota?
A: "There's 3-4 guys already in the league right now. Eric Murray (Chiefs), Briean Boddy-Calhoun (Browns), they were teammates, and a guy with me now, Damarius Travis, if he hadn't messed up his hamstring he would have been gone to, but he ended up coming back and playing with me and that helped me learn as a player and grow as a person."
Q: How do you go from Savannah, Ga., to Minnesota? How'd they find you?
A: "My dad had a friend that was once in Savannah and lived in Minnesota, he's like an uncle, and I gave him my highlight tape from my junior year. He knew Tubby Smith, who was the basketball coach at Minnesota. One of his managers, her husband was in football recruiting, so he gave it to her and he gave it to Coach (Jerry) Kill."
Q: Your father Glynn was drafted out of Stetson by the Washington Bullets back in 1984, played some overseas. How much basketball did you play growing up?
A: "I started taking football seriously once I got to high school. I just didn't get taller and I didn't see myself getting to be 6-4, 6-5, so I said 'I've got to think of something quick, figure out a way to get a scholarship and help my parents out.'"
Q: You did a fair amount of returns in college, had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Northwestern. How much can that help you?
A: "The more you can do, the better, and that's how I take it, so I think that can help me a lot."
Q: You had a reputation as being one of the fastest players in the Big Ten -- is there a number you're shooting for at the combine in the 40?
A: "There's a number I'm trying to get to, but I'm not ready to disclose that. I'm really expecting to see myself run really fast. Here, they see guys come in thinking they are a certain type of speed and they weren't, but when you really specialize in it, you have better teams looking at you."
Q: We ask everybody for food recommendations back on campus. When you're in Minneapolis, where's your favorite spot?
A: "I like hot wings, so anywhere with hot wings, I'm good with that. If I had a special place, I'd say J.J.'s, and get the extra lemon pepper sauce with some hot sauce. That's my go-to thing.
Q: And back in Savannah?
A: "520 Wings. That's my favorite restaurant. Best hot wings, best flavor wings you can find."
Q: Your pro day is March 13, not long after the combine. How close to graduating are you now?
A: "Very close. I've just got a couple more credits left and I'll be graduating soon. I've got to take what I can online and then when I get a chance to go back and take my last class. I'm in business marketing."