NFL Draft Q&A: West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas
Today's NFL Draft Q&A is with West Virginia cornerback Rasul Douglas -- his first name is rah-sool, not rah-zhul -- who burst onto the scene this past season. Not many players go from redshirting at a junior college to the top three rounds of the NFL draft, but Douglas could -- after three years of junior college, he had just eight tackles as a junior at WVU, then had 70 as a senior, along with eight interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound prospect took a few minutes to talk about his preparation for the draft ...
Q: Where are you training to get ready for combine and pro day?
A: "EXOS, in San Diego. Me, Taco (Charlton), Solomon (Thomas), Jabrill Peppers, Michael Rector, Tarell Basham, a lot of guys. It's going well."
Q: What are the most important things for you to improve on before the combine?
A: "Just everything. Everything I know the scouts are looking for in myself, in my all-around game. I've added different pieces to my game, getting faster, stronger, doing everything with consistency. The biggest thing for me is consistency."
Q: Tell me about your junior year at West Virginia, and how much you picked up from three guys now playing in the NFL in safeties Karl Joseph (Raiders) and K.J. Dillon (Texans) and cornerback Daryl Worley (Panthers).
A: "Karl Joseph, the trait I picked up from him is leadership, and how he comes to the job every day, gives his all. He's a hard worker, dedicated, always wants to be the best. With Worley, it's all about trying to be consistent, me going through every rep with everything I have, going hard in practice. I learned a lot, scheme-wise, from them, and they helped me a lot."
Q: Worley was a third-rounder, comes in with Carolina and has a huge rookie year, with 88 tackles. How much does that encourage you?
A: "I knew he could play, and he knew he could play. I think all of West Virginia knew he could play. He just had to wait for his chance, and when he got it, he took the full responsibility of it. He's improving and now he has his rookie year under his belt, so I'm looking for bigger and better things out of him."
Q: ESPN had a good story on all that you went through, helping push yourself through tough times in junior college. I'm sure you can appreciate where you are now and what you have in front of you as a result of that.
A: "I always appreciate everything. Every day I wake up, I thank God for giving me a chance to do something I love doing, for staying with me. There was times I wanted to give up, but I prayed and he got me through it. I appreciate everything I have now. When I was in juco, I didn't have anywhere close to where I am now. To be in the position I am in today, it's a blessing."
Q: You had eight tackles as a junior. When did you realize this past year that you could really be a guy that could play in the NFL?
A: "I think it was maybe right before camp. We took a break, and Coach Blue (Adams) allowed everyone to go home. He called me over the break and we talked for a few. When I hung up, I just knew that I could have a good year, help the team win some games. Playing this season, I realized I could play in the NFL."
Q: Blue is a guy who played here with the Bucs, and he's actually coming back to Tampa as a new assistant at USF. What did you like about him as your coach?
A: "I love everything about Coach Blue. He's a guy who's going to get every piece of juice out of you. He's going to push you to be the best player you can be. Of course you're going to push yourself, but he pushes you to a point where you don't think you can do it, but you can. You just have to put in the work. Coach Blue is one of those coaches where as long as you come in ready to go and give him everything, you'll fall in love with him. You'll want to play for him, and when you find a coach you want to die for like that, it makes everything better."
Q: You had eight picks as a senior. Which one was your favorite?
A: "The Kansas State one was my favorite. (2:10 mark here) We were down six, it was late in the fourth quarter, so that was one of my best picks."
Q: How important was it for you to have a big week at Senior Bowl and show up there?
A: "It was big. I accepted the invitation because I knew it would give me a chance to play in front of all the scouts. Scouts were probably thinking maybe he hasn't proven enough, only had one year, so I thought I could go down there and just play against the best players from different conferences. Playing guys from other schools, ECU, Michigan, it gave me a chance to show I could play against the top guys in college football. It was great to display my talents against the best seniors in the country."
Q: Who was the best player you went up against in college?
A: "Definitely the guys on my team. Shelton (Gibson), Marcus (Simms), Jovon (Durante), Gary (Jennings), the guys on my team. They had more time to go at me. In a game, you have one game and you put your best on the field, But in practice, you're out there every day, learning what their tendencies are."
Q: We always ask for food recommendations. Back at West Virginia, if I'm in Morgantown, where's the best place to eat?
A: "Dirty Bird. But I go everywhere, different places."
Q: Nervous about the combine at all?
A: "Nervous? No. This is what I've been doing all my life. It's just in front of scouts. I've been doing football for some time now, so it's just another day of practice."
Check out our other NFL Draft Q&As: 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.