USF DE Pierre-Paul not thinking about NFL yet
USF junior defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is still in his first season of major college football but has already been projected as a potential first-round NFL Draft pick. He said Monday he hasn't thought much about his future in pro football and is trying to focus on his present challenges with the Bulls.
"Not really," Pierre-Paul said when asked about the draft hype. "People have said it and stuff, but as I've said before, I just go out and play football."
Asked if he was surprised that ESPN.com's Mel Kiper has him rated as the No. 13 player in the draft, Pierre-Paul said friends had told him but that he's just now becoming more aware of the draft process.
"My best friends (were) telling me about it, and I was surprised at first, but I didn't really know what all that stuff means until they really started to explain it to me, the coaches and stuff," Pierre-Paul said. "It was positive."
Pierre-Paul said his friends haven't pushed him in any direction, telling him to do what he wants, and he'll wait until after the season before making any decision about the NFL. USF has had just one first-round pick in its history -- cornerback Mike Jenkins to the Cowboys in 2008.
Opposing offensive linemen tasked with containing Pierre-Paul might find an extra motivation in going up against a projected first-round draft pick, but he said he hadn't noticed a bigger target on his back.
"I hadn't thought about it like that, but I guess so," he said.
You can watch the interview session with Pierre-Paul on USF's official site, GoUSFbulls.com.