This is the second article of my newest writing endeavor, “In the Player Pit”.
It will be a running series of me interviewing, live or by phone, up and coming football players from all levels of competition. First off, I want to say that I am beyond appreciative of the time that these players give to me. I know that their time is precious. I also appreciate the opportunity to even converse with them.
This interview deals with another destructive defensive player, who played football in my very own home state of Ohio. Mr. Derek Rivers the beastly edge rusher from Youngstown State University. Now… I just want to tell you right now, This. Dude. Can. Ball.
You see, growing up I loved my hometown Browns here in THE LAND, but I had a player that I idolized that was not on my families beloved Browns. It was Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants. Because watching Mr. Taylor growing up shaped me into the “semi-keen scout” that I am trying to still become to this day. The lean he had and the contortion of his body to get to the quarterback is burned forever into to my mind. Now, I am not saying Mr. River is L.T., but he does have some similar traits of his game. Three come to mind: lean around the tackle, power bull rush and the recovery from a double team and secure the tackle
When I caught up with Mr. Rivers he was training in Cincinnati, let me say that again, Cincinnati. He was not in Texas or sunny Florida; he was here in my home state of Ohio, in the cold, training. (Man, I have to say, I love that!!!)
Q: The way you play is impressive; does your high motor ever get you in a jam while playing?
A: No sir, having a high motor man is more than just chasing down plays from the backside, I continue to play until the whistle blows, having a high motor gets you out of jammed up situations.
Q: Watching you get around the edge reminds me of L.T. What else do you think you need to do to get to the quarterback more efficiently?
A: As far as tech goes is that I need to incorporate even more power than I have.
Q: Would you rather stand up or put your hand in the dirt?
A: I was talking to a lot of people at the senior bowl and they have me going as an outside linebacker. But either way, I can do both.
Q: You had an amazing 19.5 tackles for a loss last year, does any one of those stand out for you the most?
A: No Sir! To God be the glory, it’s such a blessing to play at a prestigious school like Youngstown State and coming from a smaller school, and it’s awesome to put up those numbers, and it’s a blessing to hear those numbers.
Q: Who do you compare yourself to in the current NFL?
A: When I watch film on speed rushers I watch Justin Houston, Von Miller, guys that actually stand up. If I’m watching for power, I watch guys like Khalil Mack; they use the long arm a lot and then switch to being the bull. I watch Vic Beasley as well because of his similar rush styles. JT SAYS: Man, did Beasley come on this year! Derek Says: I knew it was going to happen; he just needed to get his feet wet. JT Says: See guys like you are a sought after commodity. Edge pressure. Derek Says: That’s what just happened to Ohio State. Pressure. (Laughs)
Last question in all of my interviews is a fun one,
Q: If you can see any band or musical act live, from any time period, which would it, be?
A: Man, One act of all time…. I heard of one concert was real good at the time was when his “Take Care” tour came out is Drake. But my favorite rapper is J-Cole.
JT Says: Well, Mr. Rivers, I am proud of you and thankful to talk to you and I’m rooting for you. Derek says: Thank you, it means a lot!
After talking to Derek, it makes me appreciate what I do more, and I gain a new respect and perception of these young people who are pushing to be the best they can and going for it. In success or failure, they will always have my respect. The last thing I will mention about this incoming NFL prospect is that there is a video out of Mr. Rivers’ bench pressing 255 pounds a whopping 32 freaking times!!!! If he does this at the NFL combine, it will place him as the 20th best mark all-time among defensive ends and 6th among outside linebackers. Those are fantastic marks for any player. Keep an extra eye on Derek Rivers at the combine and draft.
Keep an eye out for my next interview/article…Alabama, via BGSU, Wide out – Gehrig Dieter!
Until then always keep your head on a swivel “In the Players PIT.”
Follow me on Twitter: @FatAdamSchefter or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all fantasy football and NFL/Fantasy draft questions!