04-19-2005, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Odell thurman interview
OTC Player Exclusives: Profile
Greg Benjamin: This is Greg Benjamin for On The Clock Draft. I'm speaking with Odell Thurman the linebacker from Georgia. How are you doing today, Odell?
Odell: Pretty good.
Greg Benjamin: What is your accurate height, weight, and 40 time?
Odell: At the combine they gave me 6'0" 233lbs and my 40 was 4.52
Greg: How did you end up at Georgia?
Odell: I wasn't highly recruited and then Georgia came along and I was like "That's where I want to go". It was a tossup between Georgia and Middle Tennessee and if you know anything about football, that wasn't too hard to pick from.
Greg: What made you decide to leave school early?
Odell: My second son. I kind of struggled with the first one and with the second one I knew it was going to get harder so I had to make that leap to support my family.
Greg: Do you think having a family at a young age makes you more mature than the average player coming out of college?
Odell: Oh yeah I'm not average at all. If you use anything to describe me, average isn't one of them. You know I feel I'm going to be put in a fishbowl anyway. You know I can't do anything wrong with all the stuff they've already put out on me. So with two kids, it just keeps me in line.
Greg: What did you do after the season to prepare yourself for the combine and your pro day?
Odell: The next week right after our bowl game I went down to New Orleans and trained with Tom Shaw right up until the combine.
Greg: How did the combine and Pro day go for you?
Odell: Well I didn't impress myself at the combine, but at pro day I think I did a whole lot better. I ran a faster 40 time and in the drills I just think I went through a whole lot smoother.
Greg: Have you met with many teams?
Odell: Yeah I met with New Orleans, Green Bay, Cleveland, Carolina, Jacksonville, Chicago and Baltimore.
Greg: Do you have any indication of what teams are interested in you?
Odell: Green Bay showed alot of interest, Cleveland, and New Orleans showed a little more interest than the rest of them. But all of them showed pretty good interest. I don't think they would fly you in if they really didn't think about drafting you.
Greg: Do you think you're strictly an inside linebacker or can you play outside as well?
Odell: You know I'm an inside backer but if some teams want to play me at WILL, it really don't matter. A baller's gonna ball no matter where you put him. I can play inside, out, you can put me at defensive end if you want to and I'm going to make plays wherever you put me.
Greg: What round do you think you should be drafted in?
Odell: Anything past the second round would be a disappointment to me, but you never know with the draft.
Greg: How do you feel you stack up against the other linebackers in the draft?
Odell: By far I think I'm the best on the field, but I had some off the field issues that hinder my draft status. But I think by far I'm the best linebacker out there.
Greg: Who would you say is the best player you've ever faced and why?
Odell: I'd have to say Cadillac Williams for Auburn.
Greg: What makes him the best player?
Odell: With me being on the punt team and a starting linebacker, if we punt the ball, he runs it back 40 yards. Then he comes around on a toss sweep for 30 yards the next play. That's kind of hard to do. He's just an all-around offensive player. He can do it all.
Greg: So if you were an NFL GM and you had to pick between him, Cedric Benson, and Ronnie Brown.....
Odell: I'd go Cadillac.
IGreg: Is there a particular player in the NFL you are looking forward to facing?
Odell: I wanna hit Michael Vick. I just wanna get a real good shot on Vick.
Greg: Is there an NFL player, past or present that you mold your game after?
Odell: Well you know Ray Lewis is one of the best linebackers in the NFL, so you always try to compare yourself to the best. If I could ever get my game to where Ray is now, I think that would be a great accomplishment.
Greg: What are your strengths?
Odell: I play from sideline to sideline. I'm where the ball's at. If me and the back meet in the hole, 99.9% of the time I win.
Greg: Is there anything you feel you need to improve on to excel at the professional level?
Odell: From college to the NFL you want to improve on knowledge of the game so just getting smarter and understanding the schemes of the defense once I get in the NFL for whatever team I play for.
Greg: What will the team that drafts you be getting?
Odell: A dedicated and a hungry person that going to be focused and dedicated to being one of the best. That's what's going to seperate me from most of the other backers. I'm not just trying to get in the NFL, I'm trying to be one of the best players that you've heard about before. I feel like I could've went back to school another year and really improved myself, but I can do it in the NFL.
Greg: Those are all the questions I have for you today. I'd like to thank you for taking the time to answer them and I wish you luck in the draft.
Odell: I appreciate it.
Transcribed by: Greg Benjamin
Conducted on: April 18, 2005