On his immediate reaction to being selected:
Just very overwhelmed. I’m very happy just to be able to have a chance to play in such a great city for such an amazing franchise. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m coming into a situation where I’m going to get a chance to play with some Penn State guys out there. They’ve got Paul Posluszny and Bryan Scott on the team right now. I’m really anxious just to get out there and just to start putting in work, just to start building the foundation out there for myself.
On what was going through his mind during the call from Buffalo:
I was just extremely overwhelmed just with joy and with happiness. This is the culmination of a whole lot of prayer and hard work by a lot of people, so definitely a beautiful thing for me to be able to just hear my name called, know it was going to be to a great city and a great organization, and just be comfortable with the fact that this career is starting off the right way.
On adding weight between the combine and his pro day:
I felt great. I’m in a little bit of a different training mode right now, so I’m doing a lot more physically for my body, a lot of different type of training than I was doing at Penn State. I’ve just responded well. I’ve been able to carry the weight well and the coaches were happy when I went out there with how I looked and how I was able to perform at the combine and at the pro day. And I’m just anxious, I’m excited about the possibilities.
On being labeled a ‘one-year wonder:’
All I can do, and all I plan on doing is just coming in and working as hard as possible and letting my play speak for itself. I’m a guy that likes to keep his mouth shut and let his game do the talking on the field. I’m going to come in with a humble mindset, ready to work hard and ready to get a lot of work done.
On why he decided to leave school for the NFL after just one year:
It was a lot of things that played a factor in the decision, but basically, to make a long story short, I felt as though I was ready physically to make the jump to the next level. I felt confident in my ability and I felt confident that this year was the year I was going to be ready.
On assessing how things took off for him this year:
I started fast from the beginning. I had a good game to start off of the year and I just built momentum on that. I planned on, from last season and the offseason, this being a big year for me. Really, I was just trying to keep everything moving each and every game.
On if he feels like his body still has some maturing to do:
Yeah, definitely. I know that this is not the limit my body can push itself to just because I am so young. The opportunity is there for growth, the opportunity is there for me to mature a little bit and I’m excited about the possibility of that happening.
On his thoughts about his role during the upcoming season:
Nothing is guaranteed. Nobody’s ever going to give you anything, but I plan on coming in, busting my butt, working as hard as I can to help better the franchise as much as possible. They already have some keys in place that are going to make the job very easy, but I’m coming in with a very humble mind, and I’m just anxious to help the team in any way possible.
On if he had any inkling that Buffalo would draft him:
I had no idea until the pick came. It was just as a much a surprise to me as everybody else. I will say that I was very, very, very happy to get that phone call and see that it was Buffalo at the other end of the line.
On if he has talked to Posluszny or Scott:
We talked a lot, we trained at the same area this offseason where I was training to get ready for the draft and the pro day is where he trains in the offseason, so we spent a lot of time together this offseason. He’s (Posluszny) always been a guy I looked to for counsel and leadership when he was at Penn State, and looked to for advice once he left and I had to step into a leadership role.
On how often he has thought about his mother today:
Very much. It was a very emotional situation because I had my step-mom there, and me and her are as close as close can be and being able to see so many people from my birth mother’s family and being able to know that they were here, they supported me and knowing that she’s somewhere up there that she can see down and hopefully she’s as proud of me as the people down here. I’m going to try to keep the good news coming.
On how much her memory inspired him throughout his career:
Always. It always inspires me to know that you have somebody looking down on you, somebody who you love and somebody who’s always pushed you and encouraged you to do your best in everything you put your mind to.
On the confidence to step in and move to the NFL so quickly:
The confidence is just going to have to be there just because if you’re going to be a primetime player, you’re going to have to be confident in your abilities. My thing is that I just try to stay as confident as possible without allowing myself to start to believe too much about myself. You don’t want to be arrogant, but you have to be confident in order to be successful at this game.
On his experience at Penn State before this past year:
We have a rotation at Penn State, so I was one of the guys that was rotating very heavy, and I had the second-most productive year on the defensive line as a redshirt freshman, so it was an okay year for me. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance, but at the same time, I knew that it was a good building block for me to come in and prove it this past year.