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Q & A With Julio Jones

Julio Jones is in New York this week for the NFL Draft, and on Monday he took part in a web series sponsored by Gatorade entitled, "Everything to Prove." They came forward to us at RBR with the opportunity to ask Julio a few questions in the media session, and we obliged them. The transcript is as follows:

Q: First of all, what led you to choose Alabama over all the other schools that were pursuing you?

I wanted to win. Coach Saban’s background showed that he was a winner and that he knew how to win. I also liked the experience out of him already being an NFL coach, so he could prepare me to go to the next level. I think that helped me out tremendously as well.

Q: What was the most memorable moment of your college career?

Winning that national championship. You know, it was really because of how hard we worked in the offseason, and we worked toward the goal we had said we wanted – to win a national championship – and we did. So I think that is one of the more memorable moments in college.

Q: Which opposing player gave you the most difficulty during your time at Alabama?

Patrick Peterson just because he’s a physical corner and he competes for four quarters. I like that.

Q:  How did the offensive scheme and the culture at Alabama help prepare you for the next level?

I was in a pro-set offense, you know, so a lot of teams run something like a pro-set offense, in which you try to establish the run first and then pass second. Just for me, learning how to block and taking a pride in blocking, that’s part of what will help me take that next step to that next level. I just feel like receivers have to block, and I’m not a selfish receiver or a player who goes out there to think about me. I know it’s “we” that wins the game.

Q: Do you have any preference in regards to what kind of quarterback you will be paired with at the NFL level?

No, I have no preferences at all. If they made it to the National Football League as a quarterback, they have to be a great player. I really don’t care who I’m playing with.

Q: How hectic was the agent selection process, and how did the UA system help in selecting an agent?

It was not hectic at all. No agents contacted me at all. They didn’t get my number from no one. The process at the University of Alabama, for picking an agent doesn’t begin until the last bowl game is over. Coach Saban gives you a list of all the agents out of all the agencies. Whoever you want to go with, and I just told them that I want the three best agents from the list. I took those and paired it down to Jimmy Sexton and Pat Dye, Jr.,  who are both my agents now, because those guys merged together. That made it even easier for me, because those guys are together and now I have the two guys I wanted working together to get deals done. I always have somebody there assisting me if I ever needed anything, so that made it easy on me.

Q: Can you describe the difference between the Alabama strength and conditioning program under Scott Cochran and the workout regiment you used in preparation for the NFL combine?

Coach Cochran’s workout program is just being able to latch; you’re going to be in shape, you’re going to be fit, and you’re going to be able to sustain for four quarters. They’re going to get you at a weight where they feel you’ll be able to sustain for four quarters. At the combine and at API it was more focused on combine stuff like running routes. You didn’t have to be in top-notch shape, but they really have you working more on technique for running. Basically it’s like getting ready for a track meet, more so than getting ready for football.

Q: When did you find out about your foot injury, and did you consider to sit out the NFL Combine? And, if so, what persuaded you to go ahead and perform in Indianapolis anyway?

Going to the hospital, they just go through look at your past medical history – in terms of if you have had any surgeries, any injuries or anything in the past. They go over you with a fine-toothed comb to see if you are still hurt, if you have any pain in it. I had turf toe from high school – they thought it was from college, but it was from high school – so they x-rayed my foot, and they found a fracture on my fifth metatarsal on my left foot. They asked me if I was going to participate, and I told them, yes, I was. I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket by waiting until my pro day, and then if something bad happens, if all the coaches aren’t all there or if something bad happens then I’m out of luck. That’s why I decided – regardless of what they thought about my foot – I was going to do everything at the combine because I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms or anything regarding pain in my foot. Then I went for it, showing them that I can do this pain or no pain.

Q: With the draft approaching, do you have any preference at all in terms of location, offensive scheme, coaching style or organizational style?

I really don’t at all. I’m just going to be excited to get drafted, and then just going to an organization and being able to contribute. I’m more so happy about the whole situation and the process. I really don’t have a preference.

Q: What are your thoughts on the NFL lockout, regarding how you think it will play out and affect the rookie class?

I really don’t have any thoughts on it. I know they’ll probably eventually get it figured out, but for the time being it’s probably going to hurt us rookies just because we can’t get the playbook. The quarterback and receivers – well, actually everyone – won’t be able to get the playbook to learn the new terminology for the NFL and your team. I think that’s going to be one of the biggest things for me – just getting that playbook and getting into it is being cut back a little bit.