Cheta Checks In: Finals Over First Round

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Don't sleep on these guys in the draft


After months of work, countless interviews, a bout of food poisoning and a slew of new friends made, all that is left in Cheta Ozougwu's quest for a spot in the NFL is to have his name called by a team during the upcoming draft.


But while unlike most of his fellow draft prospects, Ozougwu will not be watching when the first round is conducted on Thursday night. Rather than watch the results of countless mock drafts go up in flames, as the teams make their actual picks, Ozougwu will be hunkered down in the library, completing  one last night of study before the last final of his college career.


But prior to hitting the books on Wednesday, Ozougwu took a few minutes to answer a few questions from the R Blog:


First off, it's been a long journey from the day you decided to switch from basketball to football as a junior in high school, just because of the chance it offered to earn a college scholarship. How does it feel to be in a position to hear your named called during the NFL Draft?


It's truly a blessing. I am very fortunate to be in this position and thank God for it.



How do you feel your training and your pre-draft prep work went?


My training went well. Especially considering the fact that I was hit with food poisoning, spent a night in the hospital, and lost 13lbs the night before the Combine, Pete Bommarito and Danny Arnold at Plex did a amazing job getting me ready for this journey.


Any particular moments stick out?


Most definitely. Hanging out with all of the guys I worked out with in Miami. Being coached by Wade Phillips in the Shrine Game. The entire Combine experience. The crazy interviews I went through with teams at the Combine, and the magnitude of the event. The private workouts and visits I had with the NFL teams. But the one that meant the most was visiting the Shriners hospital during the All Star game. It was a humbling experience, and being able to put a smile on the kids faces was priceless!



What are your plans for the Draft? Will you be watching the first night? Were there any guys who you got to know at the Shrine Game, the Combine or in training who you will be pulling for to go in the first round?


I don't plan on watching the draft, its too nerve wracking. The first night, I'll be in the library like a nerd studying for my final on Friday morning.  Friday night, I'll be in church, and Saturday I'll be in Galveston with my friends and family for my sister's birthday. I'll have two phones on me constantly, because all the teams that are interested have my number. And I will be rooting for a lot of my friends who are in the draft with me as well. In the first round, Leonard Hankerson, Torrey Smith, Derrek Sherrod and Jabaal Sheard are all good friends of mine I met in Miami during training. From the Combine, Aldon Smith,( a very funny guy) Robert Quinn, Brooks Reed and Prince Amukamara, who signed with the same agency I'm with.


I imagine you've heard a wide-ranging set of views and predictions about what your chances are and what round you might go, any consensus to that information? Is there a round where, once it starts, the butterflies in your stomach will really start flying?


Yeah Ive heard a wide range of predictions, but the consensus I've heard is rounds 4-7. However I could care less what round I go, 1 or 7 or even undrafted, all I want is a opportunity to play this game I love for as long as possible.

I know you mentioned previously that you talked to James Casey and ND Kalu about their experiences in preparing for the draft. Given that they,along with  Jarett Dillard had to wait until the fifth round to be drafted, have they given you any tips on how to kill the time while waiting for the phone to ring?


They have been helpful throughout this entire process, especially ND. They all have told me not to stress myself watching the draft and worrying what round I fall, because at the end of the day, the game is played between the lines so all you need is that opportunity. Opportunity is everything.



Has all the talk of lockouts, etc. been any kind of distraction?


Not at all, I just control the things I can control. Its actually has been kind of beneficial for me, to be able to work out with the NFL guys in Miami and down here in Houston. I've gotten a lot of good advice from them and been able to work out out with them as well.



With all the focus on preparing for the draft, were you able to complete your last bit of course work and will you be walking through the Sallyport on May 14? 


Yes Sir. That is something I am very proud of! I will be walking in May! I am currently finishing up, putting in late nights in the library.


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Best of luck to Cheta getting the call! Also, even better to hear that he's graduating in May!!

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