NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Weston Richburg, C Colorado State

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Dec 21, 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Colorado State Rams offensive lineman Weston Richburg (70) against the Washington State Cougars during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PS: Was Alabama your best game, the one you sort of point to as what teams should be expecting from you?

WR: Yea, well, I think that was good for teams to see, because there’s always that argument that a guy coming from the Mountain West can’t play with bigger guys.  So to go there and play well against Alabama; that was big for me in this whole process I’ve been going through with teams scouting me and seeing what I’m all about.  So, I definitely point to that, show them what I could do against big time competition like that.

PS: Did Alabama have the best defensive line you’ve played this year or did someone else stand out to you as tough competition?

WR: Yea, Alabama was up there obviously.  I think Utah State had a really good DLine as well.  They’ve got the big, tall Polynesian guys that are really thick, really strong, really hard workers.  I’d say it’s between Alabama and Utah State for sure.

PS: I get the sense that if you stepped into a bear trap, you’d find a way to make one last block and finish the play.

WR: Yea, I’d say that’s something that you gotta do to earn the respect of your teammates.  You kinda got to show that you’re able to lay your body out there and make the play work.  It might not be pretty sometimes.  I can count many times where I’ve do something that’s not pretty, but it might save a quarterback or running back from getting hit.  So yea, I think I’m willing to do that.  If I can just continue that on, it is really gonna earn some respect from some guys I think.

PS: The Senior Bowl wasn’t easy by any stretch, but was it maybe easier than thought it might be?  You seemed right at home once you got there.

WR: You know, I was extremely nervous going into it.  I had played Alabama, of course, and I was extremely nervous before that one.  And when I got in, I felt right at home, good to go.  That was the same with the Senior Bowl.  It wasn’t easy.  When you’re playing against the best players in the country, it’s not going to be easy, but I definitely knew I belonged after the first day of practice; being able to hang with the guys.  It was just an awesome experience and I was so glad to be able to be a part of that.

PS: Who stood out to you the most during that week?

WR: I’d pick two guys.  One of my fellow offensive linemen that was on my team, Zack Martin (Offensive Tackle from Notre Dame).  I thought he was really impressive, showed he could be athletic.  He was a really smart player as well.   It was easy for us to really communicate really easily, whereas it was harder to communicate with other guys.  He knew exactly what was supposed to go on.  It was easy to count on him.

And on the defensive side of the ball, I think obviously Aaron Donald (defensive tackle from Pittsburgh) really impressed me.  He was really, really fast off the ball and a really good player.  It was a challenge playing against him, so it was good for me to play against him and kind of experience what that was like.

PS: Who do you look up to when it comes to the NFL and the next level?

WR: I’m actually staying in Arizona right now.  I’ve been working out with LeCharles Bentley out in Scottsdale since December and I’m gonna be here a couple more months.  And that’s a guy that has been through just about everything you can go through in the NFL and college.  He’s someone who has been able to talk me through things, someone I’ve been really able to count on throughout this whole process; so he’s a guy that I consider a role model and someone I have been able to really use throughout this process.  I got on a plane the day after our bowl in Albuquerque and started training.

PS: What’s been your biggest takeaway in your time with Bentley?

WR: Just the knowledge, I guess, that he has, as a guy coming into the league.  He not only knows how things are run in the NFL from a business standpoint, he’s giving tips on how veterans will treat you and how I should act, that kind of stuff.

He’s always giving me tips on nutrition, which is huge.  I didn’t even know how important nutrition was until he started talking about it.  Just the overall knowledge and how important that knowledge is to be able to know those things and use that to your benefit.

PS: Do you have a preference as far as zone or gap scheme?

WR: I don’t.  My first staff that was with us, we did a lot of zone stuff.  And then Coach McElwain did a lot of gap scheme type things.  And I really enjoyed both of them.  I think I can do good things in both; real physical in gap scheme and can move well in a zone scheme.

PS: Is there someone you compare your game to in the NFL?

WR: Yea, I’ve been asked this before and I list a couple guys, because I like to look at a lot of different guys, try to imitate what they do.  I try to get my athleticism from the Pouncey twins.  I think they’re really athletic players, really mean as well.  And also, Logan Mankins, who’s a guard.  I just like his attitude and the way he goes about things and how he goes after people.  I think those are three guys that I try to imitate the most and try to take pieces of their game and put it into mine.

PS: You have mentioned your mean streak and how much you respect that in other players.  Is that the trait you hang your hat on?  How do you describe yourself?

WR: Yea, I think that’s definitely the thing I think about the most that separates me from other guys.  It’s just my mentality and the physicality I bring.  Also, I think I’m a smart player.  You know, I understand what’s going on and I’m able to control things up at the front of the line that some guys maybe don’t do in college.  I think I’m real physical, smart player and I’ve got some athleticism as well that helps me, you know, get out and pull and do things like that.

PS: You were actually listed as a guard for the Senior Bowl.  Did you actually get to play any of that in Mobile?

WR: No, I didn’t.  I tried to jump in a couple times, but then I got pulled out back out, so  I didn’t get to do that at the Senior Bowl.  But I actually started my career at guard and also played a little tackle, so I’ve done a little of everything, but primarily center and that’s what they me do in Mobile.

PS: Is there an assistant coach that has the biggest impact on your career, whether it was high school or college?

WR: It was our GA (Graduate Assistant).  He was GA then assistant for a little bit, Phil Serchia, who actually played, graduated from CSU inI think in 2008.  He was there since I was a junior; helped me big time a lot with the mental part of the game, just getting the plays down and figuring out all of the calls and stuff.  He was a huge part of it and probably got overlooked a lot.

PS: You had Joey Porter on the staff last year as he was working to finish his degree.  Did you ever get a chance to take him on and block him?

WR: No, I wish though.  I really wanted to give it a shot.  I never did though.  He’s past his prime and an old man now.  No, he was a huge part of our success this year.  I think he’s got really big things ahead of him with the (Pittsburgh) Steelers.  It’s a great opportunity for him and his family.

PS: You have done quite a bit in terms of reaching out and helping the community.  Boys and Girls Club, working with kids that have disabilities, and the low income families.

WR: Yea, that was something we really stressed as a team was getting out in the community.  You know, being with people who weren’t as fortunate as we were to be college athletes.  Each instance was really special and something that I’ll remember forever because you can really brighten those kids’ days and talking to them for a little bit.  So that was really cool to do that and be able to talk to kids like that.

PS: Do you have something specific in mind as you go onto to the NFL or just seeing something you want to do and going out and doing it?

WR: I think it’s just giving back, you know, whether it be something in my hometown, anything really.  Just giving back to people who gave to you.  Nothing specific as of now.  Just the idea of giving back and really showing people that you’re really appreciative of what you’ve got.

PS: Was there a question that stood out to you from the combine?

WR: There was one interview I did where they set up an IPad in front of you and the IPad was filming you, so you see yourself in the screen.  It’s you and another guy and an IPad.  It’s like 12 questions and one of the questions gave me a minute to list as many things as I could do with a brick.  That was the hardest question I’ve had the entire time throughout this process.

PS: How many did you come up with?

WR: Maybe 5.  I was stumped, man.  It was a tough question.  It really was.  And I’m still trying to figure out how it relates to football

PS: I wonder if they are waiting for someone to say weapon and then freak out about it.  If your first reaction is to use it to club someone over the head or throw it through a store front window.

WR: You know that could be a good point.  Hopefully, I didn’t scare them off by any of my answers.  That’s a tough question.  You have to get really creative with it.

– Richburg has always been a player that seemed like coaches would love, but it has been a pleasant surprise how much scouts have bought into what he can bring to a team.  It is difficult to find players with the intrinsic drive that Richburg has that shows up on the field.  Good luck to him as he keeps pursuing his NFL dream.  Here is my breakdown of Richburg