BoltHype Talks To Safety Josh Gattis

I had the opportunity to ask Safety prospect Josh Gattis a few questions and he was kind enough to spend some time to answer them. I don't think there is any question how highly I feel about Josh as a football prospect, but people may not know that Josh Gattis is also a fine individual with an outstanding character and work ethic.

Below is the transcript of my interview with Josh:

Josh, first of all I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I've watched you play at WFU all season long and would love to see you play for San Diego.

1. What teams would you most want to play for? What was your favorite NFL team growing up?
Growing up my favorite team was the Detroit Lions until the Panthers came to Charlotte, then I became a huge Carolina fan. In the NFL I will gladly play for any team, it is a business.
2. Not many guys coming out this year can match your 3 years of starting production in a tough division like the ACC. Your workout numbers, combined with your production, suggest you are an elite prospect. Do you think you would have been talked about more if you played for a bigger school like an LSU, Texas, Florida , Miami, etc?
I do feel like if I played at a bigger school my name would be talked about much more and possibly in the first round. Being from Wake Forest I'm fighting more of an uphill battle because our school has not produced as many high caliber players as some of the other schools. It bothers me sometimes to not get the attention, but in the end the teams know best. I feel I played in one of the best conferences and I produced at the highest level and I'm still overshadowed by other players from the same conference.
3. I'm sure you have heard about the suspensions of Chris Henry and Pacman Jones. Talk about the importance of character in players. Have teams you talked to expressed interest in your background as a person?
Character is big in the process of evaluating players with the teams. Players have to remember it is a privilege to play in the NFL; therefore we can not abuse that right. As far as me I don't have any character issues and teams like good clean guys.
4. Who was the best player you faced in college? Who are you looking forward to playing against at the next level?
The best player I've faced is without a doubt Calvin Johnson. Of course everyone knows his production on the field but I'm a little biased because I know him so well and I worked out with him at coach Tom Shaw's pre-combine training facility in Orlando. It really helps you appreciate a player like him when you see how hard he works out and he takes nothing for granted.
5. Your high tackle numbers suggest you are comfortable with defending the run, and at the same time you have impressive interception numbers. What are the strengths in your game and what areas are you still improving on?
I consider my game to be very versatile when it comes to defending the run and pass. I think what enables me to do so is my knowledge of defenses, my field vision and my playmaking ability. The one thing I continue to work on is taking better angles to the football. I believe angles allow you to make more plays and make them faster.
6. What position (Free or Strong) would you want to play in the NFL? How quickly can you learn a system and would you expect to start right away once drafted?
I consider myself to be a complete free safety. A guy that is athletic enough to make plays when the ball is in the air and yet still come up to make tackles. I can learn a system fast and I'm prepared to go in to whatever team and be there leader and play caller on defense as I compete for a starting position.
7. To wrap it up, what other interests do you have besides football?
Besides football I have a passion to work with kids. This past school year, and still currently, I am a volunteer teacher's assistant at a local elementary school in Winston Salem working with kids in a BED classroom. These kids are dealing with emotional and behavioral issues and are at risk of not being able to transfer over into regular classrooms which allow them to obtain the same education as other students. I know the NFL has great programs designed for players to be involved with working with underprivileged kids in low economic communities and I plan to be heavily involved. Also down the road I am really interested coaching and one day becoming a defensive coordinator.
Thanks again Josh for speaking with BoltHype and hopefully we can talk again at Chargers Mini Camp!

To stay current with Josh Gattis news, check out his official website - there is a link to his site under the LINKS section on the left.

April 12, 2007

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