During April's NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected USC linebacker Clay Matthews III with the its second pick in the first round. If I had the chance to sit down with Matthews to interview him for a feature story, here's what I would ask the rookie:
1. Playing pro football is certainly in your blood. After all, your grandfather (Clay), father (Clay Jr.), and uncle (Bruce) all excelled in college and in the NFL. Growing up, did you feel pressure to not only play football but to have success in the sport?
2. As a junior at Agoura (Calif.) High School, you were too small to even make the starting lineup. Your dad was your defensive coordinator and didn't believe you were physically mature enough to start. At that time, how did you deal with having to play a reduced role on your dad's unit?
3. In high school, you didn't really blossom until your senior season, but played well enough for USC to invite you to walk on. Why did you choose to walk on at your father's alma mater, where your play would be more heavily scrutinized? Wouldn't it have been easier to try your luck at a smaller college?
4. During your freshman season at USC, you had a chance to play but decided to redshirt instead. Why?
5. At USC, you eventually found your niche on special teams. How were you able to perform so well on that unit?
6. Did it bother you that the coaches relegated you to special teams? By your junior year, did you feel you had earned a starting linebacker spot?
7. Last season, you were finally able to start at linebacker. What was your mentality once you captured the starting job?
8. Out of all the accomplishments you earned during your senior year, what are you most proud of?
9. Playing at USC, you enjoyed many fond moments with your teammates. What's the one moment that you'll remember for the rest of your life?
10. On Pro Day, you impressed NFL scouts with your speed and athleticism, but did you feel confident that you would be picked in the first round?
11. What were your initial feelings when the Packers selected you in the first round?
12. You've had some time to get acclimated with the Packers organization, the city of Green Bay, and "Cheesehead Nation." So far, what's been the best part about being a Packer?
13. As an NFL rookie, what do you find most intimidating?
14. Training camp begins in less than two months. What's one area of your game that you would like to improve before camp begins?
15. What are your three most important goals heading into your first NFL season?
16. The Packers have had first-round flops in the past. Why will Clay Matthews not be on that list of busts?
17. What are the most important goals you would like to accomplish in your NFL career?
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