2010 NFL Draft: B/R Interview with Linebacker Matt Mayberry

Tim CarySenior Analyst IApril 16, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 01:  Matt Mayberry #43 of the Indiana Hooisers celebrates a sack during the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Memorial Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Matt Mayberry is a week away from one of the biggest events of his life to date: the 2010 NFL Draft.  Mayberry, a middle linebacker from Indiana University, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to tell B/R writer Tim Cary about how he's preparing for life as a professional football player.

 

TC: What are your plans for watching the draft this coming weekend? 

MM: I will be in Chicago with my family relaxing.  Nothing too special, just spending the day with my family.

TC: How many different teams have you talked to or worked out for during the pre-draft process? 

MM: I have spoken to just about every team but a few, and I've worked out and visited more than a handful.  The Bears and Patriots are already out there in the media, but the other teams I have visited with asked to keep it quiet, so I've got to keep to their requests on that one.

TC: What was your pre-draft workout preparation like? Take us through a normal day of working out and getting ready for the draft.  

MM: It was something else, but I loved it!  My day started at 8:00 am and ended around 7:00 pm.  We would do speed work, followed by position work, and then hit the weights in the afternoon with rehab-type stuff (to prevent injuries) and recovery methods.  I was down in Cincinnati at a place called Ignition where several standout current NFL players train, and they do a great job of getting you mentally and physically prepared for the next level. 


TC: Do you have a preference of playing in a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 scheme at the next level? 

MM: No, I do not have a certain preference.  I have been in touch with both 3-4 and 4-3 teams.  I've been told outside and inside in a 4-3 (what I played in college) and then strictly inside in a 3-4 scheme.  I would say I'm pretty versatile when it comes to that. 

TC: Did you have a favorite NFL team growing up? If so, which one?  

MM: Not really.  I am from the Chicago area, so I always grew up loving Walter Payton; that drew me to the Bears, but there was never really one favorite team.

TC: Which do you enjoy more, getting a sack, forcing and recovering a fumble, or making an interception? 

MM: Wow, that is a tough one!  All three of those can change the game around in a positive way and give the offense great field position, but I really like to rush the passer and was pretty successful at it in college, so I will have to go with a sack.  Interceptions are great as well!

TC: What do you think will be the most difficult thing about making the transition from college football to the NFL? 

MM: Just the speed and work that goes into game week.  I don't think it will be that much of a transition for me though, because I thrive off speed and my work ethic is second to none (I like to believe!). I really take pride in working everyday as hard as possible.

 

TC: What's your greatest memory or highlight from your career at Indiana?

MM: There were a lot of them, even though we had a lot of downs while I was there, including the death of my coach/mentor Coach Hoeppner.  My greatest memory though would have to go back to the 2007 season when we went to the Insight Bowl in Arizona.  That was a great time with my teammates and some of my greatest friends, so that was a time I really cherished!

TC: What is your greatest attribute or characteristic as a football player that will help you succeed playing on Sundays? 

MM: Speed, work ethic, and relentless attitude!  The results speak for themselves as being one of the fastest linebackers in the country.  In the offseason I train six hours a day, sometimes twice a day, all related to football specific drills!  I recently started boxing for hand eye coordination and quicker hands, which will really help on Sundays.  I prepare to win everyday and have been for awhile, but now I'm a lot more hungry and a lot of people will be shocked!  Lastly, I have a attitude to succeed and never give up.  I think my game tape correlates to that one.  No matter what the situation was, whether we were losing or winning, I would go hard every play and not be denied to get to the ball and make a play for my team.


TC: Thanks so much for taking the time, Matt! Best of luck to you next weekend with the NFL Draft!