Sept. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Robert Woods (2) celebrates with offensive tackle Kevin Graf (77) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Interview with USC OT Kevin Graf

Kevin Graf started 39 games at right tackle for USC earning All PAC-12 Honorable Mention as a senior.  After primarily being part of a pass blocking group with Matt Barkley at the helm, Graf was part of the unit that converted to a more heavy running offense this past season.

Kevin talked about his career at USC, how important the SC tradition is to him, and why he believes he is not only good enough to be in the NFL, but why he should be good at the next level.  He also discusses his feelings on the Scouting Combine, what he is working on now and his goals for where he hopes to be for USC’s Pro Day and why he thinks he should impress in that arena.  Here is the link to the full interview

On his commitment to USC:

PS: How long have you been verbally committed to go to USC?

KG: I think for my parents, it was as soon as I was born.  For me, it was ever since I was a little kid.  I haven’t missed a home game since I was 4 years old.  SC football was just my life.  When I finally got that scholarship, it was one of the biggest days of my life.  It just meant the world to finally have that scholarship and to know I was going to go to SC.

On not being invited to the Scouting Combine:

KG: The fact that I believed that I deserved to be there.  I think this year, I had an amazing year.  If you look at my numbers and my game tape, it proves that I am a great player.  Some of the best teams in the nation, I did very well against.

The Stanford game, which was supposedly one of the top defenses in the country, I completely shut down.

Where he is now and his goal for his Pro Day:

KG: This season, I played around 305-310.  Right now, I am about 308 with about 16% body fat.  I’m in really good shape right now.  Around my pro day, I hope to end up maybe around 310 with maybe 14% body fat.

Where he is being looked at for the NFL:

KG: I’ve been training at both left and right tackle.  Even though I had started at right tackle for SC for 3 years, I was always way more comfortable at left.  It was just more natural for me and that is what I’ve always played.  I think I’m going to get looked for both right and left tackle and I might get looked at for some guard.

On coaching situation at USC:

I still remember that meeting where he came in and telling us he was gonna leave.  It was like losing my dad it felt like.  It was so heartbreaking, because I had known him for so long.  And then Kiffin came in and it was a little bit different of a mentality. I hate to say it, but it wasn’t the SC that I grew up with and knew; that made me love that place.  It was hard seeing how SC started to downfall.

When Coach O took over, it was like Pete Carroll was back; like the days I knew.  I’ve known Coach O since I was about 6 years old.  You will never meet a man who is more passionate about football and SC; how much he cared about us as players and like we were all his kids.  When he took over, it brought back the spark for our team and the love of football for a lot of us.  We were a completely different team from how we played at ASU (Arizona State) to Stanford about I think it was 4 weeks later.

On whether he felt Orgeron should have gotten the job:

KG: Absolutely.  And I think that whole team felt that way.  Like I said, I’ve known Coach O since I was 6 years old.  I’ve played under him for four years.  And when he got up in that meeting, I have never seen him cry and it tore us all apart.  We felt like we let him down.  We felt, as a team, we lost him the job.  And we really put a lot of blame on us and of course, a lot of us think he should have gotten the job, especially with how SC was and how it turned around.  At the end of the day, it’s not our decision.  It’s Pat Haden’s decision and he did what he believed.  It was his decision.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft USC Trojans Football