Running Back - Georgia Tech
6th Round – 188th Overall
Jonathan congratulations, I'm guessing there's a little disappointment I know you've been projected to go much higher, earlier in the draft. Can you just talk about what this whole process has been like for you, and are you surprised that you lasted this long?
Yes, I'm definitely surprised I lasted this long but I'm still glad I have the opportunity to be able to play this game. I'm glad the Steelers believe in me and I'm definitely not going to let them down. I'm going to go in and compete and do whatever I can to make plays and get us a Super Bowl ring.
What do you think hurt you in this whole process?
I don't know what really hurt me, maybe the whole triple-option process. But other than that I'm just glad that Pittsburgh, Coach Tomlin and Mr. Rooney all believe in me and are willing to give me this opportunity to play this game.
Is the triple-option really that different? Once you're running the ball you're running the ball right?
Once you get the ball in your hands it's about being an athlete and a playmaker. I'm just glad they realize that and believe in me. And I thank god for the opportunity that he has given me and my family.
Was there a failed drug test at the Combine? Can you explain that or what happened there?
The failed drug test was because of medical prescription. Medicine I've been taking since the fifth grade, of course everybody knew that that was going to come up before the Combine. All the teams knew about it afterward, just the fact that maybe it wasn't handled the right way in the media aspect. But it's a medicine I still take today, each and everyday I wake up, so it's not going to change soon.
What do you have that requires medication for that long?
I have ADD.
What kind of blocker are you?
I'm a physical blocker, I like contact and the Steelers fit my personality very well. They're a downhill team, they like to run the ball and be physical. I couldn't be in a better situation, than that I am being picked by them.
Did you talk to them much at the Combine? Did they come to your Pro Day? How much contact did you have with them?
Coach Tomlin came to the Pro Day. I didn't have an individual meeting with him; I met some of the coaches throughout the whole process of the combine. Besides seeing Coach Tomlin at the Pro Day, that's the only time I really got to talk to him. I shook his hand and he told me that I had a good workout. So hopefully that left a good impression on him.
Did they say that you reminded them of anybody in the pros, or somebody else that they have had around here?
No, they haven't compared me to anybody but I'm just my own player. I try to have my style like the Walter Payton's and the Jerome Bettis's and all those different types of players. The downhill guys that make one cut and can make you miss, and run you over and can catch the ball and can pass block. That's the kind of player I am, and that's how I'm going to play in this organization.
They started ignoring the run here last year; did they say anything about them getting back to that?
They told me that they have Rashard Mendenhall and they have another back and they're looking for someone to help out and be a contributor this upcoming season. So whatever they need me to do, I will do it. But of course I'm going to come in, compete and learn as much as I can of the system through Rashard Mendenhall and whoever else is there and just be ready to be a contributor to the offense and make plays.
What was the medication that tripped the test?
It's called Vyanse. It's the medication I've been taking since I was a kid. It's been helping me for academic reasons.
When you drop a little bit in the Draft like this does it give you extra motivation to prove people wrong?
Of course, all of the guys not just me. I know Jimmy Clausen, he wanted to prove everybody wrong as to why he should have been a first-round guy. But it's just all about getting the opportunity, there's a history of guys that were in these shoes, Tom Brady and Walter Payton, all those guys that were picked late and they came out there and showed everybody what their about. All the waiting and everything, not knowing what was going to happen was kind of overwhelming. But just knowing that you have an organization that believes in you gives you motivation to go out there and prove all those other people wrong.
What's your style? Describe your style? Are you the kind of guy that likes to bowl people over or slip through holes? How would you describe your style?
I'm an explosive runner, very physical, one cut type of guy who just tries to make plays. I'm going to move the chains and be a positive runner. I'm not going to lose yardage. I'm going to make the first guy miss and I break a lot of tackles. That's my style.
Do you like to run inside?
I can do whatever inside, outside, run screens, return kicks whatever. I can do it all.
Do they still call you Diesel? Do you like that nickname? And how did you get it?
Through one game where I made someone miss, ran over the next guy and kept running down the field and scored a touchdown. They gave me that nickname, so if that's what the Steelers' players want to call me, that's fine with me.
A lot of running backs thrive on the more carries the more you get into the game. How much of an adjustment would that be if you ended up being a guy that maybe got 5 or 6 carries a game in the NFL?
Well if that's the case then every one of those carries is going to be productive, I'm going to make sure of it. By doing what you're suppose to do. It gives you a key advantage to being more productive once you get the ball in your hands.
They've got a pretty good player from the University of Georgia here are you going to be able to put all that stuff aside?
Yes, I can put all of that aside once we're teammates. Of course there will be trash talk and things like that but he's my teammate now and I want to win just as much as he does.