Eric Decker Interview
By: Scott Porter
February 27, 2010
Scott Porter: How have you progressed since your foot injury?
Eric Decker: Since my surgery in November of '09, I have been making great strides in the right direction. For the last three weeks, I have been out of the boot and increasing my activities daily. I continue to improve my range of motion, strength, and mechanics through daily therapy. I feel very confident that I am on and ahead of schedule for my recovery process.

Scott Porter: Do you feel your injury will hurt your draft stock?
Eric Decker: From my understanding, the consistent message has been the injury is a non-issue throughout the draft process. Though, with questions about my speed, I would have loved the opportunity to show that I could run a sub-4.5 and prove that I am faster than scouts believe. At the same time, I can only control the "controlables" and that is how I present myself in the interview process, the hard work I have put in during the off-season, and the game tape I have showed over the past four seasons.

Scott Porter: What do you feel are your biggest strengths?
Eric Decker: My biggest strengths are the ability to adapt to transition, learning and mastering different offensive philosophies (three different systems in four seasons) and still being successful. As a bigger wide receiver, using my size and strength to shield off defenders and high point the football. Being a technician at my craft, meaning running good, consistent routes and understanding the defensive schemes and making adjustments on the fly.

Scott Porter: You were drafted in the MLB draft and will be selected in the NFL draft. Growing up, what sport did you dream more of being a pro and is there any chance you will try to be another two sport athlete like Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan, etc?
Eric Decker: As a child, I dreamt of playing both sports. I can remember building a "soft landing zone" in my living room and diving for footballs as my parents would watch movies or TV. Also, putting on my Twins uniform and going out to the ballpark for hours as my dad would hit me fly balls until I got tired. Now, as things get closer and dreams are becoming reality, I am excited for an opportunity to play in the National Football League and play with and against the best athletes around.

Scott Porter: What type of a person is an NFL team getting in Eric Decker?
Eric Decker: A consistent individual in his work habits, attitude, and effort. A guy who is going to perform and fill whatever necessary role to help the team win a championship! Also, a man who will be a leader on and off the field. Making an impact on the field while also making a positive influence throughout his community.

Scott Porter: What are your expectations of yourself in the NFL?
Eric Decker: These questions never get any easier. My expectations of myself are always set high. I always say why shoot for the sky when there are footsteps on the moon! I plan to continuously work and strive to be the best possible player I can be. If I continue to do the right things and continue to soak in more knowledge, the rest will take care of itself!

Scott Porter: What NFL WR reminds you of yourself?
Eric Decker: I like to emulate my play after Larry Fitzgerald. Being comparable in size, both Minnesota boys, and the overall passion and desire for the game! Larry is an intelligent player who runs great routes, high points the football, and is a very respectable leader on his team. This past summer, I got the opportunity to workout with Larry and the way he works and prepares himself in the offseason is incredible. I take the same approach, in the manner that I am always competing and great is never good enough!

Scott Porter: Tell us how a typical season of training went for you playing two sports and juggling both of those sports with classes during your four years at Minnesota.
Eric Decker: A typical season would consist of football fall camp starting early August and ending in late December with a bowl game. Taking a week off to relax and recuperate, then coming back to school to begin winter workouts for baseball. Play the season out until early-mid June and take another week off to relax and recuperate. After that, come back to campus again and begin summer workouts with the football team until fall camp in August. Throughout those 12 months, fit in an academic schedule to stay on pace to graduate in four years. Without question, it was the toughest experiences to juggle but I learned how to set my priorities straight and use my time constructively.

Scott Porter: What hobbies do you have off the field?
Eric Decker: Being born and raised in Minnesota, you have to "embrace" the different seasons! To be honest, I loved it. During the summer, I would love to hang out at the lakes, grill out, and have bonfires every chance I got. During the winter, I was an outdoorsy guy so I enjoyed going snowmobiling and ice fishing with family and friends. Overall, I enjoy being active and always doing something, especially when there is a sport and competition involved!

Scott Porter: What is your favorite memory while at Minnesota?
Eric Decker: My favorite memory is the chance to play and represent my family, friends, community, and really the entire state. There will also be memories of running out of the tunnel or catching touchdown passes, but I will remember the relationships I built through my career and especially guys from my class, because we experienced so many ups and downs that drew us closer and made us better men.

(October 19, -- Arizona junior QB Nick Foles is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee suffered in last weekend's win over Washington State. Meanwhile, Arkansas is hoping that junior QB Ryan Mallett could return to practice as early as this afternoon after suffering a concussion in a loss to Auburn over the weekend. Mallett reportedly showed no symptoms of the concussion on Sunday.

*Andrew Luck
QB, Stanford
*A.J. Green
WR, Georgia
*Patrick Peterson
Prince Amukamara
CB, Nebraska
*Marcel Dareus
DE, Alabama
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