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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catching Up With... Corvey Irvin

I had a chance to chat with one of my all-time favorite talkers earlier this week when I caught up with Corvey Irvin, fresh off his appearance at the NFL combine. Corvey ran the 40 in 4.9 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times, and he said the scouts seemed pretty impressed with his skills. Here's the full transcript of our conversation...

Hale: You just finished up at the NFL combine. What was that experience like?

Irvin: The combine was great. It was great for me, a great opportunity to increase my stock and get my name out there a little bit more. I went to the Senior Bowl, so I kind of knew what to expect going into the combine, but it was a great place, a good atmosphere being around all those big-name guys and meeting them face to face and having a great time.

DH: Your career path was a little different than a lot of guys there, and a year ago you weren't even expecting to be a starter at Georgia. Was a lot of what you were doing out there just about making a name for yourself for scouts and coaches who don't know a whole lot about Corvey Irvin?

CI: Coming from GMC, two years there, then going to Georgia and becoming a starter there in my last year, doing well for myself and kind of blowing up and getting invited to the Senior Bowl and the combine, it's just showing all the scouts and the coaches that I can compete, that I can play with the best of them, the top dogs at the combine. Just showing everybody that I want the chance because I deserve to be there like everybody else.

DH: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the scouts at the Senior Bowl and combine?

CI: The feedback has been great. They love me. They say that, knowing that I only went to Georgia for two years, I still have room to grow, add a little more bulk, take some more coaching in. They really loved me, talked well about me, said that I was a nice guy, a good character guy. It was good things from all the coaches and everybody else that I talked to. They just want to see what I've got, see what I can do.

DH: After spending a few months working out and being around some of the top competition at your position, what is it you think you need to work on between now and your first days in the NFL?

CI: What I need to improve right now is my technique and my overall strength. You know the guys in the NFL are stronger, bigger, faster and stronger. When you get to the NFL, it's a job. You're there 24 hours a day doing nothing but NFL work. Right now I'm just working on my technique and overall strength so that when I do report to OTAs or somebody's training camp, my strength can match their strength.

DH: Well you were hardly the only Bulldog out there at the combine. I saw Matthew and Knowshon all over ESPN while it was going on. How did the rest of your former teammates handle the experience?

CI: I talked to all the guys -- Knowshon, Asher, Dannell, Jarius Wynn, Brannan Southerland, Matthew. They handled the whole situation as professionals. They were ready to compete with the best and were out there having fun, showing they have life and spirit and it was a great experience being there with all the guys. I felt like I was back in the locker room getting ready to take it out on the field one more time.

DH: Well beyond your fellow Georgia alums, who else impressed you that you saw out there?

CI: Tyson Jackson from LSU. B.J. Raji. A guy that really stood out was the kid from Hawaii (David Veikune). He did like the second most on the bench press. He stood out. There were a lot of guys. Ron Brace and Larry English and Kyle Moore. There were a lot of guys that impressed me. It was a great feeling being out there with the best athletes in the nation.

DH: You're a couple months removed from the season now. Have you had a chance to look back and reflect on last year at all? What are your thoughts on the way 2008 unfolded?

CI: I really don't have any regrets on the season. It is what it is. We lost a lot of people due to injuries throughout the season. But we didn't quit. We didn't give up. We gave it all we had. I gave it all I had. I tried my best to be a leader on and off the field, just being that guy that you can count on at Georgia. I would have loved if we would have won a national championship, but it didn't go that way. We went to the Capital One Bowl game, and won that game and won (10) games on the year. I had a great time at Georgia and I'm going to miss it dearly.

DH: Have you kept in touch with some of your old teammates like Jeff Owens, Kade Weston and Geno Atkins who will be looking to make up for your absence in 2009?

CI: I went to Athens last week before I went to the combine, and I sat and talked to them and told them that it takes hard work to become a professional, so take that last year and just dedicate it so they can be invited to the senior bowl and be invited to the combine, but just have fun doing what you do best, and that's playing football.

DH: So now that the combine is over and done with, where are you expecting to go in the draft?

CI: I heard I was a second-day guy, but you never know what's going to happen. I may become a first-day guy. Anything from third to sixth or seventh round. But I'm going to pray on it, keep God first, and my agent, Pat Dye Jr., he's doing a great job. I'm just waiting on the phone call. I really don't get caught up in the he-said, she-said stuff or that I'm going this place or that place. When it's all over, I'm pretty sure that phone is going to ring and somebody's going to welcome me to a new home and a new team.

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