INDIANAPOLIS — Georgia Tech defensive tackle Adam Gotsis, who is recovering from knee surgery, is planning on just interview with NFL teams at the scouting combine.
Here’s what he had to say on Friday:
Q: Did you ever imagine yourself at an event let this five years ago?
A: To be honest, even like five years ago I probably wouldn’t have thought that I’d be playing college football. Let along being at the combine. It shows what hard work and dedication can do. I did that and it’s paying off.
Q: I read something where you saw a flyer for Georgia Tech when you were 13. Is that what put them on your radar?
A: I saw a flyer to play American football. That was in Australian and it was local rec league. I ended up going down there and played a little. Then one of my coaches there played for my head coach in college (Paul Johnson) back in the 80s at like in Hawaii. He was actually looking for a kicker. My coach was like I have this kid that’s 6-foot-5 and he’s a pretty athletic guy.
Q: Should there be more scouting for American football players in Australia?
A: I think the biggest thing is these kids grow up playing Australian rules football and rugby. They get to such an elite level at that sport that it’s hard to walk away from that to go back to not even knowing anything about another sport. That’s the biggest challenge. How do you get guys to leave being the best in their sport to not even knowing the other sport. That’s why you see more professional guys like Jarryd Hayne and other Aussie Rules players come over because they are already high up in their sports, they’re the best of the best. They are looking for another challenge.
Q: Have you spent any time here with the other Aussies here?
A: I haven’t seen any of them yet.
Q: How did you choose how you wanted to train for the combine?
A: I tore my ACL late last year. The biggest thing for me is being comfortable with my strength stuff. So I chose to just train at Georgia Tech. They know my body and they know how I work. It was just the right choice.
Q: How’s your knee doing?
A: I’m still in recovery. I’m just three months out. It’s still a long ways to go. It’s feeling good and I’m just working everyday. It’s a day by day thing.
Q: Are you working out every day?
A: Yes. I’ll work up until hopefully I get on a team and they I’ll transition to my team and complete my rehab there.
Q: There are a lot of defensive tackles here. What separates you from the group?
A: I think I have a lot of upside. That’s a big thing for me. I’ve only played four years of really high level football. I came in as a true freshman and ended up playing 12 games. For a kid who’s never really played semi-professional at a high level. That was a big thing and showed how quickly that I developed into a player. I think just my upside is huge. Hopefully a team can see that in me. They can see that the production that I put (out there) for a guy who is still really learning a lot of ins and outs of this game.
Q: Will you be ready by training camp?
A: In my head, I think that I’ll be 100 percent by August. That’s in my head. As an ACL goes there are different phases for that injury. You just have to handle each phase and take it day by day.
Q: What are you going to do here?
A: I’m just going to interview and talk with teams. I’m going to bench at my Pro Day on March 18. It just gives me another three weeks to rehab. I feel like I’ll put up a big number there.
Q: You saw a guy like Todd Gurley injure his ACL last year coming into the NFL. Is that something that has changed the recovery timeline for a lot of guys?
A: Yeah. Him and Adrian Peterson. These guys have come back in nine or 10 months. It just shows that modern day medicine is insane. It doesn’t matter what injury or anything you have, they can fix it and you can come back bigger and better. I think that just shows if you really work hard… .I’m sure those guys were in there every day rehabbing until they couldn’t rehab anymore. I’m going through that at the moment. It’s a grind. If you something and you’re passionate about it, you do it.
Q: What’s more taxing, the physical or the mental side of it?
A: It’s both. You have to go there with the right mindset every day. It’s all about positivity. If you go in there with an negativity in mind, you’re going to struggle. You’re going to have days where it drags and you have to fight and get through it. Once that clock hits midnight it’s a new day. Everything resets and you have to do it again. It’s both. If you are mentally strong and willing to push yourself to a different level, then you can be alright.
Q: What are you strengths as a player?
A: I definitely think my ability to get in the backfield, making negative plays. Just being able to play anywhere across the front if they need me whether if it’s a five-technique or three-technique…I think I fit any system. I’m very versatile. I have a high motor. I bring a lot to the table.
Q: What was the most difficult part adjusting to the American game?
A: We went from Australia to have two plays on defense to coming here and having 100 different plays on defense. You have to pick up that. We went from barely any playbook in Australia to having a full playbook here. ..Then also just the speed of the game.
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