Jerell Jernigan, 04.30.11

Jerell Jernigan, the New York Giants' selection Friday in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, held a conference call wiuth reporters on Friday. The transcript is below:

Q: Your thoughts on coming to the Giants.

A: I look forward to it.

Q: One thing they talked about last night - Jerry Reese was talking about your versatility as a player. Do you agree with that being one of your better aspects?

A: Yes, sir, for the simple point of the fact that I played quarterback in high school. That helped me a lot when I came to college. They had me doing a little wildcat stuff. Then I played slot and I played outside and plus special teams with kickoff and punt returns.

Q: Do you enjoy that part, being able to play all over the place?

A: Yeah, I love it. People ask me that a lot, if I enjoy doing all that stuff. I tell them, I love playing with the ball in my hands, especially. So I don't have a problem with that.

Q: I don't know how much contact you have had with the Giants so far, but did the wildcat come up at all in your conversations with them?

A: On my visit it came up a little bit, not a lot. They asked me if I loved doing it. I told them yes, I loved doing it. But that was pretty much it.

Q: What does it mean to come from a small school? I know the school has produced a number of NFL players, but I think it is still considered sort of a small school?

A: It means a lot - all of the hard work I put in over the years and stuff. And just - like you said before we've got a number of players in the League, it says a lot about our University. And we keep putting people in the League, every year.

Q: How much do you like kickoff and punt returns and how much do you expect to do that here?

A: I like it a lot. Everybody always asks me what I would love to do, kickoff or punt returns. I tell them that it really doesn't matter. I am more comfortable at kickoff returns because I have been doing it the longest. But I love punt returns, too. I expect to come in and do a lot, especially kickoff return and punt returns. But we will just see how things go.

Q: You look at your size and some people think, "Oh, he is not a big guy." But it sounds like from what the Giants are saying that you play bigger. You are tough. Do you agree with that?

A: I agree. I don't have problems going through the middle. It is all in the football game, get hit. I don't care. So I go ahead and give my body up and do whatever I have to do to catch the ball.

Q: Do you know much about the wide receiver situation with the Giants?

A: Yeah, I know you have great receivers in Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks. I know Steve Smith is coming off a knee injury. And you don't know how he's going to come back off his knee injury. But I just plan on coming in and learning from them and sitting back watching, but eventually getting out there and help the Giants any way that I can.

Q: You talked about players from Troy that are in the NFL. Have you ever met Osi or Lawrence Tynes?

A: I haven't met Osi before but I have met Lawrence Tynes. He and I have talked. Matter of fact, he came down to Alabama a couple of weeks ago. Our coach had a 20th anniversary dinner he spoke at and we exchanged phone numbers there. I tried to call him this morning but he didn't answer. I left a voice mail for him so I'm pretty sure he'll call me back.

Q: Getting back to the wildcat for a second. It is still somewhat of a new thing in the NFL. Have you enjoyed watching the last few years? And when you did, did you think, "Hey, maybe this is something that I can do up there?"

A: Exactly, I enjoy watching it, every time I see it, I say to myself, "That is something that I can see myself doing when I go up there." But I just look forward to going out there and competing.

Q: Do you know an NFL player that you could compare yourself to?

A: I like Percy Harvin, I watched him all through college and stuff. That's the person I try to (model) my game after, I would say.

Q: Have you ever been to New York?

A: Only on my visit. That is the only time that I have been up there. I keep telling everybody that it is going to be different but I will have to adapt to it. So I'm ready for it.

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