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Everything Erick All Said After Being Drafted by the Bengals


Tight end; Iowa

Congratulations on being selected by your hometown team. How does it feel?

"It is kind of surreal. I'm at my high school stadium. Everything kind of came back in a circle. I'm excited."

What was it like getting the call from Zac Taylor?

"I was doing a workout so it kind of caught me off guard. When I got the call, I thought 'no way,' and I just couldn't believe it. I had to make sure I wasn't getting prank called for a second. It was crazy."

Who are you working out with?

"My best friends at my old school, Hamilton. We are all working out."

Why were you working out now? Did you think you might go later?

"I had to move around. I was nervous."

How is your knee?

"My knee is great. I'm going to be back and ready for training camp."

Do you think the football injury Gods are going to start being kind to you?

"Hopefully the injuries are out of the way and we can just focus on football."

How hard has it been to deal with the injuries you've dealt with the past few years?

"It's not hard at all. If you love the game it makes it easy for you. The only hard part about it is you're not there with your team and playing and winning. That's the only thing about it."

The coaches praise your versatility. What is the strongest part of your game?

"I'd say just being able to do everything, being versatile is what I think is the strongest part of my game. Just being able to do what the coaches ask me to do and being coachable and doing it how they want it to be done."

Tell us more about your back injury. Do you have any questions about it moving forward?

"My back injury, I had a herniated disc. It started right before spring ball, and I tried to play through that and it kept getting worse and worse. I ended up having to get surgery after our third game of the season. Ever since surgery, I've been good. I had a little lingering pain after with my nerve and everything, but everything is good. My back isn't a concern anymore. My back is completely fine and normal."

Did you grow up a Bengals fan?

"No, I grew up a Cowboys fan."

How different is it being drafted by a team you grew up watching, coming full circle?

"It wasn't like we weren't watching. We'd watch them and cheer for them, but all my family has been Cowboys fans. Watching the Bengals was like rooting for your hometown team. The Bengals are a crazy good team now, and I'm just ready to be a part of it and compete and win a Super Bowl."

Ever come to a game here?

"Yeah, I used to come to games all the time."

Any of the games stand out?

"I haven't been to a game since I was like 12 years old. I can't really remember much of them it has been so long. It was more about being with my family at a football game. That was just fun about it."

What stands out most about your time with the Bengals and meeting with the staff?

"I was home and when I went on the visit, what stood out the most was just meeting with the tight ends coach and going over film, and he was just coaching me up on things. That is what I enjoyed most from the meeting."

You finished at Iowa but played at Michigan. So you know some of the Michigan alum on the Bengals, right?

"Yeah, they were calling me and I also have one of my teammates that I played with at Fairfield. To reunite is pretty cool. I'm enjoying this and being with the family again."

How much are you looking forward to having Joe Burrow as your quarterback?

"It's just crazy hearing that. I don't even know what to think. Just play hard, compete and win. We're going to get a Super Bowl out of this."

What did playing at both programs, Iowa and Michigan, do to prepare you being drafted today?

"I wasn't really a tight end when I got to college. When I got to Michigan I was taught pretty much everything. I was a receiver doing it but it was different doing it as a tight end in different formations. At Iowa, they taught me more tools and different ways to run routes. They added that to my game."

Why did you go to Iowa?

"I fell in love with the program, with how they set their standard there. I went to a bowl game practice and it's a month before the game, and guys are out there flying around, hitting each other, no goofing around. Guys are just locked in. You just felt this contagious love of football that rubbed off on me and I knew right then and there that was the school I wanted to be at."

You were working out when you got the call. What did you do next?

"I was in the other room, so I walked in and my heart was pounding. Everyone was cheering and my mom started hugging me and a few tears came to my eyes. It's just crazy. I didn't really know what to say."

You sounded star-struck when asked about playing with Joe Burrow. Is it hard to believe that guy is about to be a peer?

"It's just crazy. I remember watching the man at LSU just doing his thing. He sets the standard for the quarterbacks in the league. It's going to be crazy catching the ball from him. Being in a room with (Mike) Gesicki, that's another thing that's insane, too."

When you decided to go to Iowa, was it being known for developing tight ends part of the decision-making process?

"Yeah, that was for sure part of it. It really had nothing to do with that. I fell in love with the team, the guys and that's where I wanted to be. Tight ends who love football and love that feeling of being a team like that just end up at Iowa, and they just so happen to be the best of the best of the best. I wasn't really thinking anything like that when I made the decision. It just so happened."

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