Football: Vereen speaks

A sampling of what Shane Vereen had to say today on his conference call with the local media after getting selected in the second round by the New England Patriots:

General reaction:

“I’m just looking forward to this opportunity that I’ve always dreamed of.”


On if he went higher than he thought:

“I tried not to pay too much attention to the mock drafts. I was expecting second or third round. As the second round was going on, I was thinking ore third round. The call came out of nowhere, really.”


On who called from the Patriots:

“It was Bill Bilicheck and I talked to Mr. Craft (owner Robert Kraft).”


On getting a call from a Super Bowl-winning coach:

“It was a humbling experience. I’m just looking forward to this opportunity. I can’t say enough. Everything else is just crazy.”


On whether he felt the Patriots were especially interested:

“I talked with the Patriots twice, once at the combine and once during the workout I did with them. They seemed interested when I was meeting with them but I didn’t’ hear anything else.”


On what he expects his role to be at the outset:

“I’m not sure. I haven’t got that far yet. But whatever they need for me, I’ll be more than willing to do.”


On what his immediate goals are:

“To make the team at this point. That’s the No. 1 thing on my mind.”


On playing with Tom Brady and the Patriots:

“I think it’s going to be a great experience. I’ll be learning from the best coaching staff and the best players. I just think that I’ll be able to open my football IQ up.”


On the situation when he got the call:

“I was sitting on the couch and they actually called the house phone. My mom almost didn’t answer the phone. She decided to answer it at the last second. It was for me. The rest is history, I guess.”


On what former Cal teammate Jahvid Best has told him about life in the NFL:

“He’s given me the experience of things he’s gone through. I haven’t talked to him in the past week. I’ll give him a call in the next couple of days. It’s a business.”


On whether he’s ever been to the Boston area:

“I’ve never been to the east coast except when we went and played Maryland.”


On whether the draft experts weren’t giving him enough credit for his speed:

“That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t pay much attention to what the media and everybody was saying. I’m just going to go and play the way I’ve been playing since I’ve been playing football. Speed has always been a big part of my game and I hope that can transfer over.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.