Carlos Dunlap on his arrest: “I am ready to put that behind me and move forward with the rest of my life.”February 22, 2010 – 9:40 am by Zach Krantz
Carlos Dunlap started this football season regarded as one of the top defensive end prospects for the NFL draft. He is a guy who has all the physical abilities and potential to be great. He has the attributes as well that NFL teams salivate over; he is a tall, lengthy, speedy, and versatile. He was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in college football last season. What’s not to love about this guy? Hold on just a second.
Before every draft comes the breaking down of a player as well, finding his weaknesses. But even before that could happen he did the unthinkable before the biggest game of the season for the Gators. In the week before the SEC Championship game he got arrested for DUI and was suspended for the game. Not a good way to start the draft evaluation. So that was the start of the breaking down of a college kid before the draft. His consistency issues (work ethic); legal troubles; and lack of other things (starting speed; counter moves and body language) are all warning flags in the eyes of NFL scouts. The one thing he can lean on right now is that things like this were being put out there last year at this time about Percy Harvin and look where he is now. Everything can change during the combine. If he tests well physically and does well in the one-on-one meeting with teams, no one will care about any of that stuff come Sundays when playing football is all that matters.
Carlos Dunlap joined Pollack and Bell on 790 the Zone in Atlanta and talked about his off-the-field issues, watching the SEC Championship game and not playing in it, and also all the critics talking about him before the draft.
Asked how hard it was to watch the SEC Championship game and how the locker room was:
“I mean, that game right there, I wasn’t fortunate enough to be in the locker room because of the mistakes that I had. Just sitting there watching it, I mean, I never wish that upon anybody. I could not stand that and I will never let that happen again. That’s something that happened in my life that was my fault and I take full responsibility for it. Now I am ready to put that behind me and move forward with the rest of my life.”
Asked if he realizes now he has to win over the scouts because of his off the field problems:
“I understand that and that’s how it always is going to be. When you are playing on the field you need to win over the scouts. So life is always up for new challenges. This sport, I love this sport and I never played any other sport. I am ready to go to the next level and learn the game more. Try and compete and be the best ever to play my position. So whatever it takes for me to get put in those positions, I am going to do it.”
Asked what things he needs to work at to prove to the scouts at the combine:
“Ideally everyone talks about the 40’s as the best thing to get the scouts attention. Really with my mistake I want to clear up the character thing that they keep questioning about. I mean ask anyone that really knows me, they can answer that question for me. I am not going to say I am the best guy or worst guy, but I would rather you ask somebody that really knows me. I had that mistake in my life and I am ready to move forward with it. For me and my family it was one of the worst times to got through as a family. They all came down and watched the game with me and we really took that and wish they would never happen again. I hated it, not being out there to help my guys and really right now I am trying to focus on the combine and get ready for the next level. Answer all the questions and do whatever the scouts need for me to do to prove to them I am the guy they need on their team. I am going to do whatever it takes to help my team to get to a championship or just to win games.”
Asked if he sees the draft experts and all they talk about is his work ethic:
“Yeah, they claim that my work ethic is not good enough, so all that is going to do is motivate me to work harder. They have to have questions about something and nobody’s perfect; you got to do what you got to do. All they are giving me is more of a motivation to work on more things, I constantly need motivation. I never want to settle with how you are now because you can always get better. Nobody’s perfect.”