Marcell Dareus won’t have to wait long to hear his name called tonight. The Alabama defensive lineman is projected by just about everyone to go in the top three overall picks, perhaps at No. 2 to Denver.
You’ll remember that Dareus broke onto the national scene by delivering the hit that knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the 2009 national championship game. The MVP of that game, he drew double teams all of this past season as a junior, which limited him to just 4.5 sacks.
Still, he’s one of the top players in this class despite leaving school early. Part of the reason for doing so is so that he can provide for his mother, who has seven children. Dareus’ dad died when he was six years old, so Dareus hopes to provide his mother a home, something he talks about a bit in the following interview.
Marcell Dareus joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Mayhem in the AM to discuss the number of SEC guys in New York for tonight’s first round, what it feels like to know he’s about to become a wealthy man, what it has been like staying in New York City and why this draft means so much for his family.
Do all the SEC guys put the rivalries to bed and join forces now to argue that the SEC is the best conference?:
“It’s kind of like an unspoken law. The SEC is pretty powerful; we’ve got a lot of big-time players coming out of there. … We’re not really not speaking or anything. … It is crazy because a lot of us are up here and, as I get to know to them, they are cool kids just like we are.”
Looking back at the game against Auburn last year, did he think that the game was already over at halftime before the Tigers came back to win?:
“I didn’t but we had a lot of players that did. We had a lot of young players. You got some youngsters on your team and you get a big-time team like Auburn and you get them on the ropes, they kind of lean back and just kind of want to run the clock down and get out of there.”
What does it feel like knowing that he’s about to become a very wealthy man?:
“Well, honestly I’m still a broke man right now. I’m not that rich. … I’m still the same, old kid, no money in my pocket, the face you saw on TV. … I ain’t got no money. I’m just waiting for this draft to get done and then the lockout’s still going on. There ain’t going to be no money for a while.”
What is it like to be staying in New York City before the draft?:
“It’s nice, man. It’s hard to come to this when you’ve got a little bad [back home]. … My God, it’s so comfortable. I stay away from the bed, intentionally, when I come in [my room] because I would doze right off.”
What will being a high draft pick mean for his family?:
“We don’t have a house; we’ve never had a house, so I’m going to get a house. … There’s seven kids … and we can have a house where we can eat Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving dinner, instead of being scattered about. … That’s what I really want to do.”