The NFL Draft starts Thursday and the Bears are putting their finishing touches together for the big event.
With that being said, the Bears could possibly add a safety through this draft.
Blake Gideon is a 6’1″ 205 lb safety out of the University of Texas. Gideon racked up 10 interceptions, 2.0 sacks and two forced fumbles during his four seasons at UT.
He started all 52 games during his career at the safety position making 276 tackles.
His 52 consecutive starts rank second most all-time at Texas. He was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in each of his four seasons.
He made 66 tackles, 1.0 sack and two interceptions this past season as a senior.
As a junior, he made 68 tackles, two interceptions, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble during that season.
In 2009, as a sophomore he was able to rack up 49 tackles and reel in six interceptions. He had an interception against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
He started all 13 games as a true freshman and was named second-team Freshman All-America. He finished third on the team in tackles with 64 to go along with 8 pass breakups and one forced fumble.
I had a chance to catch up with Blake this past week and he talked about his favorite game at Texas, his biggest strength and weakness, what excites him the most about the upcoming NFL Draft and much more.
Here’s the interview with NFL Draft prospect Blake Gideon.
Q: What did you think of playing in the East-West Shrine game? Did you enjoy the national attention?
A: I think it was a very good experience. It helps with gaining exposure. Also, it helps talking to scouts and what not.
Q: What game last season in your senior year at Texas did you think you perform the best? Which game was your favorite in your time at Texas?
A: I would have to say against Iowa State I had a pretty good game. Also, Baylor and Oklahoma State as well. My favorite game was the BCS National Championship game during my sophomore season.
Q: You reeled in six interceptions in your sophomore season, including an interception in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. Talk about that season and why you think you were able to add so many interceptions.
A: First off I was playing next to All-American Earl Thomas. That certainly made my job a lot easier that season.
Q: What was it like going against Baylor’s stars, QB Robert Griffin III and WR Kendall Wright last season?
A: Robert Griffin III is a talented guy for sure. He has so many weapons around him. He has the athletic ability and arm talent. Their going to score a lot of points and get a lot of yards because of it. We had a good plan going in and it just showed how good they really were.
Q: NFL draft analysts are calling you a possible “sleeper” pick. Where do you think you rank among the safeties in the 2012 NFL Draft?
A: I don’t know, I don’t spend too much time evaluating other people. I know I’m going to get a shot somewhere and that’s really all I can hope for. I’m going to make the most of it of opportunity. I’ve heard everything from the 4th-7th round. A lot can happen leading up to the draft.
Q: I heard you met with the Chicago Bears at the Texas pro day? How did that meeting go and who did you get to talk to?
It went well, I had a chance to talk to head coach [Lovie] Smith. It was a good experience and I think that would it be a blessing to play in what is traditionally a great defense. I would play for any of the 32 teams in the NFL, I really don’t care. I know someone is going to give me an opportunity, I just got to make the most of it.
Q: How was it to see coach Lovie Smith talk to your dad at the Texas pro day?
A: It was a weird thing. He had coached his son. Coach Smith being a Texas boy and all they talked about the Texas stuff. My dad talked to him a bit about me and what I can bring to the game as a player. The talks they had together were only a good sign.
Q: What do you feel is your biggest strength? How about your biggest weakness?
A: I think I’m a physical player and I embrace that part of the game. That’s what made me start playing football back in seventh grade. I enjoy being a student of the game and I really love it. My goal is to be critical and honest with myself each and everyday. My weakness is redefined every season, last season I wanted to get better with my mobility in the open field.
Q: Who is the person that you credit to getting you to this point?
A: My dad. He has been there from the start. He’s trained me into the person I am and he’s taught me to be a man of faith.
Q: Which NFL player do you most compare yourself to on the field?
A: I’ve heard this from scouts, Jim Leonhard. Just the way he diagnoses the game and how feels out the field.
Q: In terms of off the field and personality, what will an NFL franchise be getting with Blake Gideon?
A: Off the field I’ve always taken football as my number one priority. Football is my job and nothing is going to be done to jeopardize that. That won’t change any time soon. I have my head on right for the most part and I don’t think anyone has told me anything different.
Q: What does your pregame warmup consist of?
A: I like to do a little more than most guys. I make sure I’m almost tired before the game, then take energy shots so I can have a sugar rush before the kickoff.
Q: What artists/songs are typically part of your warmup playlist?
A: Lil Wayne or Drake. Any of that kind of stuff before the game.
Q: What is a fact that some people may not know about you?
A: That I can do pretty much any kind of country dance just being from Texas. I’d have to contribute that to my mom, when I was a little kid she teached me to waltz.
Q: Do you have a nickname that your teammates and friends call you? How did that come about?
A: My nickname in high school and college was “slim.” My dad was my head coach in high school and the older guys made fun of my dad because he was bigger. So they called him slim, and the nickname kind of went down to me. I’m sure it will stay with me now that I told you.
Q: Are you a big social media guy?
A: No, not at all. I probably haven’t used it within the past year. It will probably be something I use once every few weeks once I’m drafted.
Q: What about the draft are you most excited about?
A: The uncertainty is the most exciting part. I know I’m going to end up somewhere. Just not knowing which team out of the 32 teams I’m going to end up with. My family as well wants to know where I’m going to end up.
Don’t forget to follow Blake Gideon on Twitter, @BlakeGideon21.
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