According to a source, University of Cincinnati
cornerback Mike Mickens was on the Miami Dolphins' schedule last week for a
March 16 workout with defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni. He's also scheduled
for a workout this week with the St. Louis Rams on March 28 and has an official
visit lined up with the Philadelphia Eagles on April 6–7.
Like many college students, Mickens watches plenty of movies. But the ones he really enjoys
watching are the game films because he's learned how much that extra time in the
film room enhances his performance on the field.
"You know where the plays are going, you know what's coming," he
told Scout.com prior to the NFL Scouting Combine. "It
gives me the ability to get to the run faster than most people because I watch a
lot of film."
As a four-year starter, Mickens earned All-Big East Conference honors every
year and was an
All-American in 2008. But despite the personal accolades, he's most proud of
what the Bearcats accomplished as a team.
"I'm most proud of winning the Big East this year," he said.
"I mean, just playing with my teammates, working with a great coaching
staff that got us over the hump and got us winning games. And the fan support
there was just terrific."
As he's been preparing to enter the pro ranks, Mickens has kept a close eye
on two NFL cornerbacks that he hopes to pattern his game after in the coming
"Asante Samuel, he makes a lot of picks and big plays. And Champ Bailey," he said. "Those two guys are really good at the
South Carolina tight end Jared Cook told Scout.com that he had 22 formal interviews at
the NFL Combine. The Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks were just
a few of those teams.
South Carolina TE Jared Cook
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
Cook has made quite a name for himself as a
tight end. But the 6-foot-5, 246-pound player was originally a wide receiver for
the Gamecocks until his sophomore year.
"At first, Coach Spurrier came to me with the idea and I told him I'd do
anything to help the team. So he was cool with it and I was cool with it,"
Cook explained during an exclusive interview with Scout.com. "At
first, I wasn't really required to block, so I was pretty much a receiving tight
end. This past year was my first time actually learning how to block from
Coach Rychleski, he taught me pretty much everything I needed to know.
"The hardest part from the transition was picking up the blocking on the
big D-ends and linebackers. But as the starting tight end, I had to become a
Off the field, Cook is a self-described "homebody" who doesn't go
"I just like to chill and relax really. I don't do too much going
out. I think that's the best way to live," he said. "I like to watch
movies and like going to them, too. Sometimes I cook—chicken alfredo, shrimp
alfredo, shrimp scampi or chicken scampi with noodles and the whole works."
Cook is currently rated as the No. 2 tight end in this year's draft class in
Florida offensive tackle Jason Watkins was another player in high demand at
the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. He had more than 20 formal
interviews with NFL team officials, including the Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants,
Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins.
Not bad for a guy who hadn't even thought about playing football until his
junior year in high school.
"I grew up playing basketball. That was the sport I always played,"
he said during a recent interview. "When I moved to Florida, the football
coach wanted me to try out and I thought I'd give it a try. So I tried it and I
loved playing it."
When it came time for Watkins to head to college, he was recruited by
Oklahoma, LSU, Auburn, Florida and Michigan State.
"It just felt right when I came here. I prayed on it, I talked to them
all, but I think I moved to Florida for a reason," he said. "When I
was younger, I didn't know what it was, but I guess I see now that God has a
plan for me. Since I moved to Florida, everything just felt so right, so that's
why I chose Florida."
Out of all of the formal interviews that Watkins had during the Combine, his
one with the Steelers was one of the most memorable because it gave him the
opportunity talk with Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin.
"I was pretty much speechless because they just won the Super Bowl. When
I walked into the meeting room, he was the first person who greeted me," he
said. "I was like, 'man' and after that I was telling everyone in the hotel
'I met Coach Tomlin in there!' I think that was the highlight of my night and I
was very honored."
Watkins, a 6-foot-6, 318-pound offensive tackle, started 29 games for the
Gators, including two at tight end. He was a team captain during his senior year
while Florida won their eighth SEC Championship and their second BCS National
Title in three years.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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