Titans CB, Jason McCourty Interview
Jason McCourty attended Rutgers University, and was a great defensive back during his time there. He then entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 6th round by the Tennessee Titans. He has been a member of the Titans since. He has been getting consistently better every year, just like he did in college. This interview was conducted before the 2010 NFL season was over. [UPDATE: J-Mac finished the 2010 season with over 100 tackles.]
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Strauss : So, why do you use twitter? How else do you connect to fans?
McCourty : Twitter is a great way to connect with fans but also with some of my friends who I’m not able to see as often as I’d like. Other than twitter, I also have a Facebook fan page, and I just joined this new website called School of Legends. It’s a way for fans to connect with all of their favorite NFL players.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
McCourty : My Mom was probably the person I looked up to the most because of the way she raised my brothers and I. She motivated me to succeed. Growing up and seeing how much she did for me, made me want to one day be able to provide for her.
Strauss : What was high school football like? did you play any other sports?
McCourty : High school football was a lot of fun, got the chance to play with my twin brother and many other friends I grew up with. I kind of miss high school football and the atmosphere, having the student section chanting during games, and not having to watch film and go to meetings. I played basketball as well, started at point guard.
Strauss : What is your favorite memory from Rutgers?
McCourty : My favorite memory from Rutgers was upsetting Louisville on ESPN my sophomore year when they were ranked top 10 in the nation. The game was sold out and the stadium was so loud that night, something I’ll always remember. Some of my best memories were shared in the locker room just laughing and hanging out with my teammates. That type of bond I will always miss.
Strauss : What is the most important thing you learned at Rutgers that has helped you succeed in the NFL?
McCourty : Playing under coach Schiano showed me that hard work and discipline can take you a long way. Being a student at Rutgers and playing football I learned how to manage my time to get everything done. Those type of attributes are what help me to continue to be successful after college. Throughout college I grew up and became a man, I believe I went in a young boy and came out a responsible young adult.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
McCourty : Draft day was a very long process. I was drafted at the end of the sixth round, and waiting around all day watching so many players being drafted in front of me was frustrating. During the day I received calls from about three different teams that were just calling to make sure they had my right number. When I got the call from Tennessee with the 203rd pick it was a relief mixed with excitement. I had close family and friends at home watching with me and feeling of have a dream come true and being drafted was great.
Strauss : What is your favorite memory as a Titan? Why?
McCourty : I’m only in my second year, I haven’t had that many memories as a Titan. One of the best memories was making the team my rookie year after working so hard in camp. Opening week my rookie year was also memorable seeing the stadium packed and fans screaming was one of the best feelings.
Strauss : What was it like to get your first interception? Take us through the play.
McCourty : It was an awesome feeling to record my first interception. It kind of made it a better feeling playing the Giants at the Meadowlands because it was so close to where I grew up. The Giants were in the red zone threatening to score points and Eli Manning scrabbled and was pressured and threw the pass. The ball was tipped by Will Witherspoon and fell right in my hands. It was one of those interceptions you like to have, the ones that come right to you where you don’t have to do to much work.
Strauss : What’s your nickname? What’s the story behind it?
McCourty : Everyone calls me “Jmac” because of my name. No real story behind it.
Strauss : How are you active off the field and in the community?
McCourty : This being my second year, I’m planning to start to find ways to get active in the community. Last year, I gave money to Red Cross to help with the flood relief in Nashville. This year I’m starting a Holiday’s, “shop with a jock” event. And Lastly, Devin and I are going to be throwing our first camp this summer back in our hometown for local kids.
Strauss : What is an experience that changed your life?
McCourty : There have been many experiences throughout my life that have altered it, whether it was a negative experience or positive one. It’s hard to pick any one experience and say it defined me or shaped me in to the person that I am today. I think it has been a collection of those negative and positive experiences that have brought me to where I am today. I believe it was more the people who I have come across that have shaped me in to who i am today. That has been a combination of family, coaches and friends along the way.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
McCourty : I’ve never thought of myself as an ice cream flavor, but I’ll go with vanilla because it’s my favorite flavor.
Strauss : What is your favorite quote? Why?
McCourty : Only worry about the things you can control, let God handle the rest.
Strauss : What’s it like to have a brother in the NFL playing DB also? What do you talk about?
McCourty : It’s a blessing, to have someone to have shared so many of the same experiences. He also can provide a different perspective for me with us being in the same profession but playing for different teams. We talk about everything, family, life, and of course football. We are able to discuss different guys we’ve played against and give our opinions.
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
McCourty : Believe in yourself and your dreams. Along the way there will be doubters and people trying ton tell you your dream is impossible, make that your motivation. Keep your dream and make sure that you’re not doing anything to contradict your goals.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that I have not asked?
McCourty : I think professional basketball was my second calling.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time!