Rookie Roundup: Fozzy Whittaker, RB, University of Texas
Fozzy Whittaker, the running back out of Texas has more of an uphill battle on the path to NFL success than most. He is smallish (5’9, 193 lbs) for his position and lacks the lateral movement and elusiveness of backs of similar stature. Whittaker did not consistently start at Texas, and is coming off a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. Still, he provides maturity and is viable as a third-down back and special teams player.
Whittaker’s current consensus for the draft is the 6th round.
Rookie Roundup Interview
Melissa Jacobs: Please pretend like I’m a scout and tell me why I should draft you in :30 seconds or less.
Fozzy Whittaker: First of all, I’m a hard worker. Whatever you have for me to do, whether it be on special teams or offense I’m going to contribute. And I’m going to give 110% effort and do anything to help get the win. On top of that, I feel like I may have a road being a third-down back. I am able to pass protect a little and run some plays that will help move the chains, whether they be screen plays or draw plays. I will simply come into the game and be a tempo changer. And make an impact in the receiving game as well.
MJ: Who are some of the current NFL running backs you think your style most emulates?
FW: In college, I really used to like C.J. Spiller. He’s been a very explosive, dynamic player, exactly like I strive to be. LeSean McCoy is another I love watching; he’s very elusive and they use him a lot in the passing game. I’m not as fast as Chris Johnson (laughs) but I like the way he’s used a lot. These are three I watch a lot, and I think my size and stature is very similar to there’s.
MJ: So you are ready to thrive in a rotational running back situation like you did at Texas?
FW: Oh definitely. I feel like nowadays the league it seems like almost every team has a running back by committee type approach. At that same time I feel like it makes it that much harder for a defense to prepare and stop you. If you have one scatback that comes in and one bruising back that comes in and one that can kind of do both, it keeps the defense off balance.
MJ: Talk about your combine experience. What was the most intimidating part?
FW: Intimidating? It has to be the number of cameras. All eyes are on you. It’s the most intimidating, but at the same time the intriguing. If you mess up, everybody sees it. If you do well, everybody sees it.
MJ: Who’s the most interesting person you met in Indianapolis?
FW: It’s got to be [Florida WR] Chris Rainey. He’s a character. He’s funny, just a guy with a lot of personality and swagger.
MJ: In closing, assuming everything works out, what’s the first thing you’re buying when you get that first contract?
FW: A financial adviser.
Rookie Roundup is a series of interviews with select NFL prospects. Look for new rookies every week leading up the draft.