As draft approaches, several Tigers brace for weekend
Will Arnold, Craig Steltz and Chevis Jackson talk NFL draft.
by Matt Reynolds
Tiger Rag Assistant Editor
Just two days before possibly the biggest day of their lives, some Tigers take the nonchalant approach to the big day, while others are chomping at the bits to get a shot at the next level.
Lock-down defensive back Chevis Jackson brushes off the hoopla and attention that is focused around draft day and says that he is planning on heading to Mobile this weekend to spend time with family and friends.
“Im just ready for it to be over with,” Jackson admitted. It’s been a long three months and now it is right around the corner. I’m just ready for it to be over.”
In Jackson’s first three seasons with the Tigers (2004-’06), he appeared in 36 games (26 starts) and notched 98 tackles (five for losses), three interceptions and 20 pass breakups. As a senior, he started all 14 games and had 44 tackles (three for losses), five interceptions and 16 pass breakups.
Most NFL mock-draft sites predict the defensive back with go anywhere from late second round to mid-third round. When asked if it would bother him if his name wasn’t called after the first two rounds, the Mobile native was quick to respond.
“No at all. Who knows where I will end up. I’m just ready to find a team and get to work,” Jackson said. “Everybody wants to go in the first round, but not everybody is going to do that.”
Jackson said that he has been getting some calls from some former Tiger secondary members that are now in the NFL to brace him for the weekend coming up.
“I’ve been talking to Corey (Webster), Travis (Daniels) and Ronnie (Prude) the last couple of weeks,” Jackson said. “They were just checking on me and asking how I was doing. They all have been kind of telling me what to expect and be prepared for. I’m pretty sure ill get some calls from them this weekend.”
Safety Craig Steltz said he has been working since the day after the national championship game to get his injured shoulder back to full strength and now says he is 100 percent heading into draft weekend.
“All the work has been put in and whatever happens this weekend will be cool,” Steltz said. Football is not work to me. When I go in and work out I look at it like im going to work. I couldn’t ask for anything else than be a professional football player.”
When the New Orleans native was asked if he had a favorite NFL team growing up, the Rummel High Alum didn’t hesitate to pledge allegiance to the fleur de lis.
“I’m a Saints fan,” Steltz said. “I love New Orleans. The Superdome has always been good to us. We’ve (at LSU) won a bunch of games at the Superdome.”
Offensive lineman Will Arnold missed almost the entire championship season in ’07-08 for the Tigers, but hopes that his Pro Day workout and dedication to get healthy will not go unnoticed by the NFL scouts.
“It’s just all basically waiting now,” Arnold said. “I have no idea whatsoever where I am going to go, so I am basically just very anxious. I just want to get on a team and play ball. There is a chance I could get drafted, but who knows.”
Will Arnold’s draft profile
The Mississippi native has been plagued by various injuries and illnesses for the past year and a half, but a strong pro day performance in early April may have put him back on the radar with some NFL scouts. Arnold said that he is receiving nothing but positive feedback.
“It’s been good,” Arnold responded to being asked of what he has heard from NFL teams. “I’ve been out for so long you know, I haven’t had a chance to play or do anything. I have had some really good feedback from scouts that had a chance to see me workout at the pro day we had here (at LSU). What’s going on with me is what I expected to happen and I that’s all I can hope for.”