Patriots Draft: Q&A with OL Quinn Ojinnaka

Patriots Draft: Q&A with OL Quinn Ojinnaka

Quinn Ojinnaka knows a thing or two about top rated defensive ends, he's had to block a fair share of them during his time at Syracuse. Ojinnaka shared a few thoughts on the draft, his meeting with the Patriots, how tough it is to block Kamerion Wimbley and more. Get inside for more with this former Syaracuse offensive lineman who is expected to hear his name called today.

How did you get started playing football?
There was a football camp at church, and my mother signed me up and through the summer. I was young, I thought, footballs hard, but a coach saw potential in me and kept me going.

Who recruited you out of high school?
At first, didn't anybody know about me. Syracuse was the first school to actually offer a scholarship, but I had letters from Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Va. Tech. Shortly after (the Syracuse offer), I got offers from Maryland, Virginia, BC. I wasn't heavily recruited at the start, but in the end everybody seemed to want me.

What made you choose Syracuse?
Them being the first, plus my high school coach (Bill McGregor of legendary DeMatha High in Maryland) played at Syracuse, a safety. That basically, you know, made my mind up for me.

What was the biggest change from high school to college?
I'm a real quick learner, so I knew the game was going to be way faster. So I learned, come out of your stance fast, do everything fast. I knew it all had to be adjusting to the speed. But it was pretty easy for me. And I play for pride, more than anything I wasn't going to have anyone embarrass me. It was more personal pride than playing time I was worrying about.

Who was the toughest player to deal with in the ACC?
Guys like Kamerion Wimbley, he's real fast coming off the edge watching film on some guys, you could tell what they were going to do, but he seemed to make it up as he went. He would bring anything at you. But I think I held my own.

What was your favorite team growing up?
Well, I am from Washington, so it was a pleasure to watch the Redskins play.

What would you say you need to work on for the next level?
The thing I've heard from scouts and coaches & I weighed in at Pro Day at 296, and they've told me to gain some weight, come in at 305 at whatever minicamp I go to. But other than that, like every player, I have to work on my footwork and technique.

Have you gotten any advice on how to handle the process?
One of my best friends, Adam Terry, plays for the Ravens, and hes a big help to me as Im going through this process. He told me things to expect at the next level, and how to get by them. I was ready for it, I got a lot of tips.

Did you talk to head coaches at the combine?
At the combine, I talked with Jim Mora, Patriots, Jaguars and one more. With the Patriots, I believe that coach Belichick was in the room. With the Jets, they'd ask questions to see if I was a smart guy, or a guy that needs help from the other guys on the line.

Tell us about your family.
They're very excited we try not to talk about it, because we dont want to get too overconfident. We just let it ride until (draft weekend) and see what happens.

What are you going do on draft day?
I'm going to stay at Syracuse with my friends, and afterwards go home to Maryland for a day, then get ready to go to whatever minicamp I have to go to. I'm not trying to make a big deal about it, whatever happens happens.

What should people know about you?
I've got a real good sense of humor, and I'm a people guy. Off the field, I love reading books and magazines about pop culture, reading that stuff.

Be sure to check the archives for Part One of this interview along with interviews from other prospects the Patriots worked out or have shown interest in.

PI staff writer Jonathan Comey contributed to this report.

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