2016 Senior Bowl Interview: Jeremy Cash – S (Duke)
Senior Bowl 2016 Interview – Jeremy Cash – S (Duke)
Hgt: 6’ 7/8”
Hand: 9 ½”
Arm: 32 3/8”
Wing: 6’ 6 ¼”
PROFILE: In 2015 named to AP All American First Team. Named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and was named the recipient of the 2015 Jim Tatum Award as the ACC’s top senior football scholar-athlete. He became the first student-athlete in ACC history to secure both the Tatum Award and a major on-field honor in the same season. Has already received his undergraduate degree in psychology and a Master’s in liberal studies. Was an Academic All-ACC selection in 2014.
On what the Senior Bowl experience means to him:
Means a lot. These guys out here are some of the best athletes in the country. They come from their respective schools where they were stars. Now, you’re going up against some of the best talent everyday for the next week. It’s a true testament of how good of a player you are. You may be the best in your conference, but can you really say that you are one of the best in the country?
On playing at Duke, who traditionally hasn’t been known for it’s football program but in recent years has produced some NFL-quality players, and what it has meant to him to be a part of that new tradition at a school that has always had the basketball tradition but not the football recognition:
It’s great to be part of that … I guess renaissance … because we put in a lot of hard work trying to get as much respect as possible. To be able to put people in the league who been able to have successful careers, that’s probably even more rewarding, not for themselves, but for Duke and the Duke community. It’s a true testament to players all over the country who may go to these smaller schools that say … hey, you don’t necessarily have to go to those powerhouse schools in order to make it to the NFL and be successful.
On whether he has talked to any other players who have been through the draft process and what advice they may have given him:
I talk to Laken Tomlinson (former Duke OG) probably every other day. He was a 1st round draft pick last year to the Lions and his best advice to me – just stay in the books. Stay away from any bad influence and pretty much have tunnel vision. If you set your mind to making it to the NFL and being successful in the NFL, that has to be your main priority. You have to wash out all the influences and understand that some of your friends might be upset because that’s your primary focus. But I mean, that’s really life. You have to stay the course. If you want to get somewhere, there’s no shortcuts.
On what area of his game is his biggest strong suit and is ready for the NFL:
I would say my physicality, particularly in the run game. I can go down there and fill a hole. My instincts are pretty good. That’s something I developed over my career at Duke. I put that on full display for everybody to see. The biggest thing I’m trying to prove here this week is that I can actually cover too! In the 4-2-5 scheme, I’ve been used so much as whether it would be a slot corner, a nickel, as a middle linebacker, or as a defensive end. There were question marks about whether this kid can actually play man coverage or play centerfield and run sideline to sideline. Through my time here I kind of honed in on that and was able to put that on film for everyone to see.
On what non-playmaking traits he feels he can bring to an NFL organization:
I would definitely say that one of the things I bring is leadership and my hard work. As most people already know, I transferred from Ohio State to go to Duke. And through that hard work and leadership, I was able to be voted team captain my junior and senior year. To be voted team captain as a transfer, that speaks volumes in itself. My ability to have garnered not one, but finishing up my second degree at Duke, my Masters, that shows that – hey, this kid, even though football is a full-time job and a priority, he still maintained his discipline in the classroom. I mean those are some of the intangibles that you really can’t coach.
On who he would say is the safety(s) that he would really model his game after:
A lot of people draw comparisons between myself and Deone Bucannon because of his hybrid safety/linebacker role in the Arizona Cardinals defense. And I would venture to say that we have some similarities. Although we’re not the same player – clearly, because he’s in the NFL and I’m not! But between him and Kam Chancellor. I really like the way Kam Chancellor plays. I mean he plays with reckless abandon man, and in the way he just approaches the game. He seeks to exact punishment on any and all players given the opportunity and I do just the same thing.
On what he feels were his biggest achievements while at Duke:
I would say, probably one, being able to win ACC Defensive Player of the Year. I mean that really meant a lot because that’s really me reaping the harvest of my hard work throughout my career there. But ultimately, it really wasn’t just me. I had coaches who coached me and called the right play calls and put me in position to make plays, my teammates who believed in me who did their part so that I could go out there and make my plays. There was really no selfishness with that. They really encouraged me and wanted me to do my best. So by doing my best, there were more eyes pointed toward them in turn.
And the other would be winning the Jim Tatum Award which was the top senior student-athlete in the ACC. I mean, that really shows I have my priorities together. I mean football and my education really went hand-in-hand. I may not necessarily have that third piece of the pie, but I was able to put those two priorities in order in understanding that my academia will take me further in life than anything else would!