Here is the transcript from Ohio State tackle Reid Fragel’s interview with the media Thursday at the NFL Combine:
Today I weighed in at 6, 7 ½. 308 pounds.
What do you think of the whole process of being poked and prodded from all directions?
I think talking to guys before this, you get a feel for what you’re going to be going into. That helped a little bit. But once you’re here, you never really know what to expect. But going in, you’re told to be on your toes and adjust to things. Knowing that I think helps a lot. I’m honored to be here. It’s been a blast so far.
Last year, you were converted from TE, to be here now, what does it mean?
Like I said, I’m honored to be here. It’s something a year ago that Coach Meyer told me had the potential, to be here sitting with you here at the combine. So it was big sticking to the plan, as grueling as it was, as tough as it was, Coach Meyer got the best out of me. And I’m forever
thankful for him and the staff for the heck of the job they did.
Do you feel behind at all because so many of these tackles have been doing this a lot longer
No. I think watching this past season, I think you’ll see I made progress every game. That’s something I wanted to do going into every game. Choose something to improve on. Whether that was footwork or pass protection or getting to the second level, it was always something I wanted to improve on and I think if you watch the first game compared to the last game, I think you’ll see a significant improvement.
What allowed you to be open to that position change?
Combination of things. The offense that Coach Meyer brought in was more of a spread type. And being a traditional tight end and seeing Mike Adams and JB Shugarts both leaving, I knew that was a position we needed help at and a position I felt I could help our team at.
Biggest challenges of that switch initially?
I’d say it was the pass pro footwork. Coming from tight end, it was a little different. The run game was always natural to me. I was a blocking TE and a lineman at heart so to speak. So that came a little more naturally. But the pass pro took a little more time. I feel more and more comfortable as time goes on.
Number one thing to prove?
I think that I’m ready. It’s something I wanted to do at the Senior Bowl and unfortunately wasn’t able to do. But I think after this week’s over, I think you’ll see that I possess a lot of strength and speed and there’s a lot of tread left on my tires. Whereas some of these linemen might be worn down a little bit more. I think my best football is ahead of me.
What happened at Senior Bowl?
I rolled my ankle training out in Arizona. It was unfortunate. But it was best for me not to go.
Biggest transition from TE to OT?
Like I said before, I think right away I noticed that the pass pro footwork was something different. But every game that’s one of my goals is to get better at pass pro. And I think I did a good job of that. And other things like the run game became more natural to me as a blocking TE. So that’s really it.
When you talk to teams, what do they want to know and how are some of the things you’ve gone through beneficial to how you’ve developed?
Coming from Ohio State in general helps a lot. Knowing Coach Tressel and his staff and Coach Meyer obviously I think I have a lot of respect for them as a whole. That helps. Beyond that I come from a great family and my parents did a great job raising me and teaching me a lot of life lessons and I’m truly blessed to have them as part of my life.
Interviewed with the Packers? And what are your thoughts?
I’ve always liked the Packers. I never had a favorite team in particular. But growing up watching them play the Lions every year, we had season tickets, I always enjoyed that game in particular. And I’d love to play out there. I had a lot of fun watching them. I like watching T.J. Lang especially, being a Detroit guy.
Talked to them at all?
Yeah. We spoke. Had a little speed-dating thing last night with all the teams. We each had 15 minutes with whatever team you could grab. So I believe I met with the Packers for about 15 minutes.
Did you get a sense from teams of their interest?
It’s hard to think of a number. But you can definitely tell. Everybody asks you the same credentials. Name, where you’re from, all that stuff. Then there are other teams that know that stuff already about you and are asking more in depth questions. Really digging to find out who you are as a person. I think those are interesting meetings.
Talk to Cleveland?
Best question you got?
Best question? Probably who was most influential in my life? I had to really think about it. I’ve had the opportunity to have a lot of great people come across my life. So my answer was my dad. He’s been there through everything. Through thick and thin.
Growing up watching the Lions, is it hard to be a fan?
We had tickets when I was growing up. Enjoyed going to the games, dating back to the Silverdome and stuff. That’s home. That will always be home. Never really favorite a team other than the Lions maybe watching them growing up.
How did you end up leaving Gross Pointe to go to The Ohio State University?
I was born in Chicago, lived in Toledo for a little bit. I never really grew up around any school in particular. So that being said, I was allowed to go through the recruiting process with an open mind and unbiased. As I mentioned before, my father did a great job in really not pushing one school in particular. We went down to Ohio State. He asked me what I thought. I told him I fell in love with the place. And Coach Tressel and his staff were just icing on the cake.
Who was at Michigan then?
Mike DeBord when Coach Carr and his staff was there. And I’m trying to think of who it was when Coach Rodriguez came in.
Why Ohio State over Michigan?
The coaching change at Michigan helped things I guess. I liked Coach Carr a lot but when he decided to step down, I moved on. That made things a little easier I guess you would say.
Making this position transition smooth?
I think I’ve been lucky to have the coaches I had this past year to teach me the technique in such a condensed amount of time. That being said, you try to make the most of it and I think I improved every game. Just tried to make the most of every game.
Any idea where you might be slotted? I try not to look at that stuff. I’m just looking forward to performing well this week and maybe that will put me in a higher grouping in the long haul.
How did the transition to RT help you towards your transition to the NFL?
When I made the move, it was I guess an added bonus you could say. Right away, it’s not something I thought about, ‘Hey, moving to tackle my senior year will immediately throw me into the NFL.’ That’s pretty hard to do. But I think through the process I was able to grow as a lineman pretty quickly and lucky enough to be here today and prove my skills this weekend. It was definitely a difficult transition in the offseason, adding weight and stuff. But definitely glad I made the move
How does your basketball background help you play tackle?
I think just the footwork. You’ll see bigger guys who have played basketball that are coming up in the line position, that definitely helps with the footwork. I played through my junior year. So that helped a lot.
What about your training recently?
LeCharles Bentley has taught me a lot. He’s tweaked my game here and there to make me that much more comfortable as a player. I’m really eager to try that out at the next level, the stuff I’ve learned with him. Just the physical aspect. He’s able to grind me like an Ohio State coach I guess. He’s know n me for a while. He’s watched me play these last couple years. That helps a lot.Tweet