ATHENS, Ohio – Welcome to a four-part series of former Bobcats in the NFL. Through Q and A's over the phone, OhioBobcats.com Feature Writer Pete Nakos will bring you a weekly story on a Bobcat. Up for week one is outside linebacker Tarell Basham of the Indianapolis Colts. The third-round draft pick holds the all-time record for career and single season sacks.
Pete Nakos: I want to talk about your time in the NFL so far, I know it has been short so far, but from Ohio to now and what's that all been like.
Tarell Basham: "It's been great. I've been enjoying my time here with the team and been enjoying the process. The process of being a pro, and the day in and day out grind."
PN: You were at that Purdue game a few weeks ago, what was it like to not be on the field wearing green and white?
TB: "It was crazy. I definitely enjoyed that vibe of college ball. The fight and the atmosphere that goes into it, it's wild. Some of my best memories to this point was being out there on the field with those guys in the green and white."
PN: What was it like getting drafted? What was that experience like?
TB: "It was long, it really was. If you think about it, if you want to get drafted into the NFL and especially if you want to play as a rookie, the process starts August of the year before. When they start training camp of your senior year all through that season and then right back into training. Then you train for the combine and then more workouts to get drafted."
"Then once you get drafted, you head into OTAs and training camp. And you're just working for a whole year until the end of their rookie season. I'm just on a one year grind right now. If it was easy everybody would do it. It's definitely a learning process, only way to get through it is to accept it."
PN: Through OTAs and training camp, along with the early part of the regular season, what have been some of the biggest takeaways?
TB: "I've been learning a lot about what it means to be a pro. How to sustain success in this league and just trying to learn from some of the older guys around me. Robert Mathis and Jabaal Sheard, those guys have plenty knowledge of the game and the process."
PN: What's your relationship with your new position coach been like?
TB: "Coach (Brad) White has been great. He knows a lot about the game and pass rushing, just getting to the quarterback. He's critiquing me every day to get me right so I can get out there and get my first sack as a rookie."
PN: Has there been a change for you? Coming from Ohio as a defensive end to an outside linebacker in Indianapolis.
TB: "There is physical and mental change, but the biggest change is mental. Just having to keep up mentally with everyone, to stay sound and do whatever it is you have to do day in and day out."
PN: Have you been talking to anyone back in Athens or coach Jesse Williams out in Kansas?
TB: "I talk to those guys, especially the week when I came to the game I saw all of them. Coach Williams is in Kansas now, but he still texts me and keeps in contact."
PN: In hindsight, how important was it to make that Mid-American Conference Championship game? To get that experience from playing on a big stage because that's the norm in the NFL.
TB: "That was great, I have great memories from the end of my senior year in college. It all prepared me for the next step."
PN: You had that experience in week one to take the field in Indianapolis for the first time, what was that like?
TB: "It was a warm feeling, that's for sure. Can't wait to get that feeling going back on that field."