by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
In his college career, Jameson Konz did almost everything. He played special teams. He played linebacker before switching to H-back and tight end. The one thing he didn’t do was get the attention of NFL scouts – at least until after his pro day.
The Kent State utility knife lived up to the Golden Flash nickname last week, running a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and leaping 46 inches. That performance, coupled with the success of former teammate Julian Edelman, has gotten him a lot of attention. Konz answered questions about his past quarterback and how he hopes to become the latest in Kent State’s growing line of NFL athletes.
Well, starting out, this is for Patriots Daily, so I’m curious if you could give us any dirt on Julian Edelman.
Oh, geez, I don’t know if I’m going to give you any dirt on him. (Laughs.)
What was it like to play with him? Did you catch passes from him, or did you switch to receiver after he left?
I had just switched to tight end when we were both about to be seniors that year (2008). The thing that I can remember most about Julian – I remember when he first arrived on campus – the vibe right away that I got from him is, this kid is a competitor. That was the main thing that rubbed off on me, and I think that’s what really attracted me to him the most. And I had a lot of respect for him.
Now that you’ve gotten some attention from NFL scouts, are you hearing his name a lot?
Absolutely. Kent State has a reputation of turning out, you know, a couple of good athletes every single year that make it in the NFL. Definitely, people are mentioning Julian’s name, and it’s great to be mentioned along those guys’ footsteps. They definitely have put in a lot of hard work. You know, it’s their time to receive payoff.
Yeah, I think the difference is, after Julian (got) drafted, he surprised a lot of people with his production in the NFL. I think a year later, you know, people might have a different attitude about you after your pro day. Do you think that’s true?
I agree. Yeah, I agree with you there.
So, in terms of your pro day – which was spectacular, by the way – were there any surprises there for you, or did you expect those kinds of results?
I expected those results. I’ve been training up in Cleveland with Tim Robertson’s Speedstrength and, you know, he’s been pushing me extremely hard, and I’m thankful for that. But I definitely had high results in my mind that I wanted to set. I know what I’m capable of, and just to go out there and be able to put up those numbers and do what you know you’re capable of, it feels great at the end of the day.
In terms of putting up numbers, statistically speaking, you had two touchdowns this past year. I’m curious if – at 6-3 with a 46-inch leap – if there weren’t a few more jump balls that could have come your way.
I definitely would have been interested in that. We had a true freshman quarterback kind of thrown into the mix. He did a great job, but as you know, a lot of that comes down to timing between the quarterback and wide receiver. I would have loved to have been able to work with him a little bit longer and gotten our timing down, but, you know, we did the best that we could, and you just have to kind of run with it.
So, after a year – or was it two years at tight end at Kent State?
Yes, two years.
And two years before that as a linebacker – three years, really – where do you see yourself? What do you see as your number one position?
I don’t know that I have one position. I think what it’s going to come down to is where I can fit on the team. Wherever there’s a need on the team, I can fit the position to help them the best. And I’m completely open to that. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the offensive or defensive side, wherever the team would like me to fit and wherever I can contribute to the team right away and help them win is where I’m more than willing to go.
And you played some special teams too, is that right?
Throughout my career at Kent State, I played just about every single special team almost every year.
On offense, you’re listed as a receiver on the (Kent State) player page. Now, for NFL scout pages, you’re listed as a fullback. Where do you see yourself there?
Oh, I’m not exactly sure how that came about. But, like I said before, as far as the positions on offense, I feel as though I could play a tight end position, I feel as though I could play an H-back position, or even a fullback. It all depends on the needs of the team.
How would you describe Kent State’s offense?
Well, it’s a spread offense. I mean, we like to air out the ball, try to get it down the field. We like to try and take advantage of our playmakers.
In terms of percentages, where were you as far as playing H-back, in-line tight end, and maybe split out?
As far as catching the ball?
Oh, just as far as playing those specific positions at certain times.
Well, at Kent State, they lined me up, I would say, in-line tight end maybe 30 percent of the time. But a lot of the time I spent flexed out in more of an H-back position while I was at Kent State my senior year.
So, did you get to work on blocking a lot?
I did. I actually – I really enjoy blocking in the open field. I think it’s something that I do extremely well. As far as in-line blocking goes, I know that that’s something that I need to improve upon, so I look forward to getting with a team that’s going to show me exactly how to do it, and getting with a coach that will help me, you know, better myself in that position.
Did you do the bench press at your pro day?
Is there any reason for that?
I just had a minor pull that happened a day or two before… I (was) being overly cautious. I didn’t want to take any risks.
Okay. In terms of high school, you went to Lake High School (in Ohio). What schools were looking at you for football?
Well, coming out, I actually only had one offer, and that was Kent State.
Were you always as athletic as you are now?
I weighed a little bit less in high school. I think the most I got up to was 205 pounds. And it’s funny that you ask that: I’ve actually gotten faster the more that I’ve gained weight. So, I’m at about 235 right now, and I’m the fastest I’ve ever been. I think that I just needed to grow into my body a little bit more.
How has your daily routine changed since last week, if at all?
Oh, it really hasn’t. I’m still going up to Cleveland and getting in a lift every single day. My agent has been in contact with some teams, and we’re setting up some workouts, but, you know, until it comes right down to it, I’m just going to continue to go up to Cleveland and work out.
I heard that the Browns were the only team at your pro day, is that right?
Did you get a chance to talk to them at all?
I did. I spoke with the guy from the Browns, briefly.
Was it long enough to get any impression of what he was thinking?
Nothing was set in stone. I ran some conditioning stuff for him and just spoke to him briefly, like I said.
Well, for all of the NFL scouts who haven’t gotten a chance to talk to you yet, what do you think they should know about you?
Well, as far as the film, it should speak for itself. I play extremely hard. I’m going to go all-out every single play. But as far as (beyond) film, I would like for them just to get to know me as a person and understand the type of person I am: somebody of high character and integrity… I understand that I’m the type of person who’s going to go into a football organization and not only be 150 percent for you on the field, but in the community as well. I understand that, you know, professional athletes are role models for kids growing up – I used to be one – and I take that responsibility to heart. I really just want to be the type of person who can (become) a positive role model for people.
Who were your athlete role models growing up?
I absolutely loved to watch Jerry Rice. He was one of my favorite people to watch, just how fluid he looked out there. He made everything look absolutely simple, and he caught absolutely every ball. He was just a great person to watch growing up.
And how would you feel about a transition to playing receiver, being split out all the time?
If that is where there’s a need on the team and I can help contribute, I’m all for that. I’m definitely ready to make the move if that’s where the coach sees me.
Do you think there’s anything you may have missed out on playing at Kent State and not, maybe, at a larger school?
You know, I don’t believe so. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed my collegiate career at Kent State. Great coaches, great kids to play with. I made a lot of friendships, guys that are going to be at my wedding, I’m sure. No, I’m completely satisfied with Kent State and how my entire college career has gone.
That’s great. Any plans leading up to the draft, or are you staying where you are?
Probably going to just stay where I am and continue to work. Stay level-headed, and just keep working.
Well, Jameson, I really appreciate your time today, and good luck. I hope to talk to you soon.
Absolutely. Thank you.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org