The Bucs have a new linebacker on their team after selecting Devin White with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft. He is expected to fill the middle linebacker role alongside Lavonte David in a new defense under coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Once the pick was announced, White then had his first interview with the Tampa Bay media on a conference call with reporters.
Here is a full transcript of the press conference with the newest Tampa Bay Buccaneer, first round pick Devin White:
On feeling the Bucs were right for him when he visited and why he felt they would select him
“When I was on my top 30 visit, when I sat down with coach Licht, we had a heart to heart conversation. He really got to know me as a person, we really didn’t talk ball and that speaks volume of a GM when he wants to know about that. Then when I got in the meeting with coach Bruce (Arians) it was the same exact thing, and he was telling me around Tampa Bay, they’re real big about children because they know I have a really soft heart for kids. It was crazy, like I just know, and coach Bruce said ‘you’re a hell of a player, you’re probably going to be taken really, really, early, and if you’re still there at five, then I want you on my team. I want to help develop you.’ And when he said that, he was a man of his word. I knew the call was coming in, I just didn’t know when or how far deep into the countdown it was going to come in, but it came in at the perfect time. I’m very thankful, and very honored to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.”
On who he watched growing up at middle linebacker
“I always watched a lot of linebackers growing up. Patrick Willis is my favorite, I watched Ray Lewis as well. It’s just a blessing to see those guys and see the work they put in and just to be able to say ‘hey I can take this from his game, or he did it this way, let me do it this way.’ So, those two guys are at the top of my list.”
On is there a louder or better place to play than in Death Valley for LSU
“No, I don’t think nothing compares to Death Valley on Saturday night, especially when we’re playing a top ranked opponent and everybody filled in with 103,000. Those fans are amazing, they’ll always be amazing, they really love me so the Buccaneers will have some new fans that love LSU. LSU fans love their players unconditionally, I just bought a lot of Tiger fans to the state of Florida.”
On taking over for Kwon Alexander, what he learned from Kwon Alexander looking up to him, and if he’s ready for that responsibility
“I never played with Kwon but we’ve always been active. Fellow Tigers, you know, NFL, LSU, but we always talk and he gave me a little pointers about just be yourself and what got you here, will keep you here. Just keep doing and keep getting better at your craft. Me taking over for Kwon, I don’t really look at it like that, I’m coming into the role of Devin White, it’s the Devin White role. I don’t really feel like his departure made a big deal, I just feel like it was destined for me to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.”
On what allowed him to become a team captain so early in his career and why even older guys want to follow him
“The thing about me that allowed me to be a two time-team captain at a young age at LSU was that I’ve always been in that spotlight because, growing up in a small neighborhood, I was always the best and kids started gravitating to me. But when I went to LSU I became a captain by showing hard work and determination for the Tigers, and everybody respected that, so it was an easy transition. Then when I was able to get on the field more, I start making more and more plays and I was looked upon as a captain, and it was a role that I wanted, it was a role that I accepted and I want to continue that roll. At the end of the day, I want to see everybody around me get better and I want to get better as well.”
On what he sees in this Bucs defense that he’s coming to
“I see a lot of things that I did at LSU in that defense. Coach Todd told me ‘Devin, getting you would be like getting a new shiny, pretty, car. I’m going to use you and I’m going to drive you to the fullest.’ And I’m ready for it. I’ve been put in this situation for a reason, I’m ready to show everybody that I’m the guy for the middle of that defense, and alongside the other linebackers, I know they’re going to help me and mold me to a great player in the NFL.”
On how much confidence he gets from the Bucs taking him at a position that doesn’t always get picked that high
“It really speaks a lot. I knew my worth, I knew that I should be taken very high because I know what I bring to the table, everybody knows what I can bring to the table from a playing standpoint and overall a young man’s standpoint. My character speaks for itself and the Bucs see it in me and I’m glad they see it in me.”
On what kind of shiny new car he would be
“I’m a Dodge Challenger guy.”
On if he can be an every down linebacker
“Yeah, I’m looking to be an every down linebacker. I’m going to play pass coverage, I’m going to play down hill, I’m going to play side to side. I’m going to cover everybody, if they need me to cover tight ends, running backs, I can go out there and play a little quarters. Whatever they want me to do, I’ma do it, and if I’m not good at it, I know coach Todd, he played for 11 years. He’s going to help me get to that stage.”
On if all of his horses are coming
“Daisy Mae coming, Overdrive coming, and TaylorMade coming. My three babies. We’ll be there, we’ll be ready to roll, the Tampa Bay Bucs got all my time, I’ma give them everything I got, and I’ma tend to my family as well such as my horses that I’m talking about, and it’s going to be a great time.”
On if he’s consulted with Kendell Beckwith about his horses
“No, I haven’t consulted with nobody. It’s something that I got to do. I got to focus on coming in and being the best teammate I can be, and then horses will take care of themselves. But right now they in great hands in Louisiana, and they can stay there as long as I need them, but first I got to get a great relationship with my coaches and new teammates, and we can get the show on the road and the horses will come next.”
On what is it about LSU linebackers in the NFL
“I mean, I just feel like we get coached right and we translate to the NFL right. We do big things once we get to the NFL and it’s just a blessed feeling. I’ma continue that path and I’ma just do what Devin White do and that’s just be productive and be a great person off the field.”
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