Durrell Givens Interview
Sr / Iowa State / Safety

Updated - 4-1-13

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?

Durrell Givens:  My height is 5’11, my weight is 210, and I have no idea about my forty time yet.     


Alex Khvatov:  What can we expect from you in terms of the forty time?

Durrell Givens:  I would say that it should be between a mid 4.5 to a low 4.6. 


Alex Khvatov:  Is the 40 time an overrated part of the evaluation process?

Durrell Givens:  It depends.  It has its aspects that are true to football.  But I have never actually run the forty straightforward except for two times when I was chasing someone down.  As a football player, you don’t normally run 40 yards straight.  It is slightly overrated.                  


Alex Khvatov:  What was the reason why you decided to go to a junior college instead of a Division I program?    

Durrell Givens:  After high school, I actually decided to stop playing football.  I went to the workforce.  I started working.  Then I decided to go back to school and play football.  I went to Juco.  Iowa State found me and offered me a scholarship.  That is all she wrote. 


Alex Khvatov:  Where did you work after high school?  Why did you decide not to pursue college after high school?

Durrell Givens:  I worked for a temporary agency.  I worked at warehouses.  I actually worked with my brother.  I had two cousins that were doing the same thing.  I am not sure why I didn’t go to college after high school.  I just didn’t feel that it was something for me.  One day, I just thought that I still might be good at football.  I went back. 


Alex Khvatov:  What programs offered you a scholarship coming out of a junior college?

Durrell Givens:  The only actual offer that I had was from Iowa State.  They offered me in the summer after my freshman year.  I had another year to play.  I accepted their offer.  I missed some games the next season.  I didn’t talk to anybody else.  Coach Rhodes told me that I shouldn’t talk to anybody else because I have already made the commitment.  I got a lot of letters from other schools, but I didn’t talk to anybody.  There was interest from other schools, but no actual offers. 


Alex Khvatov:  You had a breakout senior season, what was the reason for your success? 

Durrell Givens:  When I get the opportunity to play, I just make plays.  It has always been that way.  I just got the chance to be on the field and I made plays. 


Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths on the football field?

Durrell Givens:  I tackle pretty well.  I am a decent tackler.  I play the ball well in the air.  I have good instincts. 


Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?

Durrell Givens:  I would need to improve my man coverage.  I need to work on reading the QB’s eyes when I am playing zone.  Even though I am a good tackler, I still miss some tackles.  I can always work on that.


Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your career?

Durrell Givens:  My highlight was making the All Big-12 Second Team this past season.  It is a pretty good accomplishment.    


Alex Khvatov:  What was your best game last season?

Durrell Givens:  I would say the game against Oklahoma or Oklahoma State.  Against Oklahoma State, I had a lot of open field tackles.  It is not really easy to do.  There is an art to making an open field tackle.  If you don’t make them, everyone gets mad at you.  I had two interceptions and a couple of tackles against Oklahoma.  The atmosphere was really nice there.         


Alex Khvatov:  What separates you from all of the other players at your position? 

Durrell Givens:  I want to say that it is kind of like the Midas touch thing.  If you give enough opportunities, something good will happen.  I am just that kind of person and that kind of player.  In life, I am that kind of person.  I am a really positive guy.  It is one of my main characteristics.


Alex Khvatov:  Where are you training for the NFL Draft right now?

Durrell Givens:  I train at Iowa State with the conditioning staff.  I am training with 13 other seniors here.  We lift.  We run and work on the drills as far as the pro day.  We work on our mechanics, so we can perform at our best.


Alex Khvatov:  Describe your preparation for the Pro Day at Iowa State.    

Durrell Givens:  It will be a really fun experience.  We are just grinding it out right now, so we can get better.  We are just focusing on each day instead of focusing on the pro day.  A lot of people will come because of A.J. (Klein) and Jake (Knott).  We all know that.  We just want to put our best performance.  We just want to show that it is more than just Jake and A.J.  There are a lot of other good players at Iowa State that deserve a look.  I am pretty sure that we will get some looks. 


Alex Khvatov:  What did you enjoy the most about playing college football?

Durrell Givens:  I would say just being able to make plays.  It is fun to make a play on national TV or in front of 50,000 people in the stands.  You get to meet different people and you get to build the relationships with them.  You get better every day.


Alex Khvatov:  Who will be the better NFL player A.J. Klein or Jake Knott?

Durrell Givens:  I can’t choose.  They are both great players.  They are both good.  I watch film with them.  They are both spectacular players. 


Alex Khvatov:  Which underclassmen on your team should we keep an eye on in the future?

Durrell Givens:  There are a couple of them.  Safety Jacques Washington has a bright future.  He has a body of work something that I didn’t have.  Next year will be his third season as the starter.  Our QB Sam Richardson looks like he will be something great in the future.  Jeremiah George Is an old school LB.  He doesn’t even need a helmet.  We have a really young receiver like Quenton Bundrage.  Tight end Ernst Brun has a bright future.          


Alex Khvatov:  You have a very unique story about how you got back into college, what do you want people to know about you? 

Durrell Givens:  I just want people to know that I am not done yet.  I have a lot more left in the tank.  I am just ready to put it all out there and be the best.


Alex Khvatov:  What is your favorite NFL team?

Durrell Givens:  I am actually an Oakland Raiders fan. 


Alex Khvatov:  Why do you root for the Raiders?

Durrell Givens:  Growing up, I was a Raiders fan.  I am from California.  I liked Al Davis.  I liked their organization.  There was something about being an Oakland Raider.


Alex Khvatov:  What is your favorite NFL player?

Durrell Givens:  I like Ed Reed.  He is a playmaker like me.  He likes to be around the ball.  If you give him an opportunity, he will make you pay for it.  Be prepared for an interception if you throw his way.  He is really instinctual.  It is great to watch him play. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is the greatest lesson that you have learned in life?

Durrell Givens:  You are going to get knocked down, but you have to be prepared to get back up. 


Alex Khvatov:  What are your hobbies?

Durrell Givens:  I love to write.  I write poetry almost every day.  I plan on getting published someday.  I am working on the screen play.  I hope to get that bought eventually.  I am working on a novel as well.  I am not as far into it as the other two projects.  I plan on writing a lot of stuff and get it out there into the world.  It is something that I would like to pursue after football. 


Alex Khvatov:  At this point, is the NFL a dream or a reality? 

Durrell Givens:  It is both.  It is a dream because I have always wanted to go to the NFL.  It is close, so it is a reality. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is your definition of a leader?

Durrell Givens:  Courage.


Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Durrell Givens is….

Durrell Givens:  As a player and a person, I am almost the same.  I am really laid back.  I try to do what I need to do.  If the opportunity presents itself to go above and beyond, I will do that.  I don’t go to parties.  I just chill at home.  I write and I watch movies.  I don’t get excited after making a play on the field.      


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