What are your exact measurements (height, weight and
I am 6’6 ½, 325 right now. The other day, I ran a
You were born in Turkey, how has that experience
shaped your life?
I was born in Turkey. I lived there briefly. Life
is definitely different there. Everything is
smaller. When I go back, it is hard to fit into
cars there. I get stared at by people because I am
a big guy. It is very different. It was a whole
lot different coming over here. It was a big
transition coming to the US. I am glad that we made
What was that transition like moving from Turkey to
New York City?
We lived in Istanbul, Turkey. My dad decided to
move to the US. At the time, I really didn’t know
what was going on. My dad just wanted to give it a
shot. We moved out here. I thought that it wasn’t
a big deal at that time. But looking back at it
now, it was life changing for all of us. I am
living the American dream right now.
Do you speak the Turkish language?
Yeah, I definitely speak the language. Actually, I
got left back in first grade because I couldn’t
speak English. My parents did a great job, so I
won’t forget the language. I spoke Turkish to
them. It was important to me to remember my culture
and where I came from.
When you were coming out of high school, what
programs showed interest in you?
I got letters from all over the east coast. I was
talking a lot to the University of Virginia my
junior year. Things just didn’t go the right way.
I just wanted to go to a D-I school. Once Buffalo
started looking at me, I really liked their school.
I loved the university itself because of their
business program. I gave them my full attention
once Buffalo started looking at me. They offered
me. I told myself that I don’t need any other
schools. It was just a perfect fit for me.
Describe your career at Buffalo to us.
I definitely feel like I made the right choice. I
came to the program in 2008. We had the bowl year.
We had the whole Turner Gill era and then
transitioning from his style of play to Coach
Quinn. He has an aggressive coaching style. He has
a background with Brian Kelly. I just gained a lot
of valuable experience from two different coaching
styles. I learned the business aspect of the game.
It is one of the best choices that I have made.
How tough was it to finish your college career with
a 4-8 overall record during your senior year?
We were a very close team going into our senior
season. Everyone bought into it. We sacrificed a
lot. We had a fairly good game against Georgia. It
was a good game for us. Things just didn’t go our
way. But we ended the season on a high note. It
would have been better if we got to the bowl game.
But the program is growing. I am happy for the team
What are your strengths?
I am aggressive. I am consistent. I am very
passionate about the game. I wear my heart on my
sleeves. I will get on guys if I see them
slacking. I like to run block. I love the pass
game. The all-around game appeals to me.
What areas of your game are you trying to improve
Right now, I am building strength. I need to stay a
little lower, so it will be easier to move
laterally. There are always little things to work
What is the highlight of your football career up to
The highlight of my career would be this past year.
I played against Georgia. I went up against Jarvis
Jones. He is one of the most elite athletes out
there. I played against Georgia in front of 90,000
fans in attendance. It was a pretty good confidence
boost for me being able to hold my own against
Jarvis Jones. I will always look back on it. I
will always remember it.
Is Jarvis Jones the best player that you have gone
I would say that he was the best player. He pursues
the ball really well. He is very elusive and
strong. He knows the game. It was a good battle
between the two of us. He is a great competitor.
What did you enjoy the most about playing college
The thing that I will miss most is being around the
guys in the locker room every day. I enjoyed going
to games with them and playing with them. It is
something that you can’t put a price on.
What is your favorite NFL team?
Anyone that gives me a shot. That would be my
Who is your favorite NFL player?
I have always watched guys like David Diehl and Jake
Long. I watch Matt Kalil now. I look up to those
What separates you from all of the other players at
I am just more inspired to do it because I want to
be the second Turkish player to ever play in the
NFL. I want to be recognized. I want people to
know that I came from a smaller school, but I can
still make it. Those things just keep me going.
Who is the better player RB Branden Oliver or LB
You are going to make me choose against my two
teammates. They are both great players. Khalil is
great defensively. He knows where he needs to be.
He knows what to do and he fights hard. Branden is
a hard-nosed guy who has a chip on his shoulder. He
fights really hard. He makes the O-line better, and
they want to block for him. That is how it is
Which underclassman on your team should we keep an
eye on in the future?
I have to give it to my buddy Najja Johnson. He is
a corner with impressive speed. He puts up great
numbers and he is very consistent. He will shine
next year. You will notice him.
Where are you training for the NFL Draft?
I am training at Absolute Performance in Buffalo. I
am training with Paul Childress and Tom Corradino.
They are two amazing trainers. I have gotten a lot
stronger since working out with them. I feel
great. I am just doing all of the drills. I feel
more comfortable doing everything.
What is your training regimen like right now? Take
us into your daily routine.
I wake up and get some breakfast. I head over to
the gym. I stretch out for about 20 minutes. Today
was an upper body day. I spent about two hours
working out and then I stretch some more. Then I
come home to rest up. Then I head over to work out
again in the evening. I have been doing this for
the past two months.
Describe the anticipation leading up to your pro
day. What can we expect from you?
It is marked up on my calendar. I have been looking
forward to this day for quite awhile. I am staying
calm about it. It is going to be a day during which
I will have to perform. It’s going to be fun. I
know that I will put up some impressive numbers. I
am very confident about it.
What is your definition of a leader?
A leader is someone who doesn’t demand, but says
that we can do it. It is someone who doesn’t point
fingers. You don’t have to be vocal. But if you do
speak, then guys will listen. Your actions show
that you are a leader.
What is the greatest lesson that you have learned in
life so far?
Just staying humble and staying true to what you
have to say. When you work hard, everything will
fall into place. You can’t cheat anything. My
parents taught me that you have to work hard for
What are your hobbies?
I like to hang out with all of my friends. I like
to stay low key. I like to play video games.
You received a degree in business finance, what do
you want to do with your life after your football
career comes to an end?
After football, I want to work for a financial
company. I want to work as a financial analyst or
something along those lines. Ideally, I want to get
back into the athletic department. It always
How does it feel being
a small fish in a large pond?
It gives me a chip on my shoulder. You have a
little extra to prove. I use it as motivation ever
since I started training for this. You don’t get
notoriety. You have a lot to prove.
What is the feedback that you have received from
scouts and coaches during this whole process?
I have talked to my agent John Hernandez. He said
that people are watching. I just need to come out
and perform during my pro day. If I do well, I will
turn some heads.
Finish the sentence, Gokhan Ozkan is ….
On the field, I want to get after it. I want to
perfect my craft. I want to do the best that I
can. Off the field, I am one of the goofier people
that you will ever meet. I like to joke around. I
am calm in my down time. I get down to business
when it is time for it.