Obi Melifonwu: "I Feel Like I'm A Guy That Can Cover A Lot Of Ground"

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Q: What were your expectations going in? Had you heard a lot from the Raiders?

Melifonwu:"No, actually the only time that I talked to the Raiders was at the combine. I had a formal interview with them. The interview went great. The interview with [cornerbacks coach] Rod Woodson went great, the head coach, the GM. I left feeling pretty good but I wasn't expecting them to call."

Q: What do you think your best at, with aspect to your game?

Melifonwu:"I think I'm best with my range. I feel like I'm a guy that can cover a lot of ground. I'm a guy that can really track down balls and make plays."

Q: How are you at covering tight ends?

Melifonwu:"I feel like I'm a solid cover guy, especially versus tight ends. I feel like the majority of tight ends that I go up against I'm going to be faster than and really be able to cover them."

Q: What was your reaction to being called and finally being an NFL player?

Melifonwu:"It was surreal. I was so excited to get the call, especially by the Raiders. Those are the colors that I wear and I love. Just being there with my family and them enjoying the experience was great. Plus the fact that you guys got Marshawn Lynch, that was icing on the cake."

Q: You were born in England, right?

Melifonwu:"Yes."

Q: When did you move over here?

Melifonwu:"I moved here at the age of three and I went back at the age of 10. It's funny because all my uncles and aunts from England flew up on Wednesday to be with me during the draft."

Q: Where are you right now for the draft?

Melifonwu:"I'm at home in Massachusetts."

Q: What do you think that the scouting combine did for you? You obviously put on quite a show.

Melifonwu:"I think it did a lot for me. I think it showed my character, my poise and the ability to perform under pressure. And really the fact that not only am I an explosive player, I'm a player that has great hips and great range for somebody my size."

Q: Did you get some work at cornerback at the Senior Bowl?

Melifonwu:"Yes, I actually did that the last two days at one-on-ones really well. I think that's something that I wanted to go in showing that I could do at one-on-ones. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do that because I showed a lot of teams and the Raiders that I could also play corner."

Q: Who would you say you model your game after?

Melifonwu:"I model my game after a lot of people. I try to really study the safeties in the NFL. Definitely because we really have the same size, Kam Chancellor. He's a guy that I look up to. He's a player that I kind of want to be, but at the same time, be my own player. So, there's definitely players, you have Richard Sherman, you have guys like Devin McCourty that I look up to. I definitely look up to a lot of different players in the NFL."

**Q: What would your thoughts be on playing gunner in the NFL and in general what is your special teams experience?

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Melifonwu:"I think I'd be a great gunner just because my get off, my speed, and the fact that I'm a guy that can move around and I'm elusive. I played my freshman year, I was on every single special teams except for kickoff returns. Obviously, the last three years I haven't really done it, but that's something that comes natural and I'd be able to do at the next level."

Q: What was the game like where you had 24 tackles?

Melifonwu:"That just goes to show my ability to tackle. I think I'm a sound tackler, but that really was my last game of my college career. I really wanted to go out with a bang and just really go remembered as a great safety that played for the University of Connecticut. So, that was really a memorable moment to have 24 tackles because not a lot of players can say that they have done that."

Q: What was the Senior Bowl experience like?

Melifonwu:"It was great. It kind of was like a trial run for the combine. It was a lot of the same stuff; meetings, just being under pressure and things like that and then practicing with the best. Meeting all the coaches was definitely a great experience."

**Q: Did the numbers you put up at the combine surprise you at all?

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Melifonwu:"Going into training right after my last final, right after school ended on the 16th, I went immediately into training on the 27th of December and I knew if I did everything I was supposed to do, I knew if I worked like I was supposed to work and focus on the things I was supposed to focus on that I would go to the combine and put up the numbers that I did."

Q: Where did you train?

Melifonwu:"I trained at ASPI [Applied Science and Performance Institute] in Tampa, Florida with my trainer Yo Murphy, which is a guy that did a really good job at preparing me and making me ready when I needed to be for the combine."

Q: What do you attribute your jump in numbers during your senior season to?

Melifonwu:"Just having a better sense of the game of football. My defensive back coach Anthony Poindexter was a great college safety and a great NFL safety. He really did a great job of helping me fine tune things like run fits, formations and really keyed every week to watch and how to watch the game of football,  how to study the game of football which in result, helped me have the season I had."

Q: Is your default position safety?

Melifonwu:"Yeah."

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