On contact with Raiders prior to selection in 4th round: "We had phone contact. Obviously, they were a part of the Senior Bowl. I was part of the other team, the Detroit team, but we definitely had some contact during the week there at the Senior Bowl and a one-on-one interview with them a number of times during that week. I thought our connection was very, very good and I thought they were a team going into this that was potentially very, very interested, and it happened."
On how his senior year will help him in the NFL: "It was tough. It's a difficult situation. Obviously, we were number five in the country – a top five team my junior season after a great year. We won the Cotton Bowl and you kind of go through a number of things that test your character, test a lot about you as a football player, and how I really love this game and I think I'm going to be a better play because of it. You learn a lot during those kinds of years."
On coming back for his senior season: "Well obviously I think after things pan out, you kind of look back and go, 'That wasn't necessarily business-wise maybe a smart thing.' I know that's the way everybody else looks at it and questions my judgment, but my thought is I wanted to be the most ready, prepared football player I can be. And I thought the only way I can do that in order to enter the NFL, would be to go back to school for my senior season. I think regardless of what happened or where you go in the draft, I think I'm a more prepared football player by staying in school. So in that regard, I'm extremely happy that I got that opportunity and still have an opportunity to play in the NFL."
On whether he thought he'd be drafted earlier: "Well I think being such different year in the draft, I did expect to go a little bit earlier. I'm so excited. I think the situation – going into it, everybody said the situation is most important. It's not necessarily what round or what slot, but it's the situation and I think the situation is perfect. My dad's from California - he's from Southern California, but definitely a lot family out there. You look at the organization. There's a lot of tradition in Oakland with three Super Bowls, a lot going there in the right direction and I'm excited that I get to come in there and compete. Potentially having a chance to play on Sundays and lead the football team, so that's what I'm excited to do is get there as quick as I possibly can and start getting into the playbook."
On potentially competing for the starting QB spot in a new system: "Well I think would agree that they want to play. They want to start and they want to come in and work but, the coaches talked to me on the phone. They said, 'They want you to come in and compete your tail off,' and that's my approach. Wherever that leads me, we'll see at the end of the day but obviously we've got three pretty good guys in there and I'm going to come in and compete like crazy."
On his concussion last year: "I had the one last year and I visited Dr. [Michael] Collins in Pittsburgh, who is kind of the foremost expert on concussions. He pretty much cleared me in that regard and got his check mark of approval, so I feel very confident. I played the remaining eight games at Arkansas with no problems there and took some pretty good licks, so I feel very good in that regard."
On his ability to take hits in the pocket: "Well I think one, playing in a tough conference and having to throw the ball in order to be successful during the two seasons I was there. We kind of struggled running the football. So, there are a lot of teams pinning their ears back and trying to pressure us a lot. And unfortunately, you were just in that situation a lot where a lot of times you had to sit in there and rip it because of the situation we were in at Arkansas. As a quarterback, you're going to have to take some shots and compete to give us a chance to win, and I knew that. Fortunately, I was able to take the hits and I think that's part of my game a little bit."
On whether he is excited to play with Arkansas alum RB Darren McFadden: "No question. Grew up in Arkansas, I was an Arkansas fan and watched him do what he did for the school, for the university, and obviously has done pretty well. So, I'm anxious to get back there with him, build a relationship, and see if we can work together."
On Bobby Petrino's development of quarterbacks: "He's a tremendous quarterback coach. It's a quarterback university at whatever school he's at. The practices are favored around the quarterback position, so I think any quarterback that plays for him has an advantage over a lot of other quarterbacks at other schools because of the knowledge that he'll let you know and the amount of pressure and substance he puts on their shoulders. I think some years, that's really, really good, and some years it's a little bit tougher. But I think I'm ahead of the curve in a lot of ways as far as rookies coming in because of what Coach Petrino instilled sat the quarterback position. So I'm excited to get in there, get started and figure out what we're doing offensively, and I think we'll be ready to go."
On who he spoke with when he got the call: "I talked to Coach Allen. Coach Allen was one of the first people I talked to as well as Coach DeFilippo and Coach Olsen. Those were the first few guys I talked to."