Part II of interview with skyrocketing QB prospect Dan Leberfeld

Former Rutgers, Arizona and Pitt QB Tom Savage is one of the draft’s hottest prospects. Around the combine, he was considered a late round player, but now he’s considered a high second-round prospect, and has actually been invited to the draft by the NFL. Here is Part II of an interview with Savage . . .

Q)The line at Pitt was a little inconsistent last season – what was it like being under constant pressure?

Tom Savage: I think it helps you. It’s all fun and games when you have four or five seconds back there. But you have to learn how to adapt when you get hit every play. It trains you. It really does for the league. These guys are fast. They’ll come and hit you. I think it prepared me well. My line did great. They’ll be phenomenal I the future, but I think it trains you well to take some hits.

Q)What did you learn from Pitt coach Paul Chryst?

Savage: It was unreal. Just sitting there in one-on-one meetings with him all the time. He made me love the game again. All of this goes to him.He made me love the film work, the X’s and the O’s. Obviously, in the pros, that’s something you have to do. You have to be able to sit there and study numerous hours of film and he made me enjoy it. He made me know what to look for and have fun with the game.

Q)Are there any positives from playing at three colleges?

Savage: You get to learn all different styles. They all have different stories. A lot of the coaches I’ve been with played in the league or been around the league or coached in the league. They all have the terminology. I stayed in contact with every single coach I’ve been around, going back to Rutgers to Arizona to Pittsburgh. I picked their brain and prepared myself for this whole journey.

Q)It was quite a journey getting to this point . . .

Savage: Before this season it was 1,000 days since I played an actual game. You’re ineligible for two years, sitting out. I barely played my sophomore year. I had two full seasons — one when I was a young puppy and one when I was the old guy. It’s been a [long road], but it helped me develop into the person I am today.

Q)Would you have liked a mulligan on the whole transfer thing?

Savage: I would just stay at Rutgers, be patient, and earn my job back. Who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t be here. But looking back, one virtue I didn’t have was patience. I had early success and didn’t know why I had early success. I kind of made a mistake and left.

Q)How close were you to giving up football?

Savage: Real close. I walked on to Pittsburgh in camp. I was ineligible, doing the scout team for the second year in a row, paying my way to do scout team. I was kind of like, ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore.’ I called my parents. I called everybody. Everybody was like, Hey it’s your life. You’ll have to live with that the rest of your life, that you walked away and you quit.’ To be honest, leaving Rutgers made me feel like I quit once and I wasn’t going to do it again.


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