JSouth squad defensive tackle Joey Mbu of Houston knocks off the helmet of offensive center Reese Dismukes of Auburn during Senior Bowl South squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Q&A with Joey Mbu
Q. Briefly describe your journey to this point. Where did you grow up and how did you first get into playing football?
I moved to Texas in 8th grade, that’s when I started playing football. Ever since then, I felt no desire to stop. I played soccer when I was younger, just like half of America. My soccer coach told my mom that I was too big and I should try out football.
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Q. Coming out of high school you weren’t heavily recruited. How did that motivate you when you stepped foot on campus?
I was a hard commit to University of Houston during the summer going into my senior year. When I stepped foot on campus I was motivated because I was told that I had a legitimate chance of starting my freshman year. That ended up happening, and I got double reached my first play. So I was not starting for long. It was a learning experience.
Q. The Cougars finished 13-1 under the direction of Kevin Sumlin your freshmen season. How did you use that to shape the rest of your college career under Tony Levine, in which as a team you didn’t find as much success?
I learned a lot my freshman year of college. How to work with effort during practice and how to become a good teammate. I wouldn’t say that we didn’t find much success under Coach Levine. We did some great things under him, a lot of things went unnoticed.
Q. Are there any NFL players you model your game after, draw inspiration from, or draw comparisons to?
Like any defensive lineman, I draw inspiration from JJ Watt. It would be great to model your effort and passion from him.
Q. You were invited to the Senior Bowl after being a 1st team AAC All-American, how was that experience?
Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive tackle Joey Mbu of Houston (96) stands at the line of scrimmage against the North squad in the second quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
It was a great experience. Other than winning a national championship, It’s everything that a college football player would ever want to experience.
Q. Who was the most difficult offensive lineman that you’ve had to go up against?
Most consistent offensive lineman I’ve played was the center from Cincinnatti (Deyshawn Bond)
Q. With the college season over, what do these next few months look like for you as you prepare for the NFL Draft? Is there anything specific you’ll be doing to impress teams and scouts?
These next few months are all about getting better. Learning things that I did not learn in college and just becoming a better athlete so I can carry that onto my NFL career. I want to show that I am explosive and more than anything that I do not give up.
Q. The Packers may look to the draft to add another talented defensive linemen with athleticism and size to their team. How would you feel about playing for Green Bay if they drafted you?
I would love if Green Bay drafted me. Then, I could reconnect with my former coach, now scout, Alonzo Dotson.
Q. The Packers run a 34 defense under Dom Capers. How do you think you would fit in? Are you comfortable at the nose? Are you a better pass-rusher or run-stopper?
I think I would fit in perfectly. I feel very comfortable at nose. With me, all I have to learn is the scheme, fix/learn some technique, and eliminate bad habits in practice. Right now, I’m more established at run-stopping than pass-rushing. Currently, I’m learning how to become a better overall player with the help of Pete Jenkins.
Q. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. When you’re away from football, what do you do in your free time?
I’ll keep it simple… I’m boring. I have 0 hobbies. I’m more of a hang out with family and friends type person.
Q. Finally, is there anything else you’d like fans to know about you before I let you go?
I have parties on the football field..