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Atlanta Falcons Rookie LB Tyler Starr Talks about Football, and Coming to SF

Atlanta Falcons and former University of South Dakota linebacker Tyler Starr joined Jeff Thurn on Wednesday’s edition of Overtime. 

Starr was drafted in the seventh round of NFL Draft by the Falcons. The former USD standout and Little Rock, Iowa native played in 12 of 13 games last season. He registered 71 total tackles (15 for a loss), nine sacks, four pass defenses, an interception and four forced fumbles. He participated in the East-West Shrine Game, and the NFL Scouting Combine. Starr is 6’4″, and 250 pounds.

Starr talks about how nervous he was as the seventh round progressed before being chosen by the Falcons: 

“I was sweating a little bit. I mean, you know my life and as the picks went by, I kind of got lower, and lower. I was afraid I was going to miss out.”

Thurn asks Starr where he was when he got the call from the Falcons in the NFL Draft?

“I was at my house, my garage with some family and friends, and you know, it came towards the end of the draft and it wasn’t looking good. I was going to go to Houston as a  free agent, but my agent called me and said, hey, I think the last two picks the Falcons are going to pick a linebacker and a DB (defensive back). I saw that the Falcons picked a linebacker, Yawin Smallwood, and I kind of got crushed. There’s no way they are going to pick linebacker back-to-back. I was kind of moping, but my phone rang, and God blessed the Atlanta Falcons calling and the rest is history.”

What has the last month been with Offseason Training Activities? 

“So far, soaking it all in, man. I’m trying to find the best way I can be the best possible linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. In the weight room, off the field learning the playbook and getting comfortable with the system.”

Difference from playing college football to the NFL: 

“Yeah, I think especially coming up from the (Division) 1-AA level, it’s about a step and half up. At the 1-AA level, you have the athletes that can come in and start as a rookie and going against Jake Matthews everyday. What a better guy to go out there and compete with. He’s got all the tools in the world to be an All-Pro tackle, and you know, his dad’s a Hall of Famer. I mean the biggest change for me is how much technique comes down to a one-step, hand placement, and pad level. It’s so crucial in one play of the game. One bad hand placement, one bad false step, and you could be done for the whole play and let your teammates down.”

Starr is going to host a football clinic on July 10th at the Sanford Fieldhouse, and shares a little about the camp: 

“I think the only thing I can include on that, is actually being able to influence the kids, and take advantage of the opportunities out here. I didn’t get a chance to go to anybody’s camp, and Sanford’s facility, what a better way to get better and truly take your play to the next level. I am looking forward to getting with these kids, and not only helping them improve their football skills, but teaching them about certain values of life that will help you excel not only on the field, but off the field.”

For more information, ESPN 99.1′s Jeff Harkness has more. 

To hear more of Starr’s interview with Thurn, listen below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

*For comments, and story ideas, email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Tyler Starr - Atlanta Falcons
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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