I interviewed Keon Lyn for my blog (http://footballprospectpulse.wordpress.com/) recently and would like to share the interview with Syracuse fans. The transcript is below. I run a prospect blog, so some of the interview is more geared toward success in the NFL than in college, but I think it is something everyone here can appreciate.
Me: Currently, NFL Draft Scout and CBS’ scouting service have you listed as the thirteenth ranked cornerback for the 2014 seniors. What is one aspect of your game that you think you need to work on to improve your draft stock?
Lyn: Well I have to make more plays consistently. Some games I went without making enough plays. Being the leader of the secondary, they’re relying on me to make numerous plays on the back end. I used to rely on my athleticism in my first 2 years starting. I dedicated this off season to becoming a real good technician in order to put myself in the best opportunity to make plays for the team.
As Syracuse transitions from the Big East to the ACC, what has been and will be the biggest adjustment you feel that the team has to make to compete?
We must have great leaders and great followers. Some of us were in the battles of losing and we were in the heart of the winning. We know what it takes and what not to do. If we can get the team to listen to ourselves and the coaches we put our team in the best position to win.
One of the most difficult matchups for Syracuse will be against Clemson since they will come in with a high powered offense. Specifically, Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins have formed a dynamic duo that can hurt any defense. In your opinion, what do you bring to the table than can help stop Sammy Watkins from having a big day?
Sammy Watkins and Boyd are one of the best duo’s I’ve seen since I’ve been on the college level. They bring a great passing game to the table like USC, West Virginia, and Louisville, but my focus is really on Penn State.
What scheme would you categorize Scott Shafer’s defense as? He has stated before that it is simply an "attack defense". Can you elaborate more on this?
Yes, attack defense is probably a understatement. Our new defensive coordinator is fired up and I feel sorry for the ball carrier that’s trying to get that extra yard because we are swarming fast to the ball and we are hitting.
As of right now, most "experts" have Syracuse finishing around 5-7. How do you feel about that prediction? Why do you think most pundits do not give Syracuse the respect it deserves especially considering the high quality product that Syracuse sported last year?
I never buy into what they predict. They get paid to predict something that they’re wrong about most of the time. It makes the grind harder because we do look at that stuff and it does fire up the team. All we can do is go out and play and prove them wrong.
What type of coverage do you run more: man or zone? Which type of coverage suits you best?
I’m the bigger physical corner that likes to put my hands on you, but I’ve been working on a lot of staying off receivers in coverage this summer, so I’m trying to have a balanced game. I’m becoming better in my technique for both.
Being from Florida, are there any particular players that you remember playing against that you will be playing against again this year in the ACC?
Florida State has a couple of players I’ve played against from high school. I only played one year of high school so the list is not that much.
You played with both Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey in high school. What was it like seeing both of them on the other side of the field and playing against them after having been on the same sidelines throughout high school?
Well, I actually was not eligible to play football until my senior year, so I never actually got the chance to play with Stedman and Geno. I played spring ball with them 1 time and that was when I was in the 10th grade. I knew they were going to be good players. They probably never noticed me, but those my boys. We made it out to pursue our dreams so we have something to talk about.
Last year, you lost in a high scoring affair to Northwestern. What makes you think that you can recover and beat them again this time around? How do you stop Kain Colter and Venric Mark from having another good offensive showing?
When we played Northwestern, we dug ourselves in a hole and it was very difficult to get out of it. So what we took from that is to never make the same mistake twice. We have different leadership now and we went through it.
Who does your game most resemble in terms of cornerbacks and who have you modeled your game after?
Well, I’m my own player and I want to be the best on the field. I really don’t model my game after anybody because I’m myself. I might try to take some type of technique from everybody I watch, but my favorite player of all time is Sean Taylor. I loved that guy. Played the game with passion.
Who is the toughest receiver to cover that you have had to face in your college career? What did you learn about yourself by being matched up with that receiver?
I faced a lot of good receivers. USC duo. West Virginia Duo. Street at Pitt and Parker at Louisville. The list goes on, but those guys are good as you hear about. Eliminate the big plays with those guys and you have a good chance of winning. If I felt like I did that, it was a good day. That’s how you get your team to rely on you and have confidence.
Which NFL team is your favorite and why?
I like the Dallas Cowboys and the Dolphins. I could see myself playing home for them. As I get closer to the next level, I really start to shy away from answering that question. I’m starting to like all 32 teams for little reasons. For instance I love the Seahawks’ uniform.
The Syracuse defense has had very good success in the last few years as well as historically. Have you met any players like Dwight Freeney or Keith Bulluck? What did you learn from being around Arthur Jones, Chandler Jones, and Shamarko Thomas? Specifically, what did you take from being around Shamarko Thomas?
Those guys all taught me a lot. Shamarko is great leader and he has passion for the game. It all rubs off on you. Chandler is a bright player. I learned from him on and off the field. Guy makes great decisions.
Some critics and fans would say that you have tons of potential, but have not yet reached it. What would you say to those people and how do you continue to strive to fulfill your potential?
I completely agree with fans saying that. I left a lot of plays on the field and this is the year to give ’em my all. I knew I could have made more plays so I agree with them. That’s why I’m working hard every day now, so I can make those plays.