Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles addressed the media today during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Below is a transcript from the news conference featuring Bortles, a candidate to be drafted fourth overall by the Browns.
On is rise: "I wasn’t very highly recruited. I had four offers. Two were to play tight end, two were to play quarterback. So I was very grateful to Coach [George] O’Leary and UCF for giving me that opportunity. Wanted to repay him every way I could."
On decision to throw at combine: "My mind was always made up, it was just waiting on the right time to announce it. Getting information from a lot of people. But I want to compete. That’s kind of who I am, that’s what I want to do. I look forward to doing everything here. That’s kind of the way I was brought up and who I am. So throwing really wasn’t a question the whole time, it was just a matter of time until we told somebody about it."
On how far UCF's program has come: "It’s been a great journey. The guys that were there before myself and the teammates that I played with these past couple seasons have done a great job of laying the foundation at UCF. Coach O’Leary’s done a phenomenal job there in getting that program ready, so going 12-1 and winning a BCS game was huge. I know they’re on the path to keep that kind of success up."
On if he feels like he belongs with the elite at the combine: "Yeah, yeah, 100 percent I do. That’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m invited. I believe that I can compete with any guy here, and that’s why I’m doing everything I’m doing. That’s why I’m throwing, that’s why I’m running, doing all this stuff. Why wait till pro day when you have an opportunity to make your first impression here in Indianapolis. I grew up watching this as a kid and dreamed of competing in it, why would I sit anything out and do any of that kind of stuff? Just excited to be here and honored to be here, but definitely believe I belong here."
On if the Houston Texans go with a quarterback No. 1 overall, what skill set of his should they consider: "I think kind of the skill set I possess is being able to extend plays, being able to handle a lot of offense. Having played at UCF, dealing with a lot of things as far as handling offense, making all the throws, being trustworthy. I think making the right decisions on and off the field, not embarrassing the franchise or your last name I think is huge, especially when you’re playing quarterback in the National Football League. I think those things, the competitiveness, I think are all traits that are great to have as a quarterback, and hopefully there’s other teams that believe that."