KFFL.com draft analyst Cory J. Bonini recently conducted the following interview with Nebraska Cornhuskers strong safety and 2011 NFL Draft prospect DeJon Gomes.
Have you reached out to any NFL players about the draft process? If so, what advice were you given?
Actually, I just got done talking to Larry Asante, who is with the Bucs right now, and we were just talking a little bit about the draft and the whole process. He pretty much told me the advice that I've been hearing from family and friends ... that it's pretty much in God's hands now, and just sit back, and that there just has to be one team that really likes you. That's all it takes. I've put in the work that is needed to be put in, and now it's just like a waiting session.
What NFL teams have you met with, and do you have any upcoming workouts planned that you can talk about?
I met with the Bears and the Jets already, and I'm going to Philadelphia next week. I may fly out to San Francisco, but I'm not sure yet.
Like your teammate Prince Amukamara, you, too, played running back in high school. Do you miss playing the position, and did playing running back help you become a better safety?
I definitely miss the position, but I think it was a better career decision for me to move to defensive back. The biggest things that I've probably taken with me is trying to get the ball into my hands and trying to put points on the board. If I get an interception or fumble recovery, I'll take it to the house every time, because I miss those glory days where you can put six on the board in a matter of seconds.
Tell me about how playing two years at the City College of San Francisco prepared you for your time at Nebraska.
It definitely prepared me a lot. I mean, I played for what I believe was the best, was arguably the best year in college in the nation ... winning the national title my freshman year and starting every game there just really helped me out just by being around some of these Division I prospects and people who share common goals and interests as me, so once I got to Nebraska it wasn't such a big shock.
You're known for your versatility as a safety. Does it matter to you if you play free or strong in the pros?
No, there's really no preference.
Do you have more experience at strong safety?
I guess you could say that, not that you could say it's from being in a true strong safety role but just being down there in the box like strong safeties in the NFL ... being at that linebacker in the dime spot covering slot receivers and tight ends really helped out.
What is your favorite memory of your time at Nebraska (on or off the field)?
My favorite memory would definitely be earning my black shirt. The coaches gave them out after, I believe, the Missouri game, before the Oklahoma game, my junior year, and just that feeling is something indescribable.
For our readers that may not be familiar with the black shirt, can you describe it?
A black shirt is awarded to the starting defense, and every defensive player going to the University of Nebraska hopes and dreams that they can have one of their own one day. Throughout my hard work I was able to earn one - two.
What aspect of your game do you feel like you need to improve the most?
I feel like I probably have to improve the most on just sharpening - not just specific skills - my skill set as a whole. Being versatile can sometimes put a damper on things, because you have to do so many things, or are asked to do so many things, you can't focus on one thing specifically, so just sharpening all my tools as a whole.
Talk about your work with the Down Syndrome Association and the Madonna Hospital Wheelchair Football workshop. What led you to choosing them?
Throughout the year Life Skills tried to setup different things that we could go on and the Down syndrome one was one that me and Prince (Amukamara) were on last year, and I was gonna go on this year, but it fell during our spring break, so I wasn't able to. Just going out there and seeing all the kids and seeing how ultimately happy they are even though they face a lot of challenges in life, you just appreciate life that much more.
With the Madonna Football Wheelchair thing, that just seemed like a really fun thing to do. That falls in the same boat: You go out there and see these guys out there trying to play football, basketball, just trying to play sports as a whole, and they're tied down to a wheelchair their whole life, so you just have that much greater understanding and enjoyment of life just by seeing what they go through everyday in life and they still have a smile on their face.
How do you relieve stress and spend your free time?
Probably my biggest thing I do to not think about football is just get together with my teammates and play NBA 2K11. It's a relaxing thing, and it's still involving sports, but not real life.
Do you play fantasy football?
I haven't really played fantasy football, but I know a little bit about it. It's just something that I never really got into.
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.