Hype 'em Horns By Chris Neubauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) March 31, 2006 It has been a whirlwind last three months for Michael Huff. The former Texas defensive back has been treated like royalty in Austin since helping the Longhorns beat USC in the Rose Bowl for the national title. And in between celebrating the championship and the constant interviews, Huff is trying to impress scouts for the upcoming NFL draft. After strong showings at the Scouting Combine and at the Texas pro day, Huff’s stock has risen so high that he could challenge QB Vince Young to become the first Longhorn off the draft board. Huff spent time with PFW to discuss the sweet smell of roses, the draft, 40-times and Madden Football. PFW: What are your memories from beating USC in the Rose Bowl? Huff: Finally bringing a national championship to Texas. That’s the reason I chose to go to Texas: to play with other great players and win a national championship. It took four or five years, but we finally got it done. PFW: How has your life changed since becoming a national champion? Are you guys the toast of Austin these days? Huff: We’re the kings of Texas — probably everywhere except California. I think everybody was tired of USC winning and everybody wanted us to win. Everywhere I go in Texas, everybody is saying “congratulations” and all that. It’s a great feeling. PFW: Was that USC offense the best you’ve ever played against? Huff: They were definitely the best offense in college. They had two Heisman Trophy winners and numerous All-Americans. They had great, great players on offense. PFW: The consensus is that Vince Young was the best player on the field at the Rose Bowl. Do you agree? Huff: I agree. I think he was the best player in the nation all year. All the things that Vince has done throughout his career — he showed progress and got better and better each year. The things he did this year were just amazing. PFW: You’ve played every position in the secondary in college — which is your favorite and where do you expect to play in the NFL? Huff: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite. I like them all. As long as I’m on the field I feel like I can make plays wherever. Some teams want me to play corner, some want me to play safety, so I guess it depends on who drafts me on the 29th. PFW: Is it hard for you to prepare to play both corner and safety in the NFL instead of being able to focus on one or the other? Huff: My whole career at Texas I’ve been training for corner and safety. It’s not really any adjustment. It’s more mental than it is physical, and I think that the mental part of the game is where I strive. PFW: You were an accomplished track runner in college. Are you sad that you had to give it up? Huff: It was hard to give it up because track was my first love. I knew football would take me to greater heights so I just tried to enjoy my last track season (spring 2005). Now I’m a full-time football player. PFW: Were you the fastest guy on the Texas football team? Huff: I think so. Either me or Jamaal Charles (a freshman running back). PFW: You ran a 4.34 in the 40 at the Combine. Did you expect to be in that time range or was it a surprise to you? Huff: I knew I could run in the low 4.3s. I wanted to a run a 4.29, but I was happy with a 4.34. PFW: I read in your bio that you’re a fan of Bruce Lee movies. Which is your favorite? Huff: Probably “Enter the Dragon.” PFW: How did you become a fan of those flicks? Are you involved in martial arts? Huff: Nah. When I was little, my dad and I used to sit around and watch them. I kind of fell in love with them. PFW: What is your plan when your playing days are over or if your NFL career doesn't work out? Huff: I plan on buying an IHOP so I can get free meals everywhere. I’d like to be a Little League coach, probably sixth or seventh grade, so I could still be around the game of football. I’d like to influence the little kids before they get to the high school or college level when it’s all politics and all about money. PFW: What are you going to miss about leaving the University of Texas? Huff: The great coaching staff, great friends, great players, just the great city of Austin. It’s a great place to play. I wouldn’t mind building a dream house here and staying around forever. PFW: I’ve read that you like to play the Madden NFL ’06 video game. Are you excited that in the next edition of the game, there will be a Michael Huff character? Huff: I’m very excited. I hope it’s not like the college game (NCAA Football ’06) because they made me too slow. Hopefully, Madden goes off the Combine times and makes me fast. PFW: Any suggestions for the designers of Madden on how to make your character better? Huff: They can give me 99 speed so then I can be happy. PFW: On April 29th, who will be the first player from Texas to get drafted, you or Vince Young? Huff: Hopefully myself. I’ve got to be selfish and root for myself. I think regardless, me and Vince will both go in the top 10 and not many college teams can say they have two players in the top 10. That will be special.