Behind The Web takes a special look at Spider student-athletes, focusing not only on their success in athletic competition, but on their accomplishments, achievements and interests away from the field, court, pool and track.
This month's Behind The Web features RichmondSpiders.com slowing down former UR defensive end Kerry Wynn for a few moments as he finished up his first mini-camp with the New York Giants and gets ready for his first NFL preseason in hopes to make the Giants rosrter for the 2014 season.
Though Wynn did not get drafted, multiple teams expressed interest after the draft and made offers for the All-CAA performer. One of the reasons he liked the Giants was their relationship with two of his Spider teammates, Kendall Gaskins and Cooper Taylor.
Wynn recounts the journey he has made so far since leaving campus and talks about what is ahead for the rookie hopeful from Louisa, Virginia.
RichmondSpiders.com: What was it like to get calls and be pursued by teams immediately after the draft?
Kerry Wynn: A few teams called after making their last pick, but while the draft was still going on to try to get me to sign with them right away. I had some NFL head coaches call my house personally, which was nice. We took some time to look at the teams and try to figure out where the best fit for me would be. In the end, the Giants are known for their defensive line play and with their recent transactions, I am happy with them.
RS.com: You have two former teammates (RB Kendall Gaskins and safety Cooper Taylor) on the Giants roster already. Did you reach out, or did they to you? If so, what did they tell you?
KW: They caught word that I signed with the Giants and said congrats right after. When you first get up there, it could be stressful not knowing what is going on, but I had guys that I knew that could help tell me what was going to happen. I like to know what I’m going to do before I do it and they were a big help.
RS.com: What were your first experiences up there like?
KW: With the draft two weeks later this year, there was no real rookie camp. Veteran guys were already there working out for a few days when I got there. But, everyone was nice and all of the guys were very welcoming. There was no stress in the atmosphere on the fields or in the locker room. It was a great first experience.
We got our playbooks on iPads and put in a lot of the plays at mini-camp and more in the OTA (Organized Team Activity). There was a little catch-up to the rest of the guys, but they didn’t put too much on us all at once. We learned how to digest the playbooks and how to best watch film and I spent a lot of my nighttime going over it and making sure I was on top of everything.
I think my first mini-camp went well. I made a few plays and tipped a few balls and make a few good pass rushes. I am always hard on myself, so even though I made some plays, I always want more out of myself. I was happy with what I did, but I want to do more.
RS.com: You have a little down time before you report to preseason camp (on July 20th), so how are you spending it?
KW: I don’t want to go up there and have any doubts or regrets about this time at home, so I am making sure there isn’t a run or a lift or a sprint that I leave behind that could have helped me be better for camp. I want to be confident when I go up that I did what I could do. The hard thing is the nutrition. Everything they feed us up there helped us and it was provided for us so we could stay in top shape. It’s much harder to do that when you are home when it is up to you. I did talk with the nutritionist and told her how I did things when I was home and she helped me change a few things so I was doing all that I can do to be ready.
RS.com: What is different about your body now than your last season at UR and what are your expectations for yourself in the upcoming preseason camp?
KW: I am probably the same weight, maybe a few more pounds, but I have tried to cut back on the body fat. I’m stronger and in better conditioning right now than I was last season as I learn how to keep doing it better. I just hope I play to the best of my abilities and stay healthy. I think I’ll be fine if I do.
RS.com: Were there any moments you reflected on while you were there about making it to the next level?
KW: Seeing my name at my locker was cool (just like it was at Richmond when I got there.) There are also times when we are watching film and we see Kendall make a block or a run and then see Coop make a play and me shed a block and to see all of those guys from the same college team, it says a lot about Richmond. There aren’t too many teams where college teammates, especially ones from a smaller school, are on the same pro team, and we have three. It says a lot that the Giants look that deep into character and at the guys themselves and that they think this much about our players and our coaches at Richmond that we are all here.
(Photo Credits: Evan Pinkus/NY Giants)