Joseph Randle will be surrounded by family and friends in his hometown of Wichita, Kan., this weekend as the former Oklahoma State running back and All-Big 12 performer waits to get “the call” from the NFL team that drafts him.
As a projected middle-to-late-round selection, Randle only visited the Dallas Cowboys during the pre-draft process. He also mentioned the Houston Texans as a team that has shown interest.
“Those are the teams that really like me the most,” Randle said. “Obviously, I have no clue where I'll be going, but those are the teams that like me the most.”
Randle talked with The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell on Friday about his draft possibilities, what most went into his decision to leave OSU early and what he'll most remember about his time as a Cowboy.
Q: Are you more excited or nervous heading into this weekend?
A: Yeah, it's more exciting. I'm excited to see where I'll be living, where I'll be playing football at and who I'll be playing for. It's definitely a dream come true getting a chance to play in the league.
Were you surprised that no running backs were taken in the first round?
That's just how it is with running backs. But there will definitely be some coming off soon, though.
Does that make you uneasy about where you will end up? It seems like that would cause the entire position group to get knocked down a peg.
I'm definitely not worried about it. Whoever ends up with me, they'll have a good running back and I'll get excited to play for them.
What's been the most challenging part of the pre-draft process?
It's really just being patient and waiting to figure out everything. That's a long job interview. Think about if you had to wait for a job for four months. It's long, drawn out. And then when it's finally over, you can finally get back to doing what you're accustomed to doing, where you're comfortable in a program and just working hard and getting ready for the season.
What's been the most enjoyable part?
In college, you don't have nearly as much off time as we've been having right now. So it's definitely a blessing just being able to hang out with family some and just being on your own schedule for once.
Was it a bit strange not being a part of OSU spring football this year?
It was weird. I wanted to try to make it back for the spring game, but I couldn't make it back. I heard they're looking excellent. I heard the defense is looking good, the offense is looking good and all the quarterbacks are doing good. I know they'll be good next year, so that's going to be fun to watch. I can brag (about) them.
Did you miss it?
I did. I definitely miss my teammates and being around the locker room. But it's business now, you know?
With where you're projected to go in the draft, do you have any regrets about coming out early?
No. No regrets at all. I feel like I made the right decision and I'm living with it and I'm making the most for it. (This weekend) hopefully it'll pay off for me.
What was ultimately the biggest factor in deciding to go pro?
Breaking records and all that type of stuff has never been real big to me. I've never really cared about that stuff. I care about having good teams and winning and that kind of stuff. I kind of got to the point to where I was like, “Man, I've already been All-Big 12.” I didn't know what else I needed to prove. Sometimes you try to do too much and then you'll mess yourself up. The only thing to do is to go play at the next level and continue playing, and you're also getting paid to do it.
Now that you've been removed from OSU for a few months, what will you most remember about your college career?
I met a lot of great people and a lot of friends that I'll continue to have for a long time. A lot of lifelong relationships I built there. We always get together and talk about memories that we had together. That's what I'll always look back on — the relationships that I built there.