Draft Memories: OJ McDuffie

What stands out to you the most from your Draft Day experience?

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O.J. McDuffie: "Boy I'll tell you what, the number one memory probably is the fact that I spent the night before, Saturday night, at Penn State because we had the Blue and White game. Then we drove to Cleveland the morning after. I was so tired that I fell asleep at the beginning of the draft. I knew I wasn't going anywhere in the first few hours anyway so I fell asleep and woke up around the 18th or 19th pick. I only got one phone call. That's the thing that stands out more than anything is I got one phone call and it was from the Dolphins and it was Don Shula and it was probably the best phone call I ever had in my life." 

Where were you on Draft Day?

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McDuffie: "I was at my mom's house lying on the couch watching it on TV and relaxing. There were a couple TV cameras, local stations from Cleveland there. I fell asleep just because it got so boring to me at one point." 

What did you personally do in preparation for the draft to help your draft position as far as special workouts, etc.? 

McDuffie: "It's a lot different now. I just pretty much worked out with the Penn State team. They had spring ball and a lot of guys that were being drafted were on that workout program. I was at Penn State the whole time just doing what we would have done if we were playing with the team still. I didn't do anything special. I didn't go to these little centers that they have now. I didn't have an agent yet so I just handled getting ready." 

Was there something about your interviews with prospective coaches before the draft that stood out?

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McDuffie: "It was crazy man. It was just grueling and the best thing about me was there weren't very many question marks about character and things like that. I wasn't worried about that. But doing the Wonderlic tests and things like that, I must have interviewed with about 15 teams at the Combine and it was just a long, grueling process but it was good that they got to know me as a person and not just as a player. I didn't even talk to the Dolphins at the Combine. I thought I was going to San Diego, actually. That's what everybody told me. From what I understand after the Dolphins took me 25th the Bills were talking about taking me with the next pick. I'm so lucky that I didn't end up in Buffalo."

How did you celebrate being drafted?

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McDuffie: "We kicked it at my mom's house in Cleveland and then we jumped in my car and we drove to my hometown of Marion, Ohio. When I got there, we went to my aunt's house and it was just a madhouse. It was crazy and it got so bad that the police came and were like, 'What's going on?' So they ended up blocking off the street and then they sent over these live remote trucks from Columbus, Ohio, so it was all good." 

What was it like to know you were going to be coached by Don Shula? 

McDuffie: "It was the best. Going from Joe Paterno to Don Shula I had the best of the best of both worlds, so it was great. Not only that but the respect that Don commands and the success that the program had was awesome. When I got to the Dolphins they were the winningest program in all professional sports, and then also I was going to play with Danny Marino. Are you kidding me? That was great." 

What advice would you give to this year's class of draft choices?

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McDuffie: "Enjoy it man. Enjoy it. You work so hard to get to that day so enjoy that day for a week and then get ready to go to work. That's the bottom line because you start working immediately and get ready to treat it like a business because it's no longer just a game anymore. Get ready for the business part."

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