Corner Alan Ball will spend summer in NFL

By Courtney Linehan

Alan Ball played football at Illinois for four years, but this summer – on Friday, actually – he’ll be beginning what he hopes to be a long NFL career after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

  • Q: Have you talked to anybody down in Dallas; are you excited to go there?
  • A: Yeah, I’m real excited. I talked to them yesterday actually, they were letting me know my itinerary for the coming weeks, what’s going to be going on this summer, when I have to be down, all of that.
  • Q: When do you have to report?
  • A: Next Friday.
  • Q: So you don’t get to do graduation, that kind of thing.
  • A: No, none of that.
  • Q: Is it kind of like, on the one hand you have a job, you’re doing what you wanted, but on the other hand, you have 14 days from when you’re “hired” to when you have to be there?
  • A: Yeah, I thought I could go to mini-camp on Friday and maybe I’d be done on Tuesday. But they told me after I arrive for mini-camp I can’t leave until July. It was kind of a shocker, that changed a lot of things for this week, next week. There’s a lot of stuff I need to get done. It’s exciting, it’s the next step in my life, so I’m ready for it.
  • Q: What will you be doing from next Friday until Camp starts?
  • A: I’ll be getting used to the strength and conditioning program, the whole change in terms of the way they lift, the things they do. Try to get my nose in the playbook ahead of time so when we get to camp I won’t be behind. It’s kind of like they’re giving us a foot up, just to get going.
  • Q: It’s kind of like being a freshman all over again.
  • A: Yeah, it’s like being a freshman again, except you’re getting paid for it or you get out of their as fast as you came in.
  • Q: Have they already sent you the strength program and stuff?
  • A: Yeah, they sent me a program and me and (strength coach) Lou (Hernandez) went over it. A lot of the things are different, but they lift aggressively, just like we do, so it’s good that I get to keep the same regiment I did here. The strength coach sent that program to me on Draft Day, so I’ve been doing that since then.
  • Q: You’ve said you like the defense Dallas plays.
  • A: Just watching them play, they like to play aggressive. Some of the guys they’ve got in there, they play like me, they play like me, they have an aggressive style of play. I think that I’m going to fit real well in it.