Patriots draft pick Brandon Spikes speaks to the New England Media via conference call on Friday April 23, 2010 .
Q: What are your thoughts on being selected by the Patriots?
BS: I'm absolutely excited. I'm ready to get to work. It's a dream come true, a childhood thing. You've been working so hard and it's finally here. I'm ready to get up to Boston and get started.
Q: What has your experience been with Bill Belichick?
BS: Throughout college, I've seen him a few times around the facility. I know he and Coach [Urban] Meyer have a great relationship. I know pretty that he knows pretty much everything about me. So I know what he's about and I'm pretty sure he knows what I'm about. Like I said, I'm ready and I can't believe it right now. It's just mind-boggling to go to an organization like the Patriots, it's about business. The guys love it and guys love the game there, so I just can't wait to be a part of that.
Q: With the similarities between the two coaches, do you feel better prepared to deal with the expectations in front of you in New England?
BS: Yeah. Absolutely. Without a doubt. I have a great deal of respect for Coach Belichick and his staff. I know a lot of the times we did things the way they do in New England; we did things like that in Florida. Seeing the success that we had with the guys that we had with us, I pretty much know what to expect, I think, right now. But we'll see when we get there.
Q: It seems like the Patriots are trying to get a little bit more physical on defense. Would you say that you guys are more of the physical types as opposed to the finesse types?
BS: I would say that. With Jermaine [Cunningham], he's a chill guy. I've been out there in the war with him plenty of times and he's a guy I'd keep in my corner any day. Like I said, I'm just happy all of that happened. The four years we were there, me and Jermaine, we played a big role in the success that we had. Jermaine's a hard worker in kind of the same way. I'm at a loss for words right now to tell you the truth. I'm just ready.
Q: Do you anticipate the transition being a little bit easier knowing that Jermaine Cunningham will be there with you?
BS: I know it's going to be different, coming to a new place and around new people. But with him, with my teammate that I've been around, he's like my brother. We built a great relationship through the process in college and he was actually my roommate when we stayed in the dormitories when we were freshmen and sophomores. We're probably going to room up there. We'll see.
Q: Do you have some Celtics tickets lined up?
BS: Yeah, yeah. You know how that is.
Q: What are your thoughts about playing with Jerod Mayo on the inside?
BS: Oh, I've got a great deal of respect for that kid. I got a chance to watch him when he was at Tennessee, watching him on film as an opponent. Just to be beside him … I know he came in and had a great deal of success so far, so I just want to be a great teammate and have him show me the ropes, get in and get it going.
Q: When you ran your 40 time over five seconds, were you concerned at all?
BS: To tell you the truth, it didn't really matter. I just wanted to do it and show that I had done it. I'm just fortunate to be picked, I'm blessed. My family is here, everybody is happy. With [the time], that was out of my control. I was there and everything happens for a reason. It's definitely going to put a chip on my shoulder and I want to come into the league with that chip on my shoulder. And I think I'm in the right place. Like I said, with Florida, I was at home there. I was around a bunch of winners, a bunch of people that cared. I know it's the same way up there because that program is based on the same things.
Q: You were known as a leader on the Florida defense. Do you view that as one of your strengths and something you can bring to this team?
BS: Yeah, I mean, personally I just want to come in and keep my head down, do everything right. Whatever I can do for the team to help the team out, that's what I'm going to do and I'm going to do it at a high level. And I'm going to do what I love, I love the game, everybody knows that.
Q: What influenced your decision to return for your senior season?
BS: One thing, that was the chance to win a third National Championship. That was the only reason I came back. I don't regret that one bit now. I had a great … My senior year was phenomenal. I had a good time being with the guys that came in. We won a lot of ball games. Unfortunately, we let one get away from us, but that's how it goes. I came back just to win a third National Championship; nobody had ever done that, with that class, to be a part of something special. We came up short, but I loved every moment of it.
Q: Just going back to the whole 40 time, NFL people put a lot of stock in numbers. What was the conversation like when that came up with the Patriots?
BS: With Coach Belichick, he looks at the film a lot more. A lot of guys are going to line up and run well on a bad day or a good day to run in a straight line for 40 yards. I know that wasn't part of my game and they knew that before I lined up to run. Like I said, I think everything happens for a reason. I felt like over the four years I had a [inaudible] on film, making plays all over. Coach Belichick, he believed in me and I'm happy that believed in me along with everybody there. I just want to come in, and live up to that, and be what they expect me to be.