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Quiet Robertson out to make NFL noise

Defensive lineman Dwayne Robertson says he is ready to make the leap to the NFL as the April 26 draft approaches.

Dewayne Robertson's two favorite NFL defensive tackles are Warren Sapp of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and John Randle of the Seattle Seahawks.

He likes them for the passion they bring to the game and the hunger they display. He likes their attitude, which is defined by loud, booming, non-stop chatter/trash talk that usually begins during pregame warmups and doesn't end until long after the final gun.

As you listen to Robertson, who is one of the best defensive tackles in college football, it is impossible to ignore the fact that his personality appears to be the exact opposite. He is neither loud nor is he a man of many words. The former Kentucky Wildcat readily acknowledges the contradiction between his demeanor and the fact Sapp and Randle are players after whom he likes to pattern himself. He also points out that it does not tell the whole story.

"I know I seem quiet," Robertson says. "But once I'm out on the field, I'm a different person."

Robertson clearly has been a high-volume performer for the Wildcats. As a result, he is widely seen as a potential top-five pick in the draft.

Despite almost constant double-teaming last season, the 6-foot-1, 317-pound Robertson registered 48 tackles, including five sacks. He is known for his great versatility, with plenty of burst and quickness to beat blockers off the line of scrimmage, and enough size and power to be an effective bull-rusher.

Not bad for someone who at first had no interest in playing scholastic football and had to be convinced to do so by his coach, Tom Thompson, at Memphis Melrose High.

Robertson, who is entering the draft as a junior, also is not lacking in confidence. He will tell you, matter-of-factly, that he has a "great pass rush" and can stop the run.

"I'm a guy that can run sideline to sideline and get the job done," he says. "Whatever it takes."

Robertson shares his thoughts on other topics related to the draft and his career at Kentucky:

On what prompted him to enter the draft as a junior: "I reached the goals I had when I got to college, and I'm ready to move on to another challenge and take advantage of the opportunity I had."

On his most memorable game in college: "Louisville (in 2002). Our D-line just dominated their offensive line and we were in the backfield whenever we wanted to be."

On facing then-Indiana quarterback and noted scrambler Antwaan Randle El when Robertson was a freshman (he finished with five tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles, one of which was returned for the winning touchdown): "It was the first big game I had my freshmen year. It really set the tempo for the rest of the season. It was fun. Randle El was an effective quarterback and sometimes he would keep it. If I could grab him, I was going to grab him. That's just the way I am and I grabbed him a couple of times."

On how he compares to fellow top-rated defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy of Penn State: "I really can't compare myself to him. He's a great player; I'm a great player."

On the greatest challenge he must overcome: "The only thing I've had to overcome was the day I signed my National Letter of Intent (to attend Kentucky), my uncle passed away the same morning. I had to deal with that and get ready for college football at the same time."

On why he was reluctant to play high school football: "I was the type of guy that your uncles and your cousins are always telling you, 'You're going to be a football player because you're that big (he was 260 pounds at the time). I never was into (football) like that, but once I was introduced to it and figured out the chances I had, (he decided to pursue it). Coach Thompson showed me a lot. All you have to do is sit in a meeting and listen. If you listen, then you're going to be great and he prepared me for life."

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