After receiving a scholarship offer from The University of Texas coaching staff, it didn’t take Arlington Bowie cornerback Ryan Palmer long to decide where he wanted to play college ball. The 5-10 speedster made it official last weekend, giving Texas its ninth commitment of the 2004 class. We caught up with the shutdown corner to get his thoughts on UT, playing corner and just how he likes to play.
What made you want to commit early?
I just didn’t want to have the hassle of picking a school during my senior year. I’ve always liked Texas so it was pretty easy to decide that’s where I wanted to go. I pretty much knew all along.
So how’d things go at the Texas Relays?
We did pretty good. In the 4X200 we got first and in the 4X100 we got second. I got disqualified in the 100 because I came out of the blocks too soon. You only get one chance.
So when did you get your offer from Texas?
It was about two weeks ago.
Were you surprised or was it something you were kind of expecting?
Well, with (teammate Brandon) Foster (left, with Palmer)going there, he was telling me that they were going to try to get me. And I’ve been interested in Texas for a long time. I wouldn’t say it was too big of a surprise. I was happy about it though.
When I talked to (Arlington Bowie) coach (Anthony) Criss last week, he said you’re going to be the next coming of Nathan Vasher. What are your thoughts on that?
It’s good. I like to have big shoes to fill. My dad almost went to the pros so those are some big shoes to fill there too. I like the pressure.
Where did your dad play?
He went to Bishop College and he got drafted by the Packers but he got hurt. He played cornerback.
Like father like son, I suppose. What do you think are your stronger points? What makes you a good cornerback?
I would say my speed. If I get burned in a pass route I have catch-up speed where I can go get them. I can recover no problem.
As a corner, they always say you have to have a short memory.
Yeah, if you give something up you can’t even think about it. You just have to go on to the next play.
Let’s talk about your speed. Have you ever been up with a player that you had trouble keeping up with?
Nope. Really I’ve been faster than all the receivers I’ve faced. Some of them are kind of big so I’ve got to figure out which way I’m going to defend them because they can use their height against me. But I find different ways to play tall receivers.
What do you do if you’re matched up with a guy who’s several inches taller than you?
I like to stay in their inside pocket. I don’t necessarily bump-and-run if a guy’s 6-4 since I’m only 5-10. I just play off a little and let my speed cover him.
Who would you compare your style to?
I would say Phillip Buchanon from the Raiders who came out of Miami. That’s who I model my game after.
How big of a relief is it to have this decision out of your way?
It’s great. Now I can worry about the little things – keeping my grades up and things like that.
Are you in pretty good standing in the classroom?
Oh yeah, I’m doing really good. I take the test on May 3.
So what’s next up for you?
Going to the state track meet and winning the state title.
What are you hoping to do this summer to make yourself an even better player?
I’m going to work out with Ray Crockett, the guy that Foster works out with. Foster knows him really well so he works out with him. Hopefully he can teach us a thing or two.
Are you hoping to come in as a true freshman and get some playing time?
I want to come in and help out on special teams – punt returns or kick returns or wherever they need me. And I’ll just work on getting bigger so I can play some corner.
What other schools were coming after you?
A&M … pretty much all the Texas schools. And I had some out of state schools too.