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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cameron Stephenson Comments to Pittsburgh Media

Cameron Stephenson

Guard-Rutgers

5th Round — 156th Overall

When did you come to the U.S.?

When I was eight when we moved over here to L.A.

When did you start playing football?

My first year was in high school, freshman year.

How was the move to defense? What made you do that after playing on the offensive line?

Coach [Greg] Schiano asked if we needed help on the d-line. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help out the team. So I just moved over.

You made a big fumble recovery against Pitt that year, didn't you?

Yeah, I did.

Did that win the game?

It kind of helped seal it.

That was here, right?

No, that was at Rutgers.

Was that when you guys just started turning it around there?

Yes, it was.

So that was a pretty big win for the program, right?

Oh yeah. lt was.

Was your progress set back as an offensive lineman by playing defense that year?

You could say so, but it kind of helped, I guess, in my agility and everything.

Describe how this last season went for Rutgers.

It felt unreal. In the off season, everyone was saying we were going to go 12-0. So in the off season, we really worked out really hard to do the best you could, after that bowl loss. Just the whole experience was overwhelming.

No one really believed you though, did they? Outsiders, did they believe you?

No one believed us. When we talked to reporters before the season, it was like, 'yeah, we're going for a Big East Championship.' And they kind of heckled a little bit. But we all believed that we could do it.

Well you were wrong. You didn't finish undefeated, did you?

Oh, no. It gives us something to look forward to next year.

You had 16 seniors on that team and the team was 12-1. You're the second guy drafted. How is that?

Good coaching.

No, I mean how come there has only been two of you drafted from an outstanding, senior-heavy team?

I'm not real sure because we have a lot of talent all around [with] all the seniors that have left. Most likely, the next guy will be Clark Harris, the tight end. And then I know a lot of the other guys are looking at free agency.

How about Joe Porter? We still want to get him in here.

Oh, man. He's lightning.

The offensive line coach said you've played center, or that you can play some center. Can you expand on that?

I was kind of a backup center when I was at Rutgers. Yeah, I can play it.

Do you know much about the Steelers? Have you watched them in your past?

I know about Troy Polamalu.

I've seen you. You have his hair style, don't you?

A little bit. I watched him when he was at [Southern California].

How about your tattoos? I see them on your arm. Is your body covered with them?

No. Just on my left side. I never really had time to finish it. It's just a story of my village back in Tonga.

Back in where?

Tonga.

So you're not from Australia? You're from Tonga?

I was born in Australia. My mom's from Tonga and my dad's Australian.

So you left Sydney, Australia, at the age of what?

Eight.

And where did you go?

Englewood, California.

Why did you make that move?

My mom's the eldest daughter out of the whole family. I guess there was financial problems at the time. So she had to move and help out her parents.

How much have you practiced at center?

Just during practice, just taking snaps and got moving around a little bit. I haven't played it in a game yet.

They'll probably ask you to do a little bit more of that here, don't you expect?

Yeah. I've been working on it.

You don't long snap, do you?

No.

You must be a workout warrior – 33 reps at 225 [lbs] is incredible.

Thanks. I just like to work out.

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