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Q&A with Illinois DT Corey Liuget

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Posted April 09, 2011 @ 10:30 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

While all of the defensive tackle talk for the 2011 NFL draft revolves around two top-10 picks, Alabama's Marcell Dareus and Auburn's Nick Fairley, the next DT in line has been soaring up draft boards since the fall, and that's Illinois' Corey Liuget.

After losing 30 pounds before his senior season, Liuget brought his game to another level in 2010, recording 12½ tackles for loss and 4½ sacks. He is now expected to be a late first-round pick.

In PFW's 2011 Draft Preview book, draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki said Liuget "has enough strength to consider along an odd front or as a shade nose in an even front and versatility drives up his value."  

We spoke with Liuget, who was in Los Angeles getting ready for an appearance on NFL Network. He talked about how he lost the 30 pounds and which two NFL defensive linemen he admires.

PFW: Your draft stock has been going up steadily since the fall, why do you think that is?

Liuget: (They) counted what I did November and my stock started going up by the way I was playing during the season. I didn't settle for anything, I just kept going at it to get better.

PFW: Where do you see yourself fitting in on a defensive line in the NFL?

Liuget: I think I'll be effective anywhere up front on the line. I just want to play some football. Definitely the D-line, anywhere on the line is where I'd be best.

PFW: Who are some current NFL stars that you look up to?

Liuget: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Then Darnell Dockett and Ndamukong Suh. I like the way those guys play. Brady and Manning want to teach and get with their teammates; they are teachers of the game.

PFW: What about Dockett's and Suh's games do you admire?

Liuget: Their quickness and power. They're very quick off the ball and when they get on and off blocks. They don't settle for just being on the line of scrimmage. They are going to try and find a play to make and find the ball wherever it's at.

PFW: You lost 30 pounds last offseason. How were you able to make such a dramatic change to your body?

Liuget: I just did things twice as much as most of my teammates. I would come in when most of them were home. I'd go into the stadium and do a light workout and I wouldn't eat after 6 p.m. That helped me lose the weight big time, not eating after six.

PFW: What's something that teams often ask you about?

Liuget: They would ask how come I always step a different way every time and take different angles each play. I had different responsibilities; our defense at Illinois gave us different responsibilities each play.

PFW: What is it about you that you want teams to know heading into the draft?

Liuget: That I want to win a championship.

Pro Football Weekly's 2011 Draft Preview book is now on sale.

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