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Getting To Know A Draft Pick: Morgan Burnett

To help Packers fans get to know the newest members of the team better, caught up with each of the seven 2010 draft picks for an extended Q&A about their background, both on and off the field. The interviews are being posted as a weekly series, continuing today with third-round selection Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech.


Where is your hometown, and what is the most interesting thing about it?**
My hometown is College Park, Ga., and the most interesting thing about us that we have a lot of rappers come out of our town, like Ludacris. We also have good high school football, so it is an interesting city.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
The night before I make sure I say my prayers and then I make sure I talk to my mom, dad and brother. The day of the game I sit back and relax and try to imagine myself making plays. My older brother always sends me an inspirational text to keep me motivated. He will send texts that read, "Have a good game today. Play hard no matter the outcome I have your back as always." My brother isn't the emotional type and times like that when he tells me stuff like that makes me feel good on the inside.

What's the most memorable football game you've ever been a part of, be it Pop Warner, high school or college?
I have to say my first college game against Notre Dame my freshman year. Coach sent me on a blitz and I got my first and only career sack that game. It felt really good, because going into the game I didn't know I was going to be playing. I thought I was going to be playing special teams. The Thursday before the game the coaches told me they were going to use me in a certain package and we used that package a lot that game, so I got to play a lot. The funny thing is that my mom didn't even know. She was busy or something and people had to call and tell her.

Who's the most influential coach you've ever played for and why?
My older brother, Cap, actually coached me in high school and we are very close and he is very inspirational to me. He was my role model growing up and he taught me a lot of things.

Have you ever met any celebrities who weren't athletes?
I met T.I. and Young Dro – rappers – before at their studios. One of my teammates was friends with a guy who worked at the studio and he invited us up there.

When was the first time you set foot in the city of Green Bay, and what was your first impression?
April 30 for rookie orientation. I didn't really know what to expect because I had never been past North Carolina, as far as going north. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I have to make the best of it. I think it is interesting because it is a different living environment and experience. It is something new to my life and something to enjoy, so I have to thank God for the opportunity.

Who is the most interesting person in your family?
It's a tie between my dad and my brother. They are funny characters and funny in their own way. Imagine living in a house with both of them laughing all day. They could have their own reality show. It's an everyday thing with mom, dad and brother laughing all day, every day. They aren't trying to be funny, they just are funny.

Outside of anything in sports, what's your proudest accomplishment in life?
The day my son was born, May 4, 2009. Outside of football, that is my greatest accomplishment. I got a call at 7:15 in the morning from my girlfriend's dad and he said she had gone into labor. I jumped up and got in the car and drove to the hospital with my mom. I thought it would have taken longer for him to come out, but he shot right out. They called me at 7:15 and he was born at 7:21. As soon as I got there I was holding him. It took 15 minutes to get to hospital, but it was the longest 15 minutes. It was in the morning with a lot of traffic and I wanted to run everyone off the road. They called me on the way and told me he was born, so that made me really want to rush and get to the hospital room so I could hold him.

What do you think will be the toughest part about your first NFL training camp?
Getting used to the speed and tempo of the game with pads on. That is going to be a tough task, but trying to get used to the speed of the game. With helmets on it is fast and I can only imagine with pads on how much faster it is going to get. I need to be able to adjust to the speed of the game and it's a lot of thinking.

When you were a kid, did you dream of growing up to be a football player, or did you dream of something else?
This has always been my dream since kindergarten. Every time the teacher would ask, "What is your dream when you grow up?" I would say I want to play in the NFL. Even when I was in high school, my teacher told me to have a reasonable dream other than being a pro athlete. I always said I wanted to be a pro athlete and I believed I could do it. My dad said if you have a dream, stick to it and don't let anybody change your mind.

At what point were you sure you were going to be in the NFL someday?
It was Friday, (April 23) 2010, when the Packers called me with the 71st pick. That is when I knew I was going to be in the NFL. I didn't really think about it. I just went out every day and worked hard, because that is what motivated me to play hard every day on the field and give it my all. I knew if I did that I could play in the NFL.

Was there a football player you idolized growing up? Why him?
I liked watching Brett Favre when I was growing up. I like watching him because he was a winner. Basically he was a great quarterback and I grew up watching and idolizing him. I know it is strange because I am a defensive player and he is a quarterback.

When did you attend your first NFL game, and what do you remember most about it?
I went to a couple Falcons games back home. The first one I went to was with my brother and dad in '98 when the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. I think it was a regular-season game against the Chicago Bears. I just remember watching the game and then two twin brothers sitting beside us got into a fight. One set of twins were Bears fans and the other twins were Falcons fans and they got into a fight in the breezeway. I was young, walking back to my seat and I saw the whole thing unfold.

What has been the most exciting part about being a Packer so far?
The tradition and history and knowing you have a chance to be part of something great. Walking in everyday seeing the great legends on the wall and just playing along with veterans and guys in the locker room.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do when you are not playing football?
I like watching movies on DVD or going to the movies. I play video games sometimes, but I am not good at video games. My favorite movie is Life with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. I basically know the scenes by heart.

Are there any guys on the team that you knew from before you joined the Packers?
I knew free agent Sam Shields from playing against him and B.J. Raji from playing against him in the ACC.

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