L+T: When was the first time you tried out for the NFL?
MB: Last year was the first time I had the opportunity to try out, but my career has been hindered by injuries and a few off the field issues. At the University of Virginia, I was arrested twice. That can hinder any citizen let alone a football player in division I college. It kind of just hurt my media related image. Ever since then I’ve stayed out of trouble. That stuff happened four or five years ago, but things has been pretty good since then. So, last year was the first year I was able to show NFL scouts my talents. Editors Note: The former UVa cornerback was charged with a DUI and buying or receiving stolen property in 2008. He later finished his collegiate career at Division II California University of Pennsylvania last year, where he was a two year starter and team captain, playing in 25 games with four interceptions and eight pass breakups.
L+T: From last year to this year, what progress have you made on-and-off the field?
MB: I’ve made a lot of progress on the field since I graduated college. But on the field, I’ve been steadily improving since rupturing my Achilles tendon, so it has been a drastic difference from this year to last. And it continues to improve every day.
L+T: How did you rupture your Achille’s tendon?
MB: It was the eighth game of the season, which is pretty late into the season, and I was back-peddling and heard a pop in the back of my heel. It was the Achilles tendon rupture and I had to have surgery. It took eight-to-ten months to fully heal. At the time, I attempted to play for the NFL last year; I was only at the five to six months into the rehabilitation process.
L+T: What were your initial thoughts on participating in the documentary?
Brown: I was in shock that he wanted to do my story, because everybody has a story. But I felt that if he thought that my story was compelling- than it was a serious deal.
L+T: The high-school football documentary, Undefeated, proved that a small story is able to move large audiences. How do you hope your story will help inspire people?
MB: I think from a standpoint of motivation. Most of the people that have got to see the trailer of the movie, they’ve all had good responses and motivation is the term that they use frequently. It motivated them to get up off the couch. It kind of motivated them to do whatever their task was for that day.
L+T: You have two pro days coming up. Whether you are drafted into the NFL or not, what do you hope to take away from it all?
MB: I’m living the dream right now, in just being able to compete. Most of the guys my age they don’t feel the desire nor possess the skill set that you need to play in the NFL. So I’m just kind of happy that I can wake up every day and still have the opportunity. That’s what I get out of it. Just being able to possibly get to the pinnacle of my profession, saying I’m a professional football player, saying that it’s something I set out to do when I was a kid and eventually being able to say I got to the top. That is what I really want to get out of it. It’s not necessarily for the money or the acknowledgement, it’s more so for myself to acknowledge that I did the best that I can do.
L+T: How would you rate your first pro day? How do you think you fared among the rest?
MB: : I think I did great. Anytime you can wake up and do what you want to do is a great thing. In terms of the actually performances coming up, I hope…I better do well. I’ve been training for six or seven weeks making a huge sacrifice so you can imagine the importance I put on each work out and how hard I take my training. So, I would say I hope to get the results that I want to get, which is getting signed to an NFL team or a Canadian team in the upcoming months.
Editor’s Note: Mike received an invitation to work out for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League last weekend.
L+T: Is there a release date for the film?
McPherson: I still have a lot of shooting left. I still have to attend all the guys pro days. I still have to go back to their high schools and whatever leagues they try out for: NFL, Canadian or Arena. God forbid, even if someone doesn’t make it, I’m going to film that reaction too. So there’s still a lot that needs to be shot. As a director I like to over shoot. I want to make the [documentary] as strong as possible.