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MEET LIONS SECOND ROUND PICK LINEBACKER JAHLANI TAVAI 

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MEET LIONS SECOND ROUND PICK LINEBACKER JAHLANI TAVAI 

On whether he’s surprised to go to the Detroit Lions in the second round: “I mean, the Draft is a tricky thing, of course. I’m just blessed and happy that the Lions took the opportunity to draft me. Right now, I’m just feeling really blessed and thankful for the Lions showing some love toward me. I’m really happy right now – speechless.”
 
On his name pronunciation: “My name is Jahlani tah-VIE.”
 
On when he thought he would be selected in the Draft: “Well, prior to the Draft, what my agent was telling me was either Day Two or Day Three. So really, I wasn’t really sure. I was just waiting for a phone call within those rounds. Like I said, I’m just really happy and really thankful for the opportunity that Coach (Matt) Patricia and the Lions’ staff gave me right now. (I’m) really excited.”
 
On whether he’s having a draft party tonight: “Right now, I’m just spending time with the family. I just want them to be here because they’ve been in my corner since Day One, and I want to just show the love toward them. If it wasn’t for them, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be in this situation where I am right now. I’m just going to spend time with the family.”
 
On what he wants fans to know about him: “I want fans to know that I’m going to play every down that I can, I’m going to hustle to the ball and just show that I’m giving 110 percent effort every play. That’s the main thing that I want to show, just that I’m going to be that guy that they’re looking for basically.”
 
On what position he thinks he’ll play in Detroit: “I’m not sure, but from what I know, inside ’backer was my primary position. I believe that that’s going to be where Day One starts.”
 
On what he currently weighs: “At the moment, I weigh 250 (pounds).”
 
On how his shoulder feels: “Shoulder is doing great. I’m just getting excited to be able to get into pads again. It’s been great.”
 
On his impression of the Lions’ defensive scheme: “Oh, I love it. I love the defense because you never know what they’re running in. From the film that I’ve watched on the defense, the Lions stunt a lot. I love that they bring pressure on the quarterback a lot. That’s good.”
 
On the amount of contact he had with the Lions during the Draft process: “I started having contact with them around (the) Combine – so that was roughly around the time where we actually started (communicating) with the Lions.”
 
On if he visited Detroit on an official visit: “I did go up for a visit. That was a great experience as well, so I was grateful that they gave me the opportunity to come in on one of their 30-player visits.”
 
On if he could explain the nightclub altercation he was involved in last year: “I’m trying not to think about that. The past is the past. Right now, I learned from my mistake, trying to move on right now and show the Lions that I’m ready to go. I’m not allowing anything off the field to ever affect me again from missing time or anything like that.”
 
On his hobbies beside football: “I love playing rugby – that’s one of my hobbies. Like I said, family is a big thing for me. So, whenever I get a free time from football, or just down time, I’m usually with my family – going out to the beach, relaxing or just having a little barbeque with them.”
 
On his experience on the U.S. National rugby team and if he is familiar with former Lions DT Haloti Ngata’s experience with the sport: “Yeah. Well, Haloti Ngata is with the Utah Warriors right now, and he was an amazing athlete. But my experience with the U.S. National team was an amazing experience because I got to travel the world. Right now, I’m playing football – that’s my thing. My focus is football. I’m excited to finally become a Lion.”
 
On if he ever considered playing rugby instead of football: “Not really. I knew in my heart that I wanted to play football. I love the game and once I received my first scholarship, and only scholarship, to Hawaii, I ran with it. I don’t regret anything because it got me to this situation. I’m forever grateful for the Lions’ staff. I’m just excited to finally be able to put on some pads again.”
 
On if he played sevens or 11’s in rugby: “I played sevens for the U.S. National team and then I also played on the 15’s. For sevens I was a pop, and for 15’s I was playing eight-man.”
 
On where he traveled playing rugby: “My first tour was in England, so we had a sevens tournament out there. And then we also played in the Vegas sevens tournament. I had the opportunity to go to Argentina, but then I declined it because I had to leave for fall camp for Hawaii.”
 
On how rugby helps him in football: “Big thing with rugby, especially in sevens, is learning how to make a better tackle in the open field. So, that was one thing that really helped me in football. That was one of the key things that I took over from rugby.” 
 

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