AMHERST, N.Y.-On Monday, Steven Means addressed the media at the University of Buffalo after being selected on thethird and final day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Means is a Buffalo native and stand-out Defensive End for the University of Buffalo, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Means was chosen in the 5th round, 147th overall, and is figured to be largely used in special teams this year and will spend some time at linebacker.
Means grew up in Buffalo and attended Grover Cleveland High School, he chose to play his college football locally at the University of Buffalo.
In his college career Steven Means recorded 18.5 sacks, 185 tackles, and 28.5 tackles for a loss as a 4 year starter at Defensive End. Means was contacted by up to 19 teams before the draft, and had a good idea he would be able to play in the NFL even if he wasn't drafted. Means was selected in the 5th round by Tampa Bay, who drafted three Defensive Lineman on Saturday including Steven Means. "I'm ready to go in and contribute in any and every way I can. Whether that be special teams, or whatever else. I'm ready to go in and go to work" said Means at his press conference at the University of Buffalo on Monday. " It was a totally unbelievable experience. I kind of had a handle on them picking me, I didn't know exactly where I was going to be drafted but I knew somebody would pick me up. Just to live it, and have that experience is phenomenal" Means added.
Means explained that he had saw a few other players that he worked out with get chosen in the 5th round and he had gone outside to take a break and throw around the football with his brother when he was drafted. " I had taken a break from the draft, I actually went outside and started playing catch with my little brother. I was out there with my father, and when I got the phone call we all looked at each other, I answered it, and it was them" said Means. Means will be graduating this May with a degree in Psychology from the University of Buffalo, who the same night he was drafted hit the books and wrote a paper. " I went and visited all my family members. A lot of people had draft parties, that's not my forte. I actually had to do a paper that same night. Seeing everybody was my way of celebrating" said Means.
Willie Moseley was Means teammate at the University of Buffalo for the past four years and fellow Defensive End who played on the other side of Steven. Moseley signed with Tampa Bay just a few days after the draft and Means explained his excitement to be able to keep playing alongside his longtime teammate and friend. " It takes it to a whole other level of excitement. Willie Moseley is one of my best friends and we came in together as roommates as freshmen. We've been together ever since. We battled, and played alongside each other this year. For him to be coming right alongside with me just adds another total level of excitement". Means also added that when Willie called him to relay the news " I was real excited, he was more humble than me. He was more relaxed, I was screaming for him. He's real excited. He can't wait to go either".
Means explained that he will never stop working to become better. " I wasn't even invited to the combine, I wasn't invited to the top all-star games. Those obstacles have kept a chip on my shoulder and always kept me driving, kept me motivated and helped me showcase all types of ability". University of Buffalo Head Coach Jeff Quinn said " I couldn't be more proud of Steven and happy for he and his family". Quinn also added that " You build these relationships with these young men, and I couldn't be more proud of him for listening and following our plan. These are the kind of moments that you look forward to as a head football coach for these kids individually".
More recently than ever more home-grown Buffalo talent has risen to become elite level athletes. The Gronkowski brothers, Tampa Bay wide-out Mike Williams, and Packers draft pick this year J.C Tretter are just a few notable local names who have made it to the big stage. Means commented and said " We're here, we can play. We can compete, it's just a matter of getting the academics down. There was a lot of people on my team that were just as good as me but my parents did a good job forcing me to the books, and forcing academics on me". You can add Steven Means to that collection of names. " You're going to see me in the near future, I'm going to definitely represent for Buffalo. I love everybody in this city for supporting me and being behind me".
Coach Quinn ended the press conference by saying " Now he's got to go make that team and show the folks down in Tampa Bay that they've found a really good football player and somebody who is very passionate, competitive, and coachable".