Haason Reddick went from a walk-on from Camden, New Jersey, to potential Top 10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. A year after recording 22.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks, Reddick has his sights on bigger goals.
Hyundai recently started a mini-documentary series called “Rolling with the Rookies” and Reddick was one of four athletes featured. Underdog Dynasty recently caught up with Hasson Redick to talk about anything from the draft to his work with Hyundai.
Joey Broback: What was it like growing up in Camden? And how did you stay on your path without wavering?
Haason Reddick: Growing up there for me was great. I had a great upbringing and great parents. That’s the reason I’m on the path I’m on now. My parents helped steer me towards the right things and avoid the wrong ones.
JB: You fracture your femur and tear your meniscus in consecutive years. Were you getting any collegiate interest before then?
HR: There wasn’t interest before. Junior year is when you really put in work and go to camps, and senior year is the cherry on top, and I didn’t get either year. I didn’t get recruited and there really wasn’t any interest ever.
JB: Who influenced you to go to Temple?
HR: Coming out of high school, I really wasn’t going to go to college. I didn’t set any goals to go to college. My mom pushed me and said you’re going to get up and go get a degree so that way you make something out of yourself. I applied to Rutgers and Temple, Rutgers didn’t accept me and Temple did.
JB: Do you have any mentors that you look to during the process of getting drafted?
HR: Tyler Matekevich and Tavon Young. Asking them what the NFL is like, picking their brains about their rookie year. What should I be preparing for, things I won’t expect and how to approach certain situations. The brother bond is still there and I’m still appreciative to those guys.
JB: You go from walk-on to potential Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. Do you still have that chip on your shoulder? How do you avoid complacency?
HR: Just because of the mindset that I have is different than most people who get this far. My whole career has been nothing short of hard work and that’s all that I know. How could I ever stop? I had plans for the NFL and I want to leave my mark and I won’t leave until I do that. The end goal is to get that yellow jacket (Hall of Fame) and I will have to continue to do things that way to get to that point.
JB: Your partnership with Hyundai seems to be a good fit. Their slogan is Better Drives Us. You pride yourself on working hard and getting better, what made working Hyundai so ideal? And what is your process before you decide to work with a brand?
HR: They reached out and were the first brand that wanted to actually get my story out. We did a short documentary and they wanted to tell my story. I really appreciated that and thought it would be a good look. Any brands in the future hopefully we both have the same interests and that it’s beneficial to both me and the brand.
JB: How will “Temple Tough” help you in your NFL career?
HR: I don’t believe there is any program out there that works as hard as Temple. It’s Temple Tough for a reason. The guys that you see last and come out of the program are truly Temple Tough and there are guys that don’t last at all. So to make it and come out of the program, you truly are one of the toughest people. Coach Rhule brought that style of play and culture play back.
JB: Thoughts on the hiring of Geoff Collins?
HR: I think Geoff is a great guy. I think that he is coming up with a plan that will continue this program upward. He’s been a great resource and opens up the door to guys who have left. He treats us like were one of his own.
JB: What sets you apart from other prospects in the draft? What are things you can improve on?
HR: Biggest strength is my versatility. That’s what sets me apart from everyone else in the draft class. Weakness is that I’m playing a new position that I only played at the senior bowl. I’ve been learning and progressing each day, and whatever team chooses me will see that.
JB: Which team do you want to draft you?
HR: I wouldn’t say that I don’t care but I don’t have a choice in that. I won’t say I want to go there or I want to go there because its not my decision. Every team I talked to have great guys and each coaching staff is genuine and wants the best for me. They love my story and my hard work.
JB: What position do you want to play and is there a scheme you feel you fit best in?
HR: I think I fit every scheme, both 3-4 and 4-3, because I can do so many things. I can drop back and cover and I can rush. My versatility helps me because I’m able to rush a lineman and also cover a back and receiver in space.
JB: Will you be at Day 1 of the draft? If so, who’s going to be there with you and what are you expecting?
HR: I’m live from the draft. I have my family here. My family is important. I’m at a point in my life where even though I’m playing football, there are things I need to learn from them and things they need to teach me. A lot of it being life skills: how to pay bills, how to manage my credit, how to be an adult the right way, and I need their continuing support and guidance.
JB: What are your goals for your NFL career?
HR: Winning the Super Bowl. I don’t know many players that come in and don’t want to win the Super Bowl. Long-term is getting that yellow jacket and into the Hall of Fame. Coming in with the mindset that I’m ready to compete and that I’m the best.
JB: What will Haason Reddick’s legacy be?
HR: That with hard work, anything is possible.
When you talk with Reddick, you will find that he is grounded and has the right pieces in place in his life. Don’t mistake that for a lack of confidence, as he knows that his talent merits a Top 10 pick.
I know they said top 5 but I'm top 2 and I'm not 2— Haason Reddick #7 (@Haason7Reddick) April 9, 2017
He has the right balance of humility and confidence, and never forgets what is most important. Family will always be important to him, whether that’s through blood, his Temple brothers, or his new NFL family.
That loyalty paired with his talent justifies any team that takes him, and will make him a nightmare for any team that passes. While he looks forward to the draft and potentially facing teammate Dion Dawkins live for the first time on opposing teams, Reddick isn’t letting the fame get to him. With his mindset and versatility, a yellow jacket could be easily within reach.