Exclusive interview with Baylor LB Terrel Bernard: NY Jets interest, Senior Bowl, more

NY Jets, Terrel Bernard
NY Jets, Terrel Bernard / Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Terrel Bernard
NY Jets, Terrel Bernard / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When the NFL dream started

JF: "You played a few sports growing up if I'm correct, but you really started to focus on football at a certain point. At what point did you begin to realize or even just believe that the NFL could be a realistic path for you? Was this something you've dreamt of since you were a little kid, or was it something that became more of a dream as you got older?"

TB: "I always wanted to be a professional athlete. I grew up playing football, baseball, and basketball. I did a little bit of everything. Once I got into high school, I focused on football and baseball until I think my junior year. Then I just stuck with football the rest of the way. It was when I started getting offers that I started to realize that maybe I can do this and try to make it to the NFL one day. But it's always kind of an afterthought. You never really know if that's something you're going to be able to do. It's just cool to be in this position right now."

Committing to Houston and switching to Baylor

JF: "Absolutely, and you mentioned your offers. You had plenty of interest from schools coming out of high school — schools like Colorado, Missouri, Northwestern, you name it. You originally committed to Houston before switching to Baylor. Tell me a little about why you originally chose Houston and then what made you switch to Baylor."

TB: "I was committed when Coach [Tom] Herman was there at [Houston]. It's literally 20 minutes away from my hometown so being able to stay close to home was something that was pretty cool to me. When he left to go to Texas, I decommitted just to see what else was out there. Right around that time is when Coach [Matt] Rhule and his staff got to Baylor. I took an official visit up there, really liked it, and I figured I could go play in the Big 12, stay home in Texas, and play at one of the best academic universities in the country. It was an easy option for me."