Zach Banner joined the Trojans Live radio show on Monday night to talk about his preparations for the NFL Combine and draft process, which will culminate this week at USC Pro Day.
Trojans Live: What will you be taking part in at Pro Day?
Zach Banner: I will be getting measured and I will do all the on-field drills for the offensive line but I won’t be re-testing any of my 40, bench, things like that. I’m happy with the numbers I posted at Indy to show that I’m an athletic big man, I had a really good week at the combine no matter what anybody outside of the NFL might say, the NFL people said I had a good week so I’m going to be good with that. I like to joke around but I’m also one of the hardest workers on any team, I’m a leader and I work hard for what I get. I haven’t earned anything in the NFL yet so everything from here on out is work. I needed to show the coaches during the interview process that I’m not Hollywood, that I’m here to stay.
TL: Tell us about your workouts leading up to this?
ZB: I signed with Athlete’s First and have been working out at ProActive Sports in Orange County with guys like DeShon Kizer from Notre Dame, there are 11 of us who worked out together. All total, I’ve lost about 42 pounds since the Rose Bowl with the weight I will be at on Wednesday. I’ve really been putting it down for 2 ½ months, it’s not like I’ve just been down here enjoying the sun.
TL: When do you as an offensive lineman ever run 40 yards in a straight line during a game?
ZB: Never. The only time I run 40 yards is if RoJo broke a long one and I’m going down to celebrate. The importance of the 40 for me when it comes to the NFL scouts is to show that I’m a big man who can run, and that I’m committed to losing weight because I get faster with every pound I lose. I also want to show that I will do every test, I won’t sit out. When you have 2 ½ months of combine specific training you’re going to be able to do some things to help you out. Are you going to drastically change your numbers? Probably not. What you do is what you do. For me, I had the Rose Bowl, the Senior Bowl, a lot of things were right there leading up to the combine that I had to get through in terms of soreness and stiffness but I wanted to show that I could push through adversities and I thought I did a great job.
TL: What do you see from the USC o-line moving forward?
ZB: Me and Chad (Wheeler) we both agreed that we didn’t just leave the USC tackle spot, we really did a lot to help build up the younger guys up before we left and now they have a really strong group ready to step up with guys like Chuma and Roy, Clayton Johnston, and with Nate Smith hopefully coming back in late summer from what I’m hearing. And we’re making ourselves available now too, I’m working out at USC all the time so whenever they need us, we’re here.