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Catching Up With Former Alabama WR Matt Caddell: (Exclusive) Interview Transcript

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TDA: Being one of the top players in the state coming out, did you feel pressure to sign with Alabama? Were you always a fan growing up?

MC: Being from McAdory, that’s where Bo Jackson went to school, and I knew Bo, wanted to be like Bo so I knew a lot about Auburn. I was with Auburn until 1992 when Bama won the national championship and I saw David Palmer and I was like, ‘I want to be like David Palmer!’ Seeing all the big plays that game against Miami made me a Bama fan. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure, just wanted to make the right decision. The only thing was there was a lot of Auburn pressure being that Bo was from there.

TDA: What made you sign with Alabama despite all of the sanctions, probation, etc. going on?

MC: It was just where I wanted to go. It felt like home, it was where I wanted to spend my career, and I could have went to other schools, and possibly been better, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

TDA: Analysts used to talk about your speed coming out of high school. What do you think your biggest attribute was?

MC: Speed was definitely one of my great assests, but on the collegiate level you have to have more. I prided myself on route running ability, and just being a competitor and wanting to compete.

TDA: What do you remember the most about your time at UA?

MC: Being around my teammates, getting a great education, and establishing those relationships with people. Just growing from a freshman to a senior, enjoying the college experience, and experiencing life and things around the campus. And just wearing that crimson jersey, can’t beat that.

TDA: What was it like playing for two different coaches in Mike Shula and Nick Saban?

MC: Shula was a great offensive minded guy but didn’t have the greatest head coaching intanglibes and he had to learn on the fly. Saban always instilled confidence with already being on the collegiate level. Saban taught me how to be successful in life.

TDA: Which season was your favorite during your time at Alabama?

MC: My senior year was a blast, we had Saban that year. In 2004, that was a great year to me as well and we went to the Music City Bowl. 2005 was great too, we went to the Cotton Bowl. We had a tough game against LSU, but those three were my favorite.

TDA: One of the most memorable plays in the Nick Saban era was your game-winning catch against Arkansas. Talk about that play, what do you remember the most about that?

MC: I remember the defense stopped us the prior play and I told John-Parker Wilson if he wanted we could audible to another route. We broke the huddle and stuck with the called play, and we just connected and he threw a great ball and I just had to make a great play and catch it.

TDA: What was the most memorable game you’ve played in at Alabama?

MC: That Arkansas game is probably at the top, but all of the LSU games were just crazy. The emotion, it was so intense. The physicality of the game, the speed of the game — I loved the LSU fans because they made the Bama fans stay on their toes by how nuts they were. My senior year it was a great game even though we lost.

TDA: What are your thoughts about Auburn? Does it still bother you not being able to beat them while you played?

MC: Obvisouly I wanted to beat them and be on the other side of the streak, but no, I never had a form of hate for them, I just wish we could have beaten them. Now, with Gus Malzhan you just have to respect them as another top team in the state because it maks for a better rivalry.

TDA: What are you up to now?

MC: I’m a pharmaceutical sales rep. I enjoy what I’m doing and coaching is something I also enjoy doing. I was the wide receivers coach at Carver High School and the year before the same at Bessemer City High School. I didn’t know I would enjoy it as much as I did. To be able to teach those kids about life and football as well as competing and winning is great — things I learned from Coach Saban. To be able to see the practice we put in and put it on the field, it was very gratifying.

Previous Interviews:

LB C.J. Mosley                                        CB Chris Rogers

DT Anthony Bryant

DT Jeremy Clark

LB Eryk Anders

LB DeMeco Ryans

LB Terrence Jones

LB Juwan Simpson

FS Rashad Johnson

LB Nico Johnson

CB Ramzee ‘Bino’ Robinson

FS Charles Jones

OL Dennis Alexander

TE Preston Dial

Brandon Williams is an Editor and Columnist for Touchdown AlabamaYou can follow him on Twitter, @TFRdotNet, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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