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Chat Reel: R. Jay Soward

USC WR hopes to be next NFL star from San Bernardino

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Updated: Thursday October 26, 2000 9:28 PM

  R. Jay Soward R. Jay Soward says he wouldn't mind winding up in Jacksonville. Donald Miralle/Allsport

CNNSI Host: Welcome to today's NFL Draft chat with R. Jay Soward. Hi R. Jay, thanks for joining us.
R. Jay Soward: Thanks -- nice to be here.

From Guest: If you could pick one team to be with in the NFL Draft, where would you go?
R. Jay Soward: I'd go to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It's a great program. They were one game away from the Super Bowl. And Coach Coughlin is a great guy.

From Guest: R. Jay -- how do you think you would fit in with a team like the Saints, who are in need of not only a good receiver, but also a kick returner.
R. Jay Soward: I feel I'd fit in fine. They've got to play Ricky, but there's room for me to play to. I can run the ball, and far as returns, I could do that anywhere.

From Guest: What part of your game do you think will translate best to the NFL?
R. Jay Soward: Probably my knowledge and how well I pick up things. I'm going to be playing against guys that have been in the league 8-10 years. I have to be as smart as them.

From Guest: Do you think the injury to Carson Palmer had a negative effect on your senior year at USC?
R. Jay Soward: No, it didn't. Carson being hurt didn't affect us. I played with John Fox and Mike Van Rapphorst for three years before Carson got there.

From Guest: What receiver do you closely resemble?
R. Jay Soward: I've heard some comparisons to Cliff Branch and Keyshawn Johnson.
R. Jay Soward: Those are the two that stick out my mind. But I say I'm my own type of player. Speed and agility are what best describes me.

From Guest: How would you describe your style of play what teams best fit that style?
R. Jay Soward: I think my style of play is catch the ball and score. I can play anywhere with that.

Antonio Scott in Phoenix: R. Jay -- How does it feel to be the third person besides Ronnie Lott and Greg Newsome to come out of San Bernardino, Calif. and make it to the NFL? Do you keep in touch with them?
R. Jay Soward: It feels great! I'm so happy I could be one of the three. I wish the media coverage felt the same was as you Antonio. I've talked to Ronnie a couple of times.

Steve Yosh in N.J.: R. Jay, I was at the October 16th game in South Bend. Was that game an act of God or what? Good luck in the draft and I wish you a long, healthy career in the pros.
R. Jay Soward: Thanks, I remember you, too. I'll sign anything you need me to sign.

From Guest: Where and with whom do you plan on watching the draft? Are you having a party?
R. Jay Soward: At my parents house. It'll just be my immediate family.

From Guest: R. Jay -- was the final USC-UCLA game your favorite game of your career because of the win or did you have another favorite?
R. Jay Soward: That was the favorite. We finally broke the streak and won a game against UCLA. It was great to win a game against them. My first reception in college I scored a 98-yard touchdown -- the longest in Pac 10 history. That's another moment I remember.

From Guest: What do you think of the Keyshawn Johnson situation? Did he make the right move? Any thoughts of filling his shoes in N.Y.?
R. Jay Soward: I'm happy for Keyshawn, he couldn't have made a better decision. I'd love to take his place in N.Y. I met the Jets coaches and was impressed. I'd love to play in N.Y., it's a big media market. I haven't seen him since the trade.

From Guest: What do you think will be the toughest thing for you when you jump to the NFL?
R. Jay Soward: Dealing with the veterans, the guys who know a lot more about the game than I do.

From Guest: What players did you idolize growing up?
R. Jay Soward: There was only one: a guy named Beano Bryant who played for the Washington Huskies. I liked his speed and he had great moves. He could score from anywhere on the field.

CNNSI Host: That's all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining us R. Jay. And good luck in the draft.
R. Jay Soward: Thanks for having me.

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