Derrick Zimmerman Interview:
Talk about what you were thinking while the draft was going on.
"Well, as I was watching the first round, a lot of the guys that I was wondering about got drafted. I felt, when it came to the second round, I knew my name would be called and I would make a believer out of everyone. That is how I have to approach it now."
You saw Mario (Austin) get picked in the second round and a few minutes after that, you heard your name being announced. What did you think at that moment?
"I was actually standing outside talking to someone. I kind of got away from everything. Then, I saw my family running outside and I knew then."
What went through your mind when you saw them running outside?
"I was very excited. I was standing outside talking to my girlfriend. It was a shock. I think within the next five minutes my whole family came out of nowhere from their homes."
After having a few minutes to think about being drafted, what is going through your mind now?
"What I'm thinking now is I'm just ready to play. I'm ready to get out there and get it going and really making believers out of people who have questions about my ability."
Has Golden State called you?
"Yeah, I had a chance to talk to them."
What did they tell you happens now?
"They told me that they will be calling me (Friday) so that I can get my flight information straight. I have to be out there by the 7th (of July)."
There's another MSU guy on Golden State, Erick Dampier.
"Yeah, there is. It's going to be fun because I can learn the ropes from him."
Have you met him before?
"Yeah, we know each other pretty good."
What have you had to go through the last few months preparing for the draft?
"I have been everywhere. I have been to cities from the east coast to the west coast, just flying everywhere."
What teams have you played in front of?
"I've been to Indiana, Boston, New Jersey....I didn't even work out for Golden State."
Talk about your four years at State and how much that helped you get to this point.
"It helped me a lot, it helped me a lot. I have never really told him, but I really want to thank Coach (Stansbury) for giving me the opportunity to be able to play and to thank Mississippi State in general for giving me the opportunity to play."
The fans at MSU really embraced you your last few years. What do you want to say to them?
"I want to send a special thanks to them, because they helped keep me going. I want them to know I am going to do this for them."
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Derrick. Congratulations from all of us Bulldogs fans.
"Thanks, thanks a lot."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at email@example.com