When you last saw Ted Ginn, Jr., he scored the first touchdown during the 2007 BCS Championship game versus the Florida Gators on a kick off return. But minutes after the celebration the wide receiver/kick and punt return specialist, was being carried out on a stretcher. That's not something that made Dolphin fans think first round draft pick. But the former Buckeye was drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins and has the potential to be a seasonal NFL Pro-Bowler. Ginn Jr. sits down with KING-MAG.COM to talks about his transition into the league, what life is like being the new kid on the block, and his feelings about starting a season under the gun.
KING-MAG.COM: The last time anyone saw you before the NFL draft, was the BCS Championship game. What was the first thought that went through your mind when you felt that first stab of pain?
Ted Ginn Jr.: Well, you know, the first thought was that I got this far playing football and I can't compete now. I couldn't finish what I was doing and that was the biggest thing that irked me. A couple of times, I got to that stage and it was like, "Here we go again..." But as far as me, pertaining to the draft, I didn't think it would be that big of an injury that would've stopped me from going to the league. I know that nobody wants to take anyone that's hurt, so I know that it hindered me in the draft. But it's been a dream of mines to be in the NFL and I'm glad that I'm here, now.
When Miami called your name, I'm sure you were happy, but the fans weren't. Now that you're there, how has the ridicule and speculation made you feel?
As far as that goes, you know with the booing and all that, some of it could've been for me, but it could've been for the situation that they [the Dolphins] were in as far as not having a quarterback and the fans looking for one. It was more booing towards a coaching decision, which I have no power over, but what I did was after every practice, I'd go over and sign autographs. I was trying to show the fans that I am appreciative of the opportunity. To my surprise, I found out that there are more fans that liked me than didn't.
What about the people's choice of wanting Quinn over you? How do you feel about the NFL's business versus the fan's personal interest in the team?
The whole NFL is nothing but a business that's why we're here -- as part of a business. With them looking at what they need as a team, the coach already had an idea of what he wanted. He put in his order to get Trent Green, but I can't tell you what he was thinking. But I'm three guys in one. I can do kick return, punt return and act as a wide receiver. With all that and I can play DB [defensive back], that's great and that's how you got to think about it.
How's hanging out with the rest of the receiving core?
I spend so much time with them, so we've just grown on one another. We all put hours in and that's all you can do is just grow with them. I hang out with Julius Wilson and Marquay Love. With the Dolphins, they're really a family based program.
Have the vets been harassing you, yet, since you're the new guy on the squad?
They just call me "new money," that's it. They kind of broke away from hazing on certain teams. So, with the team, they just call me "new money." I do have to take the other receivers out to dinner, but that's about it.
What are the pros and cons of being a rookie in the league?
I think the pro of it all is that you get to learn from the guys who are really out here in the league. Me, coming from Ohio to Miami, some guys are scared of the person who's under them. But the three guys who are ahead of me aren't afraid of me, so they teach me things that would help my career. It really depends on who's in front of you. Because the con of that is that I've heard of different situations where people ask other teammates for help and they don't want to give it to that person because they don't want to lose their spot.
I'm sure the girls are blowing up your Myspace page, man.
I was never on the Myspace tip, but I was on Facebook for two weeks, though. I am not going to go and look at a computer all day. It doesn't do anything but catch you up, anyways. You still get groupies and all that, but that comes with whatever you do. It doesn't matter if you're a doctor, a pro-athlete or a dope boy. The only thing that's different is that I don't have a 24-hour rule [college] -- here it's your job. I get up at 6 am and don't stop until 6 pm. You're learning on your own. The coach isn't going to be holding your hand. That's a difference between college and pros.
With NFL players getting in trouble -- how do you, being a fresh face in the league, feel about what's going on with Pac Man Jones and Michael Vick?
I just look at it like that's their own opinion and deal. Vick knew that if that got out that that would hinder his career. He just thought that it would never get out. All I can say is that once you've made your plate, all you can do is eat it. There are kids who fight dogs in the hood, so you can't say that he's a bad person or that he's a bad role model, because it's deeper than that. But with Pac Manâ€¦He's in his own situation. That's all I can say about it. I still look at it like they're both great players in the NFL, they'll still get that love back and when they come back to the game -- they'll be all right.
Do you think a person's neighborhood can affect their actions even if their situation has changed?
You can always move out the â€˜hood, but you can't take the â€˜hood out of the person. I stayed in the â€˜hood all my life, the â€˜hood's been good to me. But it's like a light switch -- you got to learn how to turn it on and off. It's really about how your family brought you up. The â€˜hood can teach you a lot more than what the suburbs teach you. If you look at how people play. People play football a lot different in the suburbs then they do in the 'hood.
In the end -- what are your expectations for your first season as a professional football player?
I just want to get used to playing this game. After a couple games, you should get used to it, but I want to get comfortable. A lot of people come into the league; I pay attention to the 2006 draft. You got Reggie Bush and Vince Young who come in and they just turn it on in the second half. Once the second half comes around, that's where I want to be. I want to fight for a spot this year, but for the most part, I just want to help my team move onto the next level. I want to keep pushing forward. We have the right players around, with me fitting in, that would allow us to win ball games. I come from Ohio State where I'm used to winning and not losing that much. I want to keep that tradition going.
Ted Ginn Jr. Highlight Film
Tedd Ginn Jr.'s First and Last Play in the BCS Champsionship Game
Miami Dolphins Fans Boo Their Coach for Picking Ted Ginn Jr.