Darrick Forrest proved that he could be a dominant force at the collegiate level, compiling 200 total tackles, six passes defended and six interceptions during his time with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Now, he’s out to show that his skillset will translate smoothly into the NFL.
Most analysts have raved about Forrest’s play recognition at the safety position. Additionally, he’s always taking the right angles toward the football and has no issue stopping the run.
If NFL teams weren’t already excited about Forrest’s potential while watching him at Cincinnati, they definitely changed their stance after seeing him steal the show at his pro day.
Forrest ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds, had 21 reps on the bench press and posted a 39-inch vertical. Any questions about his athleticism were immediately put to rest that day. Let’s also not forget that Forrest has the proper mindset needed to succeed in the NFL. He made it very clear that he has a burning desire to be great.
We sat down with Darrick Forrest to talk about his Cincinnati career, preparation for the NFL, the current narrative surrounding the Group of Five and much more.
The Spun: How would you grade your pro day?
Darrick Forrest: I would say that I performed very well. I performed at a level of almost excellence, regarding pro day numbers and combine numbers. I felt like I went out there and showed scouts I’m a great athlete. Sometimes it doesn’t show up on film, but I’m a great athlete, I’m fast and I can move.
The Spun: What do you think you showed scouts on film?
DF: I’d say I showed that I’m a leader, I have high intelligence, and a great ability to recognize play calls and formations. I would say I’m a guy who goes out there and competes very hard. I can succeed in man or zone coverage.
That @_Dfoe5 40 speed…
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) April 1, 2021
The Spun: You tweeted that people are still sleeping on you. How much does that motivate you, and what are you out to prove?
DF: I feel like that motivates me so much. Each and every day I wake up, I’m motivated by people who say I can’t do something because in the back of my head I know I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m just easily motivated by that. In the NFL, I want to prove that I’m one of the best safeties to play this game. I want to be great. I’m not content with being average – I don’t like average at all. I want to keep working until I am great.
The Spun: You also mentioned that Power Five players getting more attention. What is your take on the way Group of Five players are treated?
DF: I just feel like we don’t get as much attention and respect. We [Cincinnati] have great teams in our conference, like UCF and Memphis, but we don’t get the respect we need. I feel like we need more respect, especially when we go out against Power Five teams in bowl games and play well. We compete with those teams up until the last second. They just need to change the whole Group of Five narrative because some of us deserve to make the College Football Playoff.
They don’t want to talk about it because I’m not a P5 player
Height 5114 weight 206,
I ran a 4.41 official 40
I jumped a 39” vert
I jumped a 11’0 broad
I put up 22 reps on bench
They still sleeping, we back to the lab 🤣💯 I won’t stop until the world know me!
— Darrick Forrest Jr. 5️⃣ (@_Dfoe5) April 5, 2021
The Spun: What was your favorite moment at Cincinnati?
DF: I would say my interception in the UCF game from this past season. We eventually went on to win that game, but that was a huge moment. We faced a lot of adversity during that game, so just pulling out a win there was such a memorable moment.
The Spun: What was it like playing for Luke Fickell?
DF: It was tremendous. Coach Fickell is a great coach who knows exactly what he wants. If that image isn’t delivered, he’ll keep trying until it is. He did exactly everything that he said he would at Cincinnati, and I loved playing for him.
The Spun: Which safeties do you like to watch on film?
DF: Troy Polamalu, Brian Dawkins, Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Simmons and Sean Taylor. Those are a few I can name off the top of my head.
Cincinnati has some real good players in this class. An underrated name is Safety Darrick Forrest. Rangy safety with good ball skills. Day 3 guy with good traits pic.twitter.com/vpqirPCyAt
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) February 25, 2021
The Spun: What’s your best attribute at this stage in your career?
DF: I would say my knowledge and intelligence when it comes to playing safety. I feel like I play fast because I know what’s going to happen before it actually happens.
The Spun: Are there any matchups you can’t wait for at the next level?
DF: I don’t think about it too much, but one time my friend brought up that I might play against Tom Brady. If ever get an interception against a guy like that, I’ll live it up forever. I’m just ready to play against guys like that because they’re the best at what they do, and if I want to be the best at what I do, I have to work for it.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Darrick Forrest?
DF: A guy that is going to bring leadership to their team and do anything that needs to be done to put the team in the best situation. I have a high motor, I’m easily motivated and will do anything to be on the field.
We don't talk about #Cincinnati DS Darrick Forrest Jr. enough. Fluid, speedy athlete with excellent man coverage skills, runs the alley well from depth, ball hawk. 5 of 6 career interceptions came over last 2 years.
All over special teams too, valuable day 3 option in the draft. pic.twitter.com/zVmkPcUOJv
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) April 10, 2021
Forrest is projected to be a Day 3 pick in this year’s draft. Even though he’s not considered a top prospect at the moment, he could make an immediate impact in the NFL due to his athleticism and football IQ.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.