After spending the last five years with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Josiah Deguara is ready for the next chapter of his career. The versatile tight end is just over a month away from hearing his name called in the NFL Draft.
This past season, Deguara had 39 receptions for 504 yards and seven touchdowns. He was one of the main offensive weapons for a Cincinnati team that owned an 11-3 record.
Last week, Deguara participated at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The California native put on a show at Lucas Oil Stadium, posting 25 reps on the bench press – the most at his position – and running a 4.72 during the 40-yard dash.
Deguara sat down with us to talk about his experience at the combine, what part of college football he’ll miss the most, which NFL quarterback he’d want to catch a pass from and more. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: Many scouts applauded your numbers at the NFL Combine. What’d you think about your performance?
Josiah Deguara: For the most part I went in and did what I wanted to do – numbers wise. I wish I ran my 40 a little bit faster. Besides that, I did everything I wanted and needed to do to make a strong impression on the coaches. All the drills and meetings all went according to plan and everything went really well from my perspective, so I was pretty happy with it.
It was a dream come true being able to compete out in Indy this week! ALL glory goes to the man above!!☝🏻☝🏻
NFL COMBINE ✅ https://t.co/kJEu6mQOfW
— Josiah Deguara (@JosiahD5) February 28, 2020
The Spun: During your meetings at the NFL Combine, did you face any bizarre questions?
JD: One team started off by asking me if I would rather be a cat or a dog. And then they followed that up by asking what’s the square root of 81. Those were definitely the most random questions I got from a team.
The Spun: Moving on, what type of offense do you think would fit your skills the best?
JD: I think I’m a pretty versatile player and I could do a lot of different things in different offenses. Honestly, whatever team picks me and whatever offense I end up playing in, I think I’m going to be able to adjust and excel in any area.
Cincinnati TE Josiah Deguara, one of my favorite sleepers at the position, said his favorite route is “Y option” and that he played 4-5 different positions in the Cincy offense. #Patriots #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/CGgGSUwZQb
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 25, 2020
The Spun: What’s the one part of your game where you still want to improve on moving forward?
JD: Yeah, I think there’s always room for improvement. Something I put an emphasis on is getting in and out of my cuts at the top of my routes. That’s something that I’ve put an emphasis on throughout this whole training process and will continue to do as well as try to perfect every area of my game going into camp.
The Spun: Is there a tight end in the NFL right now that you try to model your game?
JD: Since I went to Cincinnati, Travis Kelce is the first one that comes to mind. I tried to model my game after him because he came from the same area and everything like that. Kyle Juszczyk as well from the 49ers is someone that I see myself kind of fitting in that role. He plays a little bit of fullback, a little bit of in-line tight end, and he’s an overall move around type of guy. So, I think I could be doing that as well.
— Ed Easton Jr. (@EdEastonJr) February 25, 2020
The Spun: If you had to pick one quarterback in the NFL right now to catch a pass from, who would it be?
JD: I have to go with Tom Brady, he’s the G.O.A.T. You have to go with one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback of all time
The Spun: What’s the one aspect from the college football experience that you’re going to miss the most?
JD: I’d probably say the locker room. I talked to a lot of guys that are in the league (NFL). You’re with the same guys for four to five years in college and it’s really not like that in the NFL. You’ve got guys coming in and coming out, if not every year, then every few weeks. So just the brotherhood and the bond you build with the guys in that locker room is what I’m going to miss.
The Spun: Luke Fickell has done an excellent job at Cincinnati. Do you think he could eventually make the jump to the NFL?
JD: I think if he desired that, he could for sure. I think he’s one of the best in the business at the college level, and you see college coaches that desire to go to the NFL eventually get that opportunity. I’m hoping he stays with Cincinnati, but if ever decides to leave, he’ll have the opportunity to go wherever he wants.
#Bearcats tight end Josiah Deguara at NFL combine. Says Travis Kelce has been a mentor in this process. Says "it's great for Cincinnati" that Luke Fickell is staying. "Shows how much he loves the city." pic.twitter.com/x8jBnnvHkJ
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) February 25, 2020
The Spun: Coming out of high school, you were listed as a two-star recruit. Now, you’re just a little over a month away from being an NFL. Has that sunk in with you yet?
JD: It’s been crazy and it’s starting to sink in a little more. All glory to God for just getting me in this position. Without him, I couldn’t have come this far. But it’s crazy to see that I’ve come from not getting a lot of love from high school, to being at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, and hopefully getting drafted in a month and a half. It’s been surreal and I’ve been enjoying the whole process that comes with it.
Josiah Deguara rocked the Senior Bowl and a 4.73 here in Indy is a FANTASTIC time for him.
Will be asked to play a little h-back during drills today and should excel. Versatility makes him a perfect early Day 3 option.
— Carter Donnick (@CDonnick3) February 27, 2020
Scouts have raved about Deguara’s work ethic throughout the draft process. He made it very clear to us during our interview that he’s an all-around player that will execute whatever the coaching staff needs him to do.
As of right now, the majority of draft projections have Deguara being selected on Day 3. Judging off his combine performance and resume at Cincinnati, that’d be tremendous value for whichever team drafts him.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.