On his first day of practice: "I'm working to get better each day, and this is just the first step."
On him as a linebacker: "Honestly, I think the No. 1 thing is learning my role as a linebacker and just attempting and providing what I do to fulfill that role – learning from the guys who are here and learning from the coaches."
On what he is anticipating his role being: "I will say that the obvious is to be the best that I can be, to make a positive impact on the team – on and off the field – in the locker room and within the community. I know it is a team effort, and any expectations that need to be fulfilled will be fulfilled through a collective effort."
On what he saw looking at NFL film: "I really didn't look at much NFL film before. The only film that I had access to was my game film from Kansas State. Most of my preparation and my studying was on my film."
On the transition going from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense: "It's a transition in many ways – that in particular. Like I said, I am up to doing whatever I can to learn from the guys that are here and be a role player."
On what the process has been like the last few weeks: "Honestly, it is just great to be here. It has been a tremendous process, one in which I have enjoyed. But like I said, the main goal is playing football. Just being here today definitely fulfills that."
On being called Ray Lewis' replacement: "Honestly, the way I look at it is [there is] no replacing Ray Lewis. He is still a part of this team. He has had a major impact on so many of guys that are already here. Really, I am just an addition looking to fulfill my role and be an impact player."
On if he has heard from Ray Lewis or any other veterans: "I haven't. Not at this point."
On his impression of the Ravens: "A class act. I walked into the locker room and the first thing I saw was, ‘Team. Team. Team.' So, that was definitely comforting to me, just recognizing that it is all about the team. I come from a school that definitely focuses on a team effort, so really just seeing that from the coaching staff and the other players is definitely what I am all about."
On what it is like joining the Super Bowl Champions: "Like I said, it is great being a part of a team that is coming off of a Super Bowl Championship. Just to be here and participating and having the opportunity to play with them and be a part of this team is just great."
On if he saw the possibility in becoming a Raven: "Honestly, I didn't know. It was surprising to me once I received the call. I really didn't have too many expectations going into the draft. My agent told me anywhere between the 20 and 40 slot. Obviously, I got picked at 56, and it is great to be here."
On if he has talked to former Ravens center and fellow Harvard grad Matt Birk: "We're actually represented by the same agent, Joe Linta, so we met at a charity event probably just over a month ago in New Haven [Connecticut]. We got to talk about coach [Tim] Murphy – our college head coach at Harvard. We had some inside jokes there. But actually, on draft day he texted me, congratulated me [and] told me he thought I'd do well, and he apologized. He said, ‘Guys in Baltimore don't think Harvard guys are too smart anymore – sorry about that.'" (laughter)
On if he had thoughts of playing in the NFL over other career options while at Harvard: "You know what? It's not everyone's priority. There are definitely guys there who have the dream, and I like to include myself in there. Luckily, I'm able to live out that dream. But, there definitely are players on the team that are that dedicated and that driven that this is something they would like to do."
On when he started to think that playing in the NFL would be a possibility: "Realistically, it was probably after my junior season. We had won the Ivy League; I had had a good season. But in my mind, probably after my freshman year, our head coach always sits down all the freshmen, kind of lays out their goals for the next three years at Harvard and what he expects from them. It was in that meeting that he told me. He goes, ‘Kyle, if you put everything into it and this is what you want to do, you have the potential that one day you could be a professional football player.' And to hear it from somebody else, and not just keep telling yourself it, really helped verify what I was already feeling."
On the transition to playing an NFL fullback in position: "It is a little different, but I'd also say it's really similar to what I was doing at Harvard. But, I'm just a little more inside now. I spend a little more time as a fullback in the backfield and a little less time split out in the slot. But I still get to do both, which I couldn't be happier."
On how comfortable he feels playing a more inside role: "I'm comfortable with it. Physicality has always been one of the strengths of my game. The fullback position is definitely a position [where] you have to be physical. It's not anything that's overwhelming."
On what he hopes to learn from Ravens FB
On if he feels like he's competing for a job: "I mean, I think that's what professional football is – you're always competing for a job. But, who knows? I feel like we're two different players, so there might be two different roles for us there."
On if it bothers him hearing the stigma that the fullback position is becoming a "dinosaur" in the NFL: "It doesn't bother me, because I just recently have been labeled a fullback, so it hasn't hit me too hard yet. (laughter) But again, I'm not really that traditional fullback, so I don't take it personally."
On what it means to him to have his college coach Urban Meyer talking so highly of him: "He never really said it to my face, so I've never actually heard it, but I've heard other people talk about it. He's a blunt person. He tells it like it is. For him to say something like that about myself, it's special to me, and I respect the hell out of the guy. It means a lot."
On if the weight room is up to his standards: "Yes, it's great. I tried it out yesterday. It does the job."
On if he feels the Ravens are a good fit for him: "I think it's an extremely good fit. Anytime you get to play for the defending Super Bowl champs, that's a huge honor. [I am] just coming into camp right now. Trying to do everything I can to succeed, and whatever it takes, I'm going to do it."
On if he has thought about where he fits on the defense: "Wherever they tell me to go, that's where I'm going to fit best."
On what it's like knowing he has the opportunity to work under guys like OLB
On what he looks to accomplish at rookie minicamp and if the competition begins now: "It's just getting to know each other, because we are going to be teammates. It's about getting to know each other and getting the playbook down extremely well. It's learning a whole new system – a new terminology. So, to get that stuff down is going to take a couple of weeks, and we are trying to get a jumpstart on that right now."
On his first thoughts on the playbook: "It's very similar to Ohio State's, so I was fortunate in that aspect. We just have a little bit different terminology, but I think I'm picking it up pretty fast."
On how he feels the camp will prepare him for when the veteran players arrive: "Like I mentioned, learning the playbook is half the battle, and the mental part of it and then getting speed down when we start playing with the veterans is going to be another thing. It's just getting yourself feeling comfortable out there on the field at a new level of play. This minicamp is like a jumpstart to that."
On whom he modeled his play after in college: "I looked up to a lot of people. There are so many great players. It's hard to pick one. I try to play like myself, but my coach, Mike Vrabel, at Ohio state, I was blessed enough to have him coach me. He was a versatile player, so I watch a lot of tape of him and see what he did and what made him successful, and I try to incorporate that into my game, as well."
On if having a retired-NFL player as a coach helped with the transition into the NFL: "Absolutely, because he's a professional, and he treats everyday coaching like it's professional football. We appreciated that, and I think it showed on the field on how well our defense was able to play this year. I think that professionalism prepared me for this next level."
On his thoughts on playing in the AFC North: "It's awesome. My family will be able to come visit when we play at the away game and home games, too, because it's not too far of a drive here to Baltimore. It's exciting. I have buddies on all the teams, so I'll get to compete against them, rather than be their teammates, so it will be a fun little challenge."
On if he talked to Mike Vrabel at all about what to expect from defensive coordinator Dean Pees: "No, I didn't have a chance. Coach Vrabel has been on the road recruiting and all that. He told me I'm going to love the guy, and I think I already do. I'm enjoying myself out here. Ourselves – as a defense – are trying to learn it as fast as possible, and do anything we can to get ourselves on the field."
On if he takes pride in drawing comparisons from Jarret Johnson: "Yes, he was a terrific player. I think he's at San Diego now, I believe. He's a great player. To be thought of as someone like that is an honor, but it's only Day One, so I have to go out there and prove it on the field."
On what this week has been like for him: "You just take a couple of minutes at a time. I know we have lunch, so that's what I'm looking forward to right now. (laughter) Then we have meetings, so not getting too ahead of yourself and just slowly getting through the day – putting your focus into everything."
On if any teammates have asked him to walk on his hands yet: (laughing) "A couple. A couple have, but I don't think I can do that anymore."
On what the background is to that: "I've been doing it since I was a kid – just something I picked up, and I've been doing it ever since."
On how much he's looking forward to the challenge of playing at a higher level after playing Division II college football: "I've definitely got a huge chip on my should coming from D-II, and it's just that much more of a challenge for me. I'm ready for the challenge, I'm up for the challenge, and just to get out here and show everybody that, ‘Hey, I'm D-II, but I can still play. I'm here. I'm in a Baltimore jersey right now playing with all you guys – D-I's, wherever you're from – and I'm going to play as hard as you, play better than you, and I'm here to stay.'"
On if he's reached out to any other small school players that made the transition from Division II to the NFL: "[Atlanta Falcons' 2013 second-round pick] Rob Alford, actually we had the same agent [Albert Elias] before he [Elias] passed away. So, he's down in Atlanta right now, so we talk and just say, ‘How's it going? How have you been?' And he's like, ‘It's good.' Just talking about how it is coming from a small school to the big stage."
On if he feels he can make an immediate impact in the NFL: "Yes, I'm driven and I'm motivated to give 100 percent every day and work harder than the next person and the person in front of me. [I] just want to contribute and be a part of the team and help in any way that I can."
On if he likes the opportunity to come in and compete at NT with players like
On what he sees his role being from a positional standpoint: "They brought me in for nose tackle, but I feel I can play any position. I feel that I'm athletic enough to where they can scoot me out to the ‘three' position, they can flip me over to the ‘five' if they need me to. But, I just feel like I can play in any scheme and any front."
On how much agility plays into being an effective nose tackle: "It's a lot. You've got to be quicker than the guy in front of you, and he knows the count and he knows where he's going, and you've got to mirror him and beat him across his face or beat him to the quarterback. So, it definitely relies on mobility, speed and agility."
On what makes him a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle from his standpoint: "My power, my leverage. I've definitely got a lower center of gravity – I'm 6-1 – so just that natural leverage, first step, my power, automatically. I feel like I fit the position."
On what he thought about the practice tempo: "First day, so there are going to be mistakes, but they expect the same thing out of their veterans. Just keep flying around the ball, and if you make a mistake, make it at 100 miles per hour. But, they're your teammates, so don't take a cheap shot or anything like that, but they expect you to still work hard, play hard and know your assignments."