Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux did an interview with FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt during the 2022 College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday. Thibodeaux discussed attending Oregon rather than Alabama, and he had some things to say about the presumed quality of education at both institutions and why he chose the Ducks.
“I already hate the stigma of football players as stupid jocks,” Thibodeaux said. “So now, do you know the stigma of Alabama education? It’s not the West Coast. It’s not Harvard.”
Later in the interview, Thibodeaux continued to talk about an education in Alabama.
“If I would have gone to Alabama … I do not know if my degree would matter,” Thibodeaux said.
ESPN college football analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy came across Thibodeaux’s statements. He discussed it for a while on his radio show with Cole Cubelic – “McElroy and Cubelic In the Morning.”
“I’m just taking real personal insult, man,” McElroy said Thursday. “I really do. I do not care. Do not come. If you think so little about us, do not come. Good for me, because I know the people who live in this state. I chose Alabama because I love Alabama. “If you do not want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially give you, it’s up to you. You’re missing something.”
Cubelic and McElroy both chastised Thibodeaux for saying “stigma” when he meant “stigma”.
“He says he does not like the stigma of athletes being stupid jocks, and yet he sounds like a stupid jock,” McElroy said.
McElroy played quarterback in Alabama from 2007-10. The New York Jets took him in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
“What I do not understand is why he felt the need to cut back on Alabama,” McElroy said. “And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I just want to come to him with this – if he wants to take an IQ test, I’m free. If he wants to take the Wonderlic test, I’m free. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will set my degree up against his all days of the week. ”
McElroy was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2010. The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award for 102 students to attend the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.
“I want to show him the deals, because I would be willing to bet that Harvard did not offer him,” McElroy said. “I think they would have taken him, but Harvard offered me – so did Yale, as did Princeton, as almost all Ivy League schools did with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. And I chose Alabama, so give “There’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.”
Thibodeaux had a total of 49 tackles, 35 solo tackles and seven sacks for Oregon during the 2021 season. He is expected by many to be among the first choices – if not the first overall choice – of the 2022 NFL draft.
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“Meet me at Wonderlic (test),” McElroy said later in the show. “Meet me there, Kayvon. Come and get some. Match my 48 – or 43, whatever it was.”
The Wonderlic Test is an IQ test that used to be given on the NFL Combine for NFL Draft prospects. A perfect score for a Wonderlic test is 50 points.
During Monday’s interview with FOX, Thibodeaux also talked about how Oregon’s connection to Nike led him to Eugene over Tuscaloosa.
“Do you know what I leaned back and thought about? I leaned back and said ‘what world do I want to be a part of?’ I said that if I go to Alabama, I will win national championships, literally, “said Thibodeaux. “But will I be a guy who is known as a national championship winner, or will I be a guy who is known to be part of the biggest organization in the world? … A brand like Nike, for me which brand associations I want to be tied to. ”
The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place 28-30. April.
Erik Hall is the leading digital producer for sports with USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.