Jerry Tillery isn’t sure why teams question his love for football

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Although former Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery hasn’t listened to media criticism in the weeks leading up to the draft, he’s heard questions about his game from teams. And there’s one question in particularly with which he disagrees.

I’ve heard, ‘Does Jerry Tillery love football?'” Tillery told PFT on Wednesday. “I think that’s inaccurate and unfair.”

So why does he gets that question?

“I don’t know, I can’t speak for people,” Tillery said. “I can tell you the work I’ve put into being the best defensive lineman in the world, being the best in this draft. . . . I’m looking to show that next year.”

He may love football, but he probably didn’t love practice during his first three seasons at Notre Dame.

My freshman, sophomore, and junior year, the left side of our offensive line was Quinten Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, two pretty good football players in this league,” Tillery said. “That kind of molds you as a player. They definitely helped me become a better player and I made them better as well. We had a lot of great battles for sure.”

Tillery was facing no battles of any kind of Wednesday, conducting the interview from Hawaii, where he has escaped the pre-draft stress while he waits on Thursday or Friday night for the phone to ring. After visits to eight different teams and with a shoulder that has fully healed after recent surgery, that phone definitely will be ringing.