With the NFL lockout officially over, former USF wide receiver Dontavia Bogan earned an opportunity to take his game to the next level. Bogan signed a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers where he'll get an opportunity to work with new head coach Jim Harbaugh and also get reunited with former USF head coach Jim Leavitt.
Bogan was USF's leading receiver this past season posting career highs across the board. He ended the season with 47 receptions, 685 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also ended the season by catching a touchdown pass against Clemson during the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, NC. USFNation got a chance to speak with Bogan and discuss how he feels about this big opportunity ahead.
So Dontavia, how does it feel to get a shot at the NFL?
It feels great! It feels great playing for a great franchise like San Francisco. It's got a bunch of history with players like Joe Montana to Jerry Rice, T.O. and Steve Young; it's a great franchise to be apart of!
What's the process been like since Pro Day and the NFL Draft knowing there was a lockout?
I've just been training; I went to Arizona to hang out with my girlfriend. I've been training, running, running routes and just waiting for the lockout to end. It ended and I got my opportunity and I'm going to try to make the best of it.
With career highs across the board, how did your senior season at USF prepare you for this opportunity?
My last year at South Florida really prepared me. Being in a great system with Coach Holtz going from the spread and putting me at X receiver, it allowed me to showcase my abilities, my route running ability and my catching ability. It put me in a great spot going into the NFL. I put up great numbers.
How did Coach Phil McGeoghan and the rest of the coaching staff help you prepare?
Coach Phil is a great coach, from route running and technique-wise, I feel like I got that down pat. He taught me a great deal. He has experience being in the NFL, being a receiver so he knows what it takes. He feels that I have the tools to go out there and showcase my abilities.
With USF being known for sending defensive guys to the NFL, these past few years we had a few more offensive guys going like you and Sampson Genus, Carlton Mitchell last year and Taurus Johnson who is on the Redskins. How does that feel to somewhat start a new trend for USF?
It feels good but we have to put more offensive guys into the NFL. We need to showcase our abilities so people won't sleep on us on that side of the ball. It feels good though; I'm joining a great bunch of fellow USF teammates and I'm happy to be apart of that.
How does it feel to be reunited with USF's Football Godfather, Coach Jim Leavitt?
It feels so good. I'm so happy to get back with Coach Leavitt. You don't understand how happy I am to get back with Coach Leavitt. I hope he still has that energy because it won't be the same if he doesn't have that energy.
Also, how does it feel know that you'll get to face off against one of your former teammates Jerome Murphy who's with the Rams twice a year?
It's a great feeling and I can't wait.
You left some pretty big shoes to fill and with a lot of young receivers on the squad, what advice would you give them for this upcoming season?
I would tell the young receivers to work on the small things. Work on your technique; stay after with the quarterback and work. You and the quarterback have to be on the same page. You have to get extra reps with B.J. (Daniels), stay focused, watch film and execute day in and day out. Know that what you put on film is what you are. So if you put out messed up film on Saturdays, know that's how scouts will view you. So just go out there and focus play by play and you'll be okay.
Now I know you didn't get to really fully enjoy the facilities but how do you think they will help the present and future Bulls?
It's really tremendous; it's unbelievable the way they've turned out. I'm looking forward to seeing some big names join the program. We have some of the best facilities in the East.
How do feel about USF's chances this upcoming season?
High, I mean from the defense to the offense. B.J. has got to start carrying the team on his back. He has to be more of a leader and step up and I think they'll be fine. I think they have a great chance to win the Big East this year.
Now that you are now in the NFL, what's a message you want to leave for the Bulls fans?
Thank you for the support my four years here, I'm going to be a Bull for life. I can't wait for my off days so I can lie down and watch USF play. I love all of the fans.