April 25, 2013

N.Y. Giant Kevin Boothe advises JC Tretter on draft

Provided
JC Tretter ’13, left, play football for the Big Red.

Starting tonight and possibly into Saturday, JC Tretter ’13 could be in for a dramatic life turn.

If the National Football League draft beginning at 8 p.m. beckons, he will instantly go from Big Red football star to professional athlete.

Kevin Boothe ’05 gets it.

The New York Giants left guard and School of Hotel Administration graduate was in the same holding pattern seven years ago.

In an interview this month, Boothe, an Oakland Raider in his first NFL season, shared an insider’s view of the process facing Tretter for the next three days. The nationally televised draft continues through Saturday in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

Any tips for Tretter on waiting out the big event?

“Don't do what I did. I sat around and watched every pick. I've told him to do something to keep busy. Don't worry, you won't miss the call.”

Can you describe the tension of waiting for the news that would change your life?

JC Tretter
Tretter

“It was definitely exciting. I was anxious because I had no idea where I would end up. When I received the call from Oakland, it was a relief that the wait was over. Then, when I saw my name on television, it was euphoric.”

Bloggers are saying that Tretter, at 307 pounds, won’t be ready for the NFL in his first season due to size and level of college competition.

“I ended up playing a lot my rookie year. There will be an adjustment in skill, strength and speed, but I am sure JC can handle it. The quicker you adjust, the quicker you play.”

Tretter would be the second Cornell player in 16 years to be drafted. Carrying Cornell’s name into the NFL – what was that like for you?

“There are not many of us in the league. I take a lot of pride in being in such a small group. I'm looking forward to welcoming JC into the group.”

Kevin Booth
Boothe

The professional demands of the NFL … what can Tretter expect?

“Intellectually, he will be fine. He's done the hard work at Cornell. JC will pick up the playbook quickly, and will be able to focus on the physical aspect of the NFL.”

You are working on an MBA at George Washington University. How do you do it?

“There is plenty of down time after the season, so I figured, why not take classes?”

Any parting words?

“To play in the NFL from the Ivy League is a tremendous accomplishment. I look forward to seeing JC have a long and successful career in the NFL. I'll be rooting for him, unless he is playing the Giants. Then again, he could be my teammate. We'll see!”

Mary Catt is assistant director of communications for the ILR School.