Former University of Alabama standout offensive lineman D.J. Fluker does not believe in taking a break, not when there is work to be done -- and football games to win.
“There’s no time to relax,” Fluker said at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. “Every day, to me, is a work day. As a person, I want to be the Ray Lewis of my offensive line.”
Fluker entered the 2013 NFL Draft after his junior year with the Crimson Tide, who won their second straight National Championship in dominating fashion over Notre Dame on Jan. 7 in Miami.
That championship game win was indicative of the aggressiveness and attacking style Fluker brings to the field.
“I had to turn it up a notch," Fluker said. "Everybody loves the little guy. He kind of gets by, but I’m not that guy. I’m going to let you know early, I ain’t the one. That’s the main thing. You’ve got to be aggressive playing offensive line. I played defensive tackle, and I used to love beating offensive linemen. Now, it’s the opposite. I get to beat on defensive linemen.
“Going against good competition, I rise to the occasion. I love great competition. When great competition comes out there, the main thing is going out there and playing hard. People have got to go out there and play hard every snap.”
When it comes to playing hard, as well as learning how to read safeties and coverages and to be more aggressive at the line of scrimmage, Fluker took instruction from former Alabama offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland.
“That’s our job, being more aggressive at the point of attack and drive people off the ball, finish them, make them fear you,” Fluker said. “That’s the big thing; make your opponent fear you. Knock them off the ball. Let them know early. Set the tone early.
“Coach Stoutland was one of those guys that wanted your effort. He wanted your best every time at practice. He’d find guys and call them ‘Catfish.’ Those were the guys that were going to jump out of the water and give everything they’ve got on every play. He looked for them. It was pretty good for us as an offensive line because it made us work harder.”
As he continues through the pre-draft process and prepares for life in the NFL, Fluker wants that hard-working, blue-collar mentality to result in wins, something he grew accustomed to under coach Nick Saban at Alabama.
“Right now, my main thing is any team that wants to win a championship, any team that wants to win every Sunday, that’s the type of team that I want to go to,” Fluker said. “The team that has the attitude that, ‘I will not be denied,’ the guys that actually want to work hard, actually do something special, go to the Super Bowl, win a championship. That’s the type of team that I want to be a part of.”