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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jacob Chobanian, TE, Chapman University

  • Jacob Chobanian
  • Chapman University
  • TE
  • 6’4”
  • 225lbs.
  • Newhall, CA
  • Twitter: @Chobani84

What is your favorite song to listen to prior to competing?

I have a whole playlist that I’ve made for my pre-game warmups so to narrow it done to one song is tough. I’m going to just say anything with YG in it is a pretty safe bet.

How would your teammates describe you as both a player and person?

I believe that as player, they would describe me not only as a supportive teammate, but someone with a determined mindset that refuses to give up in any situation. Once the pads come off, we all get along great and our friendships will live on long after we hang up the cleats.

How do you and your teammates make practice and film study fun?

There is definitely an element of poking fun at one another when one of us makes a mistake, or before our meetings start, we usually pull up someone’s highlight tape from high school, and the running joke is always the fact that I don’t have one because I never really played in high school. It’s all in good fun at the end of the day.

When you are studying film, what is your main focus to gain a competitive advantage?

I’d say that I watch my body language whether it be pre snap or off the ball so I can tell if my footing or position is giving away where I’m going to go before the play begins. Also, I like to look at an upcoming opponents defensive coverage schemes and their player’s playstyle so I can tell who the player to target is and what moves will and won’t work against them.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Without any hesitation it’s my mother, I know I’m sure this is going to sound cliché but without her I wouldn’t even be a shred of who I am today. She’s always believed in me no matter if I played or not, she’s been to every game no matter how far, and most importantly she’s always had my back.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

I’m not sure if this is a “quality” but if I could find a way to just simply relax and breathe every once in a while without constantly overthinking simple everyday things and trying to be a perfectionist. It’s a blessing and a curse because although it’s annoying sometimes, it definitely helps fuel my determined work ethic and my desire to strive to produce the best product I possibly can in every facet of life.

What do you value most from your Collegiate experience?

The collegiate level has given me a lot, and what I value most is definitely the friendships that I’ve developed along with the copious number of lessons that the game has continued to teach me. If it weren’t for my teammates like Alec Kohn (center) and Max Sanford (WR) then I’m not sure I would have been able to finish. We were always there to pick each other up as well as keep each other accountable on days when we didn’t feel like suiting up for practice or waking up for 7am running in the spring. When it comes to the life lessons I learned, the collegiate level taught me the importance of time management as we have to balance a full student course load along with a rigorous and demanding football schedule. There were a number of times where the walls seemed to be closing in, but I just thought to myself that this was going to prepare me for the future because life is always ready to throw a curveball at you and you have to be ready for it.

Who is your personal hero?

I promise this has nothing to do with the fact that they just won their 6th Super Bowl ring this past week (shout out Boston), but Tom Brady has always been that idol that I’ve looked up to given his path to success because I feel that we have similarities on some levels. He had no stars and despite playing at a D1 school, his combine report was less than generous to put it kindly and he wasn’t selected until the 6th round. Despite this discouraging draft rank, he believed in himself and was determined to get better and stay ready until the opportunity presented itself for him to prove what he had. To me, I went through something similar as I really didn’t have the opportunity to prove what I could do until my senior year when playing time became more accessible and available for me. I went from being a third string lineman in high school to a starting WR/TE my senior year with 3 touchdowns and over 100 yards receiving. So without a doubt, Tom Brady continues to serve as an inspiration for me.

Tell me something about yourself nobody would know.

My mom and girlfriend might say that they’ve known this the whole time, but beyond my tough exterior there is definitely a soft spot for animals of almost any kind with my weakness being dogs. I have two little ones at home that my mom takes care of while I’m away at school, but when I’m back it’s safe to say we’re equally as excited to see each other.

How do you work on yourself?

I devote a majority of my time to focus and improve on the areas that I’m lacking in and place those that I’m better at on the backburner. Whether this be in the weight room working on my squat strength, in the classroom double and tripling back through texts, or just in life working on trying to be more patient and understanding of others. Football has helped me in all of these areas and without a doubt is one of the driving reasons for why I am who I am today.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, whom would it be and why?

I feel like I would want to go to dinner with Denzel Washington, and although he’s arguably one of my favorite actors, I just have seen from his philanthropy efforts and motivational speeches that he understands the journey and how hard it is to get to where you want to. There is just an undeniable sense of wisdom about him and I feel that even if I had a few hours to pick his brain that I would walk away with a plethora of new insights and knowledge.

If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why?

This could be the inner lineman in me from high school speaking, but I would definitely take super-speed in some form. I’ve never been the fastest guy and always seeing those wide outs burning corners I just can’t help but be envious.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

A good’s night rest sleeping in until 10 would be the perfect start followed by a solid breakfast, maybe five eggs and a brown rice bowl. After, depending on the day, I’ll rifle through some homework or film followed by a trip to the gym for a few hours to hone my craft and clear my mind. After the gym, a double wrapped burrito from Chipotle with a protein shake would hit the spot. For the night, either spending the night in with my pups and girlfriend binge watching the newest Netflix show, or going to see an artist perform at a nightclub in LA. I know those are polar opposite conclusions but like I said, it depends on the day.

Who inspired you as a young athlete?

My dad was one of my inspirations as a youth whether it be at baseball practice when he was our coach and he’d give me pointers on how to perfect my swing, or working on my jump shot after basketball practice before the lights went out in the gym. He’s a big sports guy and has definitely guided me down the right path both on and off the field.

What are the positive attributes that you bring to a professional football team?

I bring an unrelenting work ethic to any team that I’m a part of, as well the urge to push everyone around me to be the best they can be so that we can all work together as a unit to strive for one unanimous goal.

Tell me about a time where you overcame a challenge.

My sophomore year of college in the offseason, we had a shortage of offensive lineman and I was approached to join the position group for the upcoming season as it was the best move for the team, so I put on the weight and made the sacrifice to help out my team. Once the season ended and more lineman were recruited, I grinded the entire offseason constantly so that I could get back to where I was and surpass it by improving on strength, speed, and footwork. After a grueling five months I was successful, and I was able to score in the season opener of our championship season after the starting tight end went down with an injury.

What one skill would you like to improve on? What’s your plan for doing so?

If you ask any of my teammates or friends for that matter, they’ll tell you that I live in the gym and would rather be on the bench press than breathing on some days, but in contrast, my squat is not as powerful as my bench so I am currently working to make the two commensurate with each other by working legs three days a week and upping my protein intake.

What is the best part of your hometown; Newhall, CA?

The familiarity I’d say, while it’s not considered a small town so to speak, almost everyone knows someone somehow whether it be through a friend, by school, or work. There’s really never a sense of feeling like a stranger whenever you’re there, and when you come back for school vacation it almost feels like you never left with the familiar faces and sense of belonging.

Give me your pitch to an NFL GM on why you should be a part of their organization, in 15 words or less.

I will bring home a championship all the while making everyone else around me better.

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