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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Zaccheus Walker, LB, East Texas Baptist University

Zaccheus Walker the linebacker from East Texas Baptist University recently interviewed with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot

• Name: Zaccheus Walker

• Height: 5100

• Weight: 210

• Position: LB

• College: East Texas Baptist University

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

• I’m from Monroe, Louisiana where I went to Neville High School. Monroe is a city in northeast Louisiana. I live on the south side of Monroe. Many people don’t know this who don’t stay there but we have a “West Monroe” and “Monroe” which are separated by a river. And where I’m from, that river sets a whole lot of rivalries in football that’ll go down in history. I’m talking about rivalries where you make your name and let people know you’re serious. That’s the one thing I love about Monroe, even though it’s listed amongst the top dangerous cities, is that it’s love is pure. Football is the time where everyone from all kinds of walks of life put things aside to support the kids who still have a chance at their dream and changing their families life. It’s genuine love, that love you may not find often.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• Film study is definitely the most important. Early in my career dating back to junior high I was not always in the best shape to do the things I wanted to do, but I overcompensated that with knowing precisely where to be. As I moved to high school, the coaching was next level and grew me as a player. We watched film very strategically and looked for different patterns, percentages and trends that would help us be more effective. It became bigger than the man in front of us but was the overall scheme. That’s what helped us be so successful, we learned how to disrupt schemes as a whole. Next I will say strength and conditioning. I would put this before practice because this aspect of the game is dear to me. The grind has showed me depths of myself I had no inclination of. In order to be the most prepared to be the best, one must invest in himself and become the best you can be individually physically and mentally. If everyone on a team thought like this and prepared themselves to meet a certain standard, the whole team would thrive. All individuals have now presented the best version of themselves to put together the best version of the team. Lastly, I would say practice. Practice to me is like a tutorial of the game. Week in and out I love going against opposing team offenses and going all out full speed at how I would attack the scheme that week. I crave heavy physical contact to make me comfortable in such a violent state. The more learned and prepared I am for a team, the more confident I am game day. I pay attention to the smallest details like steps, hand placement and body positioning for very specific plays that teams love to run. It’s all a chess game and I just love it.

What do you worry about, and why?

• One thing I worry about is not being humble and losing sight of who got me to where I am. I can do nothing without God. He is my all—every morsel of me. He is the lifeline to everything good in me. The day I indulge myself in what he has allowed me to do, is the day I dethrone him as first in my life. It would be a suicide to my own future.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• I am my hardest critic and motivator. I push myself to see just how good I can be. My workout regime can be seen as kind of crazy to most but I don’t care, that’s why I’m not like most. One time I failed is when I pushed myself to the max. I pride myself on killing all workouts no matter how hard I try to make them. Recently I started working out in a hoodie because one of my idols, James Harrison does so. I resemble a lot of my game after his. I run before I lift and look to complete 15 different exercises not including abs. Each lift is 4×15 so let’s just say I have a full plate. As I scrapped by the running by the grace of the almighty God, I did a few sets of my first lifts and had to throw up. After spilling my failure and misery all in the sink I cleaned myself up and finished the workout. That night I thought about that all day. That’s what’s most important to me, competing and challenging myself. Every loss or shortcoming always comes down to yourself so I have to keep myself at a certain standard. I though about it all day and even prayed about it. I felt as if I sped time up myself through class and fast forwarded to the weight room. I KILLED THE WHOLE THING. I was like a starving, savaged, blood thirsty lion looking for prey. I made that workout my son and that’s what i love to do, overcome.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates would probably say my best quality is my energy. I put so much in this and I have hurt so much in ways a lot of people wouldn’t understand. So when I’m on that field, I refuse to let a second go by where I’m not soaking it all in. I put myself through hell for 355 days of the year for 10 games and days of pure glory. I just wanted to share that same thanksgiving and charisma to my teammates. As my positions coach, Richard Embry would say, “If you give to the game , it’ll give back to you.” And he is absolutely right. I just want people to feel the blessings and joy the game has brought to me.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• The best player I have played against in college was probably be Teedrick from UMHB, dude was dominant and made it look effortless at DE.I heard he plays in the CFL and lord knows I want to meet back up with him on the field, I haven’t beaten him yet.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• Honestly if I couldn’t play football I would be opened to finding myself without football to affirm my personality. I love to write so I would pursue that.

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• I clean my room first, I can’t stay in filth.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• I would choose a family member, I ride for mines lol. I feel like that would be natural. I would attempt to save all though.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• I would most defiantly be Spider-Man. I have the game, comforter and used to have the cups and dresser set.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• My biggest adversity in life would probably be my weight loss journey and just being short in the sport. Growing up I was the fat kid until the end of my eight grade year. I began to lose weight the day a coach told me I wouldn’t be able to play football in high school. It set something off in me. I went from 270 to 155 pound last the first day of my freshman year. Through that weight loss transition I didn’t realize the things I grew in. The long painful nights passing out working out and determination to be great consumed me. The focus when people called me crazy for working out after practice or “going too hard” I let it go in one ear and out the other . It wasn’t until the fruits of my labor paid off they respected what I did. But year after year, summer after summer putting myself through torture during workouts would come to a stalemate, as the season would be of low production and many people just thought I was a practice warrior. But when Gods timing came and I started becoming into my own, I never looked back. I just put my head down and work the whole time. I stayed focused and had faith in what God was doing. Through the knee surgeries, wrist breaks and breaking my clavicle the spring of my senior year, I just had faith in God, that’s who got me through it all and deserves all the credit. I was just the tool, he was the master behind it all. Nothing but his grace and mercy.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• My most embarrassing moment is probably when I ran a 10.1 40 yard dash when I was 11 years old at a Brady James football camp. Thank God for treadmills.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• I got invited to the FAF All-Star game in Myrtle Beach, SC and my team had stormed back from a three score deficient in the second half. We were up 34-38 in the fourth quarter with seven seconds to go and they were on the 6 yard line. We needed a stop and needed it now. I dropped back in coverage from my OLB position and intercepted the ball and returned it 30 yards to seal our comeback victory . To be around a group of winners and preserving was the best experience. I kept the game ball and was the Defensive MVP.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Lil Baby- Days Off

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• The most important trait is just faith. The next level is such a big business, that there are no place for feelings and complaining. Only the strong survive and God knows I’m not going to fold. He didn’t build me like that. That’s what I stress the most within my self because all the physical things come after my relationship with God.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• I would bring back my Dads Mom. Their relationship was beautiful and it would do a lot for him.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

• Percentage

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• The most underrated player in the NFL is DJ Swearinger, safety for the Redskins. He is crazy athletic, dedicated, crazy work ethic and grows mentally every year as a student of the game.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would rather be respected because respect is earned. Works and results speaks for themselves and when a friend or foe can stand back and appreciate a body of work, it’s the best feeling to know your efforts haven’t gone unseen.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• I feel for Ray Rice because he did so much for his team and was one of the first players in the NFL to suffer harsh punishments. Even though he served time out of the league and paid his dues, he continued working and got not opportunity. Hopefully he can get in this new league called the “AAF”

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose more than I live to win because winning can set a complacent feeling in you. It can cause you to be numb to things and slack in your pursuit. But a lose touches the deepest depths of me. It does something to me as a man. I must win. I train to do nothing but win in things big or small. I think people always telling me what I couldn’t do did some thing to me as a child. They created a monster. I prove people wrong as a hobby. I only know work, it’s 100% or nothing at all. You just have to feel me, I put too much in. I hurt too much.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• The biggest influence on my life has been my Dad because he kept the most important sites in my vision. He made sure I kept God first and seeked his kingdom first. That put me in the favor and position of blessings that only God can manifest. He taught me how to perceive, respond and appreciate situations in life that would be pleasing to God and therefore put me in the position to experience the spoils of God. Without my Dad, I would have missed what all God has for me. He is my direct voice from God. He is a man of the cloth and when he speaks, so does God.

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NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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