Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Zach Moore, DE, Concordia (St. Paul)
Zach Moore is a small school stud that has NFL teams falling in love with him. His size mixed with his tenacity is really giving teams something to chew on. Moore is a very solid pass rusher with a great motor. He has been getting great comparisons from NFL teams, and is really starting to shine. He was invited to the East/West Shrine Game as well as the NFL Scouting Combine. Remember this kids name he could skyrocket up some draft boards. HIGHLIGHT (SENIOR YEAR)
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
There were a good number of Division 1 schools recruiting me. They were mostly Big 10 and MAC schools. The teams that showed the most interest were NIU, University of Illinois, and University of South Dakota
Where did you choose and why?
I chose Division 2 Concordia University. At the time I was a D1 non-qualifier, and the coach from University of South Dakota helped me get into Concordia.
What were your goals for your senior year?
Ultimately my goal was to help improve my team from all aspects. We have been an up and down program the years I’ve been there. The stats and accolades did not matter to me it was all about the name in front of the jerseys. Being and All-american and having a good junior year was great but it meant nothing to me if my team wants winning.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
Yes surprisingly I’ve met with at least 30-40 scouts from various teams and even GM’s. It was a very humbling experience. They really like the career I was able to put together despite everything I’ve been through. They liked my upside and saw me as a raw player whose done a lot without virtually anything as appose to D1 football players and they really liked my character which is a very good thing.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
I think at the level I was at you don’t see to many DE’s, or D-lineman for that matter< my size at 6’6 280. It really helps being tall and rangy and having good knee/hip bend with flexibility. I would say I was blessed with good size for my position which has helped me out a ton.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
I specifically look at backfield formations first. This is what our DC harped on because certain formations can predict what plays are coming. Next I look at how the O-line is set. Are they heavy or light on the hands, body lean, splits how do they block different fronts, etc. When it comes to pass rush I look at how deep or shallow the Oline sets and how they use their hands. There is a lot that goes into watching film.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
Toughest player I’ve ever faced was Isaac Odim of UMD. He was such a fast and physical player when I played against him my freshman year. Very electrifying player.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
Cant really compare myself to those elite athletes. I would say I have my own unique playing style. I do indeed watch film on players like Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, Jason Pierre-Paul, Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, Demarcus Ware and other tall long limbed players like that to study how they work their techniques.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
I think I faced obstacles everyday. The battle to get better everyday. I worked hard to get where I am and that’s because I’ve made a commitment to get better at every aspect. You never want to stay the same or be complacent. Practice makes improvement.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I’ve played in a 4-3 front for 2 years and a 3-4 man front for 2 years. I think my size helps me play in both. I really don’t have a preference because I think I’ve played good in either fronts. I can play on the edge with the ability to slide inside to a 3 tech.
What is your biggest strength?
I would say my biggest strength is being calm under pressure. Majority players panic when adversity hits and when that happens it leads to more mistakes. As far as game play I would say my strengths are being good at rushing the passer and being stout against the run which is very important.
What is your biggest weakness?
I would say my minor weakness is sometimes I second guess myself. I have to trust more on my ability and my technique and the outcome will be in my favor.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would say I’m definitely a team player who loves the game and is coach-able and will make an impact in one way or another with their team. They will get 100% effort and attention.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My parents definitely. They sacrificed a lot to help make sure I am where I am today. They did a very good job of raising me into a mture young man.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
Being from Chicago I’ve always been a bears fan. Watching players like Urlacher, Briggs, Tilman etc was great growing up. My favorite player is Julius Peppers. Such an incredible athlete and player. when he signed with the bears I got the best of both worlds.
What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?
Being dismissed from the school and football due to academic and legal troubles back in 2010/2011. It was a very crucial turning point in my life where I had to decide whether I wanted to be a success or a statistic. Ultimately I worked hard to get back in school and on the field.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
I would have to say the cast from Charlies Angels ( Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu)
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
Something nice for my daughter. Probably something to help keep her from growing so rapidly if that were possible lol.