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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Tyriq Kershaw, S, Shippensburg

tyriqDraft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Tyriq Kershaw, S, Shippensburg

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

It was mostly division 2 teams. There were a few D1AA teams as well. 

Where did you choose and why?

I chose Shippensburg University because on my visit it was a family atmosphere with a coaching staff and players that were hungry to turn the program around.

What were your goals for your senior year?

Mainly to win the PSAC championship and return to the playoffs. The year before we went undefeated up until the conference championship game where we lost finishing that season 10-1. We still made the playoffs and became the first team to win a playoff game in a long, long time. 

Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?

I spoke with a few after we had our pro day at Villanova. They were just saying to keep pushing and stay determined.

At your position, what separates you from the others?

Playing in the defensive system at Shippensburg University has made me very versatile at the safety position I can play the deep 3rd as a FS, as well as play in the box like a SS. I am a student of the game and understand different schemes of offences. I have good instincts in coverage and aggressive ball skills. 

Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?

I look for anything that can give me an edge on game day. Whether it be tendencies in formations and alignments. Or just understanding what an offence is likely to do in a 1stand 10 vs 3rd and 3 situation. I try to read and see what the quarter back is looking at so I know the right checks for the right situation. At the safety position you have to make sure everyone is on the same page and lined up right, it all starts with being in the film room and having yourself mentally prepared.

Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?

One of my toughest opponents was RB Rondell White from West Chester University. He was a highly versatile running back that they used in a lot of different ways. We always had to keep our eye on him.

If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?

Matt Elam. He is a good tackling safety and is good in coverage. He makes plays because of his smarts and instincts.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

Coming from a small, overlooked high school. We only went to the playoffs once in the history of the school and that was my senior year. I had to make sure I did all I could to get scouts to notice me and give me the opportunity to show my skills.

What system fits your style of play the best?

I played in a fairly complex defense at Shippensburg and learned the ins and outs very well so I feel I can adopt myself to any defense I am placed into. Our safeties had to able to utilize all aspects of the position. I like being able to read the offense in zone coverage and use my instincts to play the pass or fly down to the box and play the run. 

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my range in coverage and solid tackling ability.

What is your biggest weakness?

I need to work on staying low in my back pedal and I’ve been working on my one on one coverage.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I’m a highly versatile player who will contribute to the team in any way I can. Whether it be special teams or in a starting role. I am very motivated to win. I am a worker on the field and a student in the film room. I am willing to learn all aspects of my position and the defense and am very coachable. I will never off the field issues. I take football seriously and I want to do whatever it takes to win.

Growing up, who was your role model?

My mother. She is a very strong women, a single parent, and has instilled strong values in me. She has supported me with everything in my life and is never afraid to speak her mind if she does not agree with a decision I make. She always has my back and I love her for that. 

Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?

Philadelphia Eagles would have to be my favorite team because it is my home team. My favorite player is Ed Reed. I modeled my game after him in high school and have worn number 20. I love his instincts and how he manipulates the quarterback. He was a turnover machine.

What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?

The passing of my grandmother when I was in 5th grade. It was unexpected and caught my family by surprise. I learned that life is short and you never know what day can be your last. You can’t just sit around and let life pass by.  

If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?

Barack Obama, Jay-Z, and Malcom X. They are all highly educated, strong men and each with inspirational stories.

With your first paycheck what would you buy?

I would have to get my mother something to thank her for all of her support.

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

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