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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Damian Payne, DB, University of Texas El-Paso

payneEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you. 

What is your name?

Damian Le’ marque Payne

Where do you play college football?


How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

over 30 collegiate offers

How did you choose your school?

The coaching staff really sold me on the opportunity to play early, academics, and location.

Where are you from?

Hempstead, Texas

Who is your role model, and why?

Jesus Christ, because I aspire to live my life the way he did, pure!

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

No, from what my head coach has told me..over 20 teams have come by and really liked my size and what I have on film at corner back and punt return…

Did you play any other sports growing up?

baseball,track, basketball and of course football.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I have played at 3 major universities..UTAH, UTEP and University of Houston….Punt returner, kick returner,CB, S, RB and WR.

At your position, what separates you from others?

Playing most of my years on the offensive side of the ball…I understand offenses and I excel at knowing what a receiver is trying to do off the line in press coverage….also I understand route concepts very well..(intelligence). I am a physical! i fit the build of the newer bigger and thicker Cornerback (Patrick Peterson). I am a willing tackler and I have great returning skills.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

For starters I examine how physical or how well a player plays without the ball in his hands… I believe that tells a lot about a player…I also look for any faults in a player’s game..such as… Does he give away whether it is run or pass based off his stance, what type of player I’m I about to go against? he physical? is he a speed guy? etc.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Andrew Luck

daminaIf you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

Antonio Cromartie. I believe I am big, physical, and a ball hawk. I feel like Antonio Cromartie is underrated as a NFL Cornerback, people seem to forget how dominate he has been throughout his career. I believe, I am the same way….my value isn’t appreciated or recognized and honestly, I love it that way because it allows me to play with a big chip on my shoulders because people don’t except me to do great.

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

Growing up without a Father at a vital time in my childhood…My Mom raised me and my 2 brothers…We struggled to get by…but every summer my brother  and I would work in the watermelon fields of Hempstead Texas and all the money we made, we gave it to our mother to help with bills etc..

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I play cornerback but I make sure I watch the college highlights of Percy Harvin and Desean Jackson before every game…done since HS.

What is your biggest strength?


What is your biggest weakness?

I have only played cornerback for 1 year.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

Desean Jackson and the New Orleans Saints.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

Jesus Christ, Tupac, and Jesus Christ

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 [email protected]

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