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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jack Abercrombie, OL, University of California (PA)

jack abercrombieEvery 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?

Jack Abercrombie

What is your Height/Weight?

Ht. : 6’2

Wt. : 305

What is your position?

Center

Where do you play college football?

California University of Pennsylvania

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

A lot of D1AA schools were recruiting me to walk-on. I was heavily recruited by most if not all of the PSAC schools. I limited my official visits to Bloomsburg and Cal U

How did you choose your school?

My decision on what school to pick was pretty easy, and that was because of what my parents always told me. They would always tell my brothers and me, “Go to the school that wants you the most.” That was exactly how I made my decision out of high school. Everything else that Cal had to offer was just extra. Cal’s facilities, coaches, strength program, academic support and the everyday operations of what a Cal U football player was asked to do was far higher than any other school I visited. My belief was Cal U was my best opportunity to win be a piece of a championship team.

Where are you from?

Horsham, Pennsylvania – A suburb outside of Philadelphia.

Who is your role model, and why?

Being that my family is so close this is a tough question. My parents are always there for me and have supported me in all of my dreams and aspirations throughout life. But my role model and best friend is my older brother Jamie, who played baseball at Temple University. He has always been a mentor to me, and set the example for the three brothers to achieve in sports and academically. He has taught me the “little” things that separate you from someone else on and off the playing field. The saying my father always told us, “Hard work pays off,” is actually what Jamie expressed to me in action, and I wanted to emulate him. I can call him whenever for advice and I know he will answer. He truly is that guardian angel always looking over me.

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

Interest level from a few scouts has been picking up since the announcement of me winning The Rimington Award for Division 2 as the Best Center in the country. The word that keeps popping up is “intrigued.” I would expect a strong presence from more than a few people at my pro day.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played baseball, basketball and football growing up as a kid. I always thought I was going to play baseball longer than I did and still regret giving it up. But football is my passion and love and will always be a part of my life.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I played Offensive Guard my freshman and sophomore year at Cal U. I knew when Eric Kush graduated (6th round pick KC Chiefs—2013) that I would move to Center.

At your position, what separates you from others?

I have a high football IQ. The game slows down for me “pre-snap” and I can understand and anticipate a lot of things before they happen. Also, I have a mentality of “refusing to lose”. I am very tough and do not want to lose on any play. I will find a way to win the battle some way or another – it may not look pretty, but it will be done. Lastly, my work ethic is what separates me from others. I am not the biggest guy or have all the measurables, but I will work for you and against my opponents. That has been instilled in me from my parents, “Do the little things right.”

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

When I first look at film, I look at the looks and sets we give and how the opposing defense will line up to counter our personnel. I then will run through a lot of our plays in my head for each of the five linemen. I next look at all stunts, blitzes, and common tendencies defenses do in situational football. Lastly, I look at that guy across from me – what he likes to do? What is his “go-to” move? Is he a gap-sound player or penetrator?

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Randy Colling, a defensive tackle from Gannon University. He bounced around the league, Giants and Bills.

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

The guys I look at and compare to are: A.Q. Shipley, David Molk and Gino Gradkowski. All are undersized guys who always find a way to get the job done and who were heavily decorated at the collegiate level.

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

The biggest obstacle I had to overcome is most recently what happened to our past season. We were 7-1 heading into the last two games of the year, and only had to win one game to host the conference championship game against Bloomsburg. Unfortunately, we had some off the field issues that forced our President to forfeit the game. Ultimately, we finished the season at 8-2(not including the forfeit). At the time this was very difficult to get over, and understand how close we were to getting a ring. And as mentioned earlier, I came to Cal for the opportunity to win a championship.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I like to be if not the first, then definitely one of the first people up to the stadium before the game. I have to go out before everyone else to warm-up. And lastly, ever since my freshman year, I always had to have Subway before the game, instead of the cafeteria food.

What is your biggest strength?

Strength, Football IQ, Toughness, Work Ethic

What is your biggest weakness?

Measurables

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

There’s going to be guys that look better on paper, but “what you see is what you’ll get from me” every day. I’m going to outwork every person in that facility to win a job and exceed at it.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite team growing up was the Steelers, being originally from the Pittsburgh area. But recently, I like the Green Bay Packers because of my first cousin Don Barclay plays for them. My favorite player is my cousin who made the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

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

Coach Walt “Ozz” Ostrowski (Family Friend)

Chris Kyle

Jesus Christ

All three of these men represent intensity, hard work, and a toughness that I only wish to reach.

Coach “O” was a family friend of ours and coached my older brother in basketball. He coached and won 375 games, seven league titles, one district championship, and nine PIAA appreances. Ozz was family, but always pushed my brothers and me to new heights.

Christ Kyle because I envy the SEALs, and can only imagine the things he had to do to get the job done. A true American hero.

Lastly, Jesus Christ because without him none of this would be possible.

It would be an honor to speak to these men.

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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