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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Olatunji Idowu, DB, University of Albany

tj1Every 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?

Olatunji Idowu (TJ)

What is your Height/Weight?

5’11 210

What is your position?

Strong Safety

Where do you play college football?

University at Albany

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Had some FCS interest but no full scholarships.

How did you choose your school?

I was back in New York with my family freaking out about school and my younger sister mentioned Albany. I checked it out and decided to walk on there.

Where are you from?

A little bit of everywhere. I was born in Nigeria and lived there until I was 13. When we moved to the United States, I lived in Staten Island until my sophomore year of high school when I moved in with my dad in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Who is your role model, and why?

Troy Polamalu, he is just different. One thing that stands out to me is how consistent he has been over the years. He is always at the same level, never too high and never too low. No matter how the game is going, you know he is going to do his jobs. Troy is also one of those guys you just know won’t get in trouble off the field. He is the epitome of a football player.

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

None yet but after the regional combine in Baltimore they will be on like white on rice.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played soccer for some time while in Africa, but just did not excel at it.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I have played everywhere on the defense except the defensive line while in college. Middle line backer, Outside linebacker, Nickel, Both safety positions and some corner in our blitz packages.

At your position, what separates you from others?

I’m a very physical player. I LOVE to hit, its my favorite part of the game, Taking the breathe out of another mans chest when you make that big hit, It makes the grind all worth it. I can also say I am the strongest safety in this draft class.

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

Quarterback tendencies are big. Do they look off the safeties? How fast is their release? Do they panic under pressure or dumb the ball off to their check down? Those are the 3 biggest things to me

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Taylor Heinicke, I think he is a guy that we will definitely see on Sundays.

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

Troy Polamalu. I tjam best in the box just like troy. I am a very consistent player and a sure tackler. I am also very versatile like Polamalu.

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

Moving to America with my family and having almost nothing was rough. We were basically homeless for some time and had to learn a lot of new things in a new country. We stuck together as a family and just knew better days were ahead. I had to step up a lot because my parents had to take multiple jobs to keep up with the bills. This period of time thought me how to grind for more. Its okay to be down for some time as long as you are making moves for more.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I always say a prayer for protection.  

What is your biggest strength?

My strength and my football IQ I don’t have any issue taking on full backs or tightends or tackling at all. As a safety, you always have to know what is going on and be able to control your defense and with my IQ I can do that.

What is your biggest weakness?

When I watch the way the game is played now and see the range smaller safeties like Earl Thomas have. That is something I need to have and is something I am focusing on right now.

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

You won’t regret signing me and I will give you the best value for your buck.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

Steelers. They always had a great defense and that is something I respected. They played smash mouth football on offense and its too hard to ignore that.

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

Kobe Bryant, Troy Polamalu and Kendall Jenner.

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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