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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Beau Gardner, TE, Northern Arizona University

beauEvery 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?

Beau Gardner

What is your Height/Weight?

6’4, 255

What is your position?

Tight end

Where do you play college football?

Northern Arizona University

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Nine teams were recruiting me out of high school.

How did you choose your school?

Following high school, I planned on serving a two year church mission and NAU offered to hold my scholarship until I returned. I was grateful for their willingness to hold a scholarship for me and felt a loyalty to Coach Souers and his program.

Where are you from?

Mesa, Arizona

Who is your role model, and why?

My role model is my father. He was a decathlete at BYU, so I always looked up to him and valued his advice as an athlete. I admire that he was able to maintain his role as a husband/father while he competed. 

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

The teams who attended my pro day were very impressed and I’ve been contacted by a number of other teams who have seen my pro day numbers wanting to know my story. 

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes, I grew up playing basketball, baseball, volleyball, track and field, and swimming. 

Did you play any other positions in football?

In high school I played DE. I’ve recently taken up long snapping.

At your position, what separates you from others?

What separates me from others is that I’m a well-rounded or “true” tight end. I am utilized as both a blocking and receiving tight end and have proven to be a red zone threat. 

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

First I identify main coverages, fronts, and blitzes. Then I watch the DEs and look for tendencies and weaknesses. Following that, I will watch the LBs to identify their base alignments and see what tendencies they have when blitzing and running stunts with the DEs. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Tyler Starr from South Dakota was the toughest player I faced at NAU. He was actually a better OLB than any of the FBS LBs I played against.  

beau 1If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

I like to think of myself as a Jason Witten type of player. He takes pride in being a great blocker, and even though he’s not the fastest tight end, he can always get open with great routes. 

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

Injuries have been my biggest obstacle. I had five major injuries throughout high school and my freshman year of college that required surgeries. After continuing to struggle with nagging injuries my first two years in college, medical tests proved I had a major health deficiency. Once that was identified and treated, my body healed and I was able to perform at a higher level. While those obstacles were difficult to overcome physically, the mental hurdles were the most difficult to overcome.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I listen to the Enya Pandora station because it helps me relax while I visualize plays in my head.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my reliability. Whether it’s running power, or making a play on third down, my teammates and coaches were able to rely on me to be a playmaker when called upon. By doing this, I was able to help my team perform at a higher level. 

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness at the end of the season was not running crisp routes. I would dictate what I was doing at the tops of routes with my pad level. I have worked very hard with a receivers coach to run cleaner routes and create the separation I need. 

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

Aside from doing the things every player should already be doing, such as being a hard worker, a student of the game, etc., I want to be the guy [your QB] wants to throw to when the game is on the line. If it’s a run play, I want to be at the point of attack. I want to make the critical plays in crunch time and I have confidence that I can – and I have. I live for “the moment”.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

I never had a favorite player or team, but I enjoyed watching the 49ers in the Steve Young days.

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

Steve Prefontaine, Todd Heap, Warren Buffett

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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