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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Daniel Fitzpatrick, DB, Tennessee State University

daniel fitzEvery 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?

My name Is Daniel Fitzpatrick

What is your Height/Weight?

I am 6′ 1″ 210 pounds

What is your position?

I play Safety and Nickel Back

Where do you play college football?

I played college football at Tennessee State University

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

7 teams recruited me out of high school

How did you choose your school?

Tennessee State has a great tradition of winning and putting players in position to advance their careers. I also saw an opportunity to play early in my career. I wanted to be a part of that tradition.

Where are you from?

I am from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Who is your role model, and why?

My role model is my grandfather. He is a very strong man who taught me the responsibilities of being a man; as well as how to fight through adversity. He instilled in me how important hard work is and to never stop striving for every goal.

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

Yes, I have met with scouts. I met with scouts at the College Gridiron Classic All-Star Game in Tx and before and after my pro day. They want to get to know you, to understand your background and speak with you about football, drawing up plays. All of them stress to give it your all and to make sure you never look back and wish you could have done more. I have implemented that in everything I do. I am making the most of every opportunity and have the mindset to be prepared and ready to jump right in.

daniel1 fitzDid you play any other sports growing up?

I played basketball growing up as well as ran track.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I have played Wide receiver, running back, tight end, linebacker and a little bit of quarterback growing up, also in high school as well as punt and kick return.

At your position, what separates you from others?

What separates me from others at my position is the mindset I have. I have a mindset to execute, to help my teammates and to make a play on every down. I watch a lot of film on my opponent which helps me make more plays because I know what my opponent likes to do in situations. I would also say my aggressive style of play and how much fight I have to win each play makes me standout.

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

When I break down film, I am looking for tendencies on what teams like to do in certain situations. I want to see if certain players are showing me what they are about to run before the play even starts.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

The toughest player I ever faced was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?
If I had to compare myself to aNFL player I would say I watch a lot of Eric Weddle film and take things from his game and work on them. He is a big time playmaker. He always plays hard, is always around the ball and makes a lot of tackles and interceptions as well. He is a very smart player that plays disciplined and very rarely gets caught making mistakes. I strive to be a playmaker and disciplined player like him.

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

I would say the biggest obstacle I had to overcome in my life was my own attitude. I had to learn as a kid that the way I handled things was not the proper way. I learned that I was not getting the results I wanted because the way I was handling things. I’ve had mentors show me how to be a better person, more mature and a better communicator and I am always working on getting better in these things and having it be something that my teammates can rely on me for and build off of it and feed off of it when we are in good and tense situations.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I pray before the game and listen to music. Those are my pre-game rituals.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my high football IQ, physical play and ball skills. I understand the game of football and my film study helps me play even faster on the field.

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is my man coverage skills. I was not used too much this way in college. I have worked on this with my coaches in practice throughout my career and have worked on this since the season came to an end and I see improvement in that area. I also have been working on CB drills and getting lower.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I would say that I am a passionate and a productive player who is willing to do what it takes to win. When given a change, I will report in shape, take mental reps when I’m not in, come in on my off day and watch film, find out what it is that my coaches want from me and wants from everyone, earn my coaches trust and work my way up the depth charts by learning the technique our SP Teams coaches want from us and make plays with this technique. My goal is to earn the reps and be an immediate impact player on both defense and special teams.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite player is Reggie White and my favorite team growing up was the St. Louis Rams.

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

If I could have dinner with 3 people, I would choose Ray Lewis, my Grandma, and Malcolm X.

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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