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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jason Vander Laan, QB, Ferris State University

Ferris State QB Jason Vander Laan is a big physical quarterback with great arm strength

Ferris State QB Jason Vander Laan is a big physical quarterback with great arm strength

NFL Draft Diamonds and our staff have been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 2 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers.  We have tons of NFL staff that read our interviews, and we actually received several of the questions from NFL scouts we speak too.  This gives them a little bit more information regarding your character.  We hope to bring you more than 300 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season.  You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner.

What is your name?

Jason Vander Laan

What is your Height/Weight?

6’4″ 244

What is your position?

QB

Where do you play college football?

Ferris State University

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?

Gone on a mission trip my first 3 spring breaks of college. Went to North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida. On these trips I hung a lot of drywall, re-shingled an entire house, painted a lot and did whatever else was needed. Best part about all these trips are hearing the stories that these people have gone through and seeing how grateful they are to receive help.

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?

Math 416, Probability theory. It covers all the context of the Actuarial P-Exam.

Where are you from?

South suburbs of Chicago. Frankfort, Illinois.

Who is your role model, and why?

My Dad. Growing up watching him work and coach football made me want to play even more. He taught me that no matter what I do always give 100% effort and never take anything for granted. Their is always a right way and a wrong way. He is the most humble and supportive dad I know.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Always played three sports. I loved basketball in high school just a little bit less than I loved football. I competed in track for two years and baseball for two years. I was very average at both sports. Participated more so for the workouts than for playing time.

Did you play any other positions in football?

In HS I was a strong safety/OLB. Coming from a very small school I was able to play defense as well and absolutely loved it.

At your position, what separates you from others?

Strength and size. I like to consider myself a lot more durable than other QB’s. I am definitely not as shifty as some smaller guys but I enjoy running downhill and getting hard fought yards.

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

Specific tendencies that give away coverages. I like to have a good feel for what zone/man concept I will get pre-snap so that if they are disguising it I wont be confused. After that, I focus on the specific blitzes that may give us issues and the protections I will need to get the O line in so that we can get everyone picked up. This also includes necessary route combination checks that can be our hot routes in case we can’t pick up all the pressure. Lastly, I have to find the biggest mismatch on the field that can expose some players. Whether this is a linebacker on a running back or a safety down on number 3, their are often formations or play concepts that we can take advantage of our playmakers.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Graham Glasgow. Him and his brother both played for Marmion academy in HS and they dominated us. He is currently the starting center for Michigan. His team would line him up at tailback near the goal line and I remember sticking my head in their trying to make a tackle and feeling like I hit a brick wall.

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

I have been asked this question before and cannot think of a great example. If I had to choose one, I guess it would be Cam Newton. He’s a bigger body, athletic QB but still has a great arm. Teams have to prepare for him to scramble and be on the loose. Good vision.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Just that I have to pray in the locker room before every game. Specifically that both teams will play a clean game and be injury free. I absolutely love the game of football and nothing is more fun that when two teams come out and play incredibly hard and battle for 4 quarters without any dirty play.

Jason Vander Laan 1As a small school football player what obstacles do you feel you have to overcome?

There is guaranteed to be scrutiny all throughout the process of trying to make the NFL. The number one comment I will hear is that the level of competition is drastically lower than that of the elite D1 conferences. Also, people will say that I may be a system QB and will not be able to adapt. All these things will happen but it wont bother me. I’ve made it this far and I am 100% prepared for scouts to critique me because it can only make me better.

What is your biggest strength?

Staying relax/composed in situations of adversity.

What is your biggest weakness?

Trying to be a perfectionist at everything.

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

Just give me a chance to prove myself. Let my play talk for itself. I am very confident in my athletic ability and football IQ that I can earn a spot on a roster.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?

Favorite player has always been Donavan McNabb when he was on the Eagles. Had many jerseys/posters/ cards of him.

Favorite team was by far the Bears. Hurried home from church every Sunday of my life listening to the game on the radio then sprinted in the house so that we didn’t miss a play.

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

Walter Payton, Adam Sandler, and Steve Jobs

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

Family Vacation to Mexico 

Rapid Answers:

  • Spongebob or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
  • Ninja Turtles
  • Backstreet Boys or One Direction?
  • Neither. Ever.
  • Lifetime Channel or HGTV?
  • HGTV
  • Waffles or Pancakes?
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Snakes or Spiders?
  • snakes
  • Madden or Mario?
  • Madden

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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