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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Eric Shufford, WR, University of South Dakota

South Dakota wide receiver Eric Shufford Jr. is a solid player. He could be a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft

South Dakota wide receiver Eric Shufford Jr. is a solid player. He could be a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft

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? 

Eric Shufford Jr

What is your Height/Weight?

6’0 190 lbs

What is your position?

WR, KR, PR

Where do you play college football?

University of South Dakota

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

Started a peer mentoring program at USD. Worked with SNAP, Hold, Kick and the Inland Empire Foster Youth Sports Fair for the past 8 summers

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

Criminology 

Where are you from?

Rialto, CA

Who is your role model, and why? 

God and My Mom. God is always working in my favor, I can’t see it, but I know it’s there. My mom did everything she could to make sure we were well taken care of. The only woman in a house with five boys, she took in our friends who were troubled, she always had an open loving heart and sometimes she would take on more than she could handle, but she never complained, she just kept going forward because that’s all she knew how to do. It helped make me who I am today. 

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Basketball, Baseball, Track

Did you play any other positions in football?

CB, FS, QB

At your position, what separates you from others?  

My ability to out think my opponent. My football intelligence coupled with my work ethic will be unmatched. 

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

Tendencies, coverage tips, type of corner I’m facing (physical, speed, cover), players to attack, favorite coverage

usd ericWho was the toughest player you ever faced?

Deiondre Hall from UNI, Mike Lilly from USD 

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

Steve Smith, I play a lot bigger than I am, I believe that I am the best player on the field at all times, the only way to prove me otherwise would be to stop me. I might not be the highest rated or the biggest or even the best, but until you prove to me that I’m not, I’ll continue to play that way.  

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

Having my mom get sick my freshmen year. Moving back home to go to JUCO. Grinding through it to become a better player and a better man. God honestly got me through that time. I knew that it was his plan for me that I needed to follow. I had to let go and let him take control so that he could set me up with something even better

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Run through hitches, slants, outs, fades, 2x each side, then work releases before I get dresses, after the coin toss, walk to the sideline away from everyone else, take a knee, say a prayer, and put 2 fingers to the sky for my little brother who was a football player and was killed in August of 2014. 

What is your biggest strength?

My football intelligence. Having played so many positions, I have learned to think like a defender when running routes and like a QB when seeing coverage. Also, my versatility, I can go inside, outside, or in the backfield. 

What is your biggest weakness?

The amount of time I have played receiver. Only one year before I got to college. But I have taken my knowledge from other positions such as QB and used them to make me a better receiver. 

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

You won’t find a player who is as smart and works as hard as me to be better than he was when he walked in the door that day. I outwork everyone by outworking myself everyday. With me, you wont get the biggest, fastest, strongest guy, but you will get someone who will be a leader in the locker room, who will do anything you ask him to, and who will grind harder than everyone else to prove he belongs. 

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

Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons

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

MLK Jr, Tupac, and Michael Vick

What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?

Have to be a house for my mom. 

Rapid Answers:

  • Tupac or Biggie?
  • NFL Network or ESPN?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • Pizza or Burgers? Depends, In N Out burgers, otherwise pizza
  • Dogs or Cats?

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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