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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Anthony Zappone, LB, Slippery Rock University

 

Anthony Zappone is a very agile linebacker who has phenomenal instincts.

NFL Draft Diamonds website has been providing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 3 years and this year we mixed things up a bit. Our questions are designed to give our readers a little more insight on the draft eligible player. We hope to bring you more than 500 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 to the right.  Now let’s meet our next prospect!!!!

What is your name? 

Anthony Zappone

What is your Height/Weight? 

6’1 245lbs

What is your position? 

ILB

Where do you play college football? 

Eastern Michigan/Slippery Rock University

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

I have done some very cool things off the field, some involving my team and some other stuff on my own. With the team, I have gone to Veterans Hospitals and also Children’s hospitals. Seeing the kids smile when we read to them was probably one of the coolest things. Currently I am raising money on my own to Help a non profit organization called PAL’s out of Cleveland Ohio to help raise money for inner city kids to play the game of football safely with new gear, all while developing a relationship between the Police Community.  Anyone Reading this, please feel free and help these kids have the same opportunity we all have had. 

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

Financial accounting

Where are you from? 

Westlake, Ohio

Who is your role model, and why? 

I would have to say both of my parents are my role models. With out the support I receive from them day in and day out, trust me, I would not be where I am at today. Everything i have, everything I am working towards, is because of them. The guidance, discipline, love, and support they have given me throughout the years has set me up for a successful wether that be on the field or off.  

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Yes, baseball and wrestling.

Did you play any other positions in football? 

i was a two way player in high school like many kids however transitioning to college it was strictly defense and special teams.

At your position, what separates you from others? 

I am a vocal leader and I take the role serious. Being and ILB comes with great responsibility. You are the Quarterback of the Defense. I play with a high motor between whistles and do not take plays off. 

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

Early in the week, i try to find the weakness in my opponent so during the course of the practices I will perfect on how I will expose them on Saturday. Also, football has changed over the course of the years, it’s more of a shotgun spread offense so quarterbacks tend to keep the same rhythm of their cadences. It’s easy to pick up on in film with their gestures when the snap will be coming. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced? 

Leonard Fournette, Connor Cook

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

Truthfully, i do not compare myself to anyone, I try to be my own person day in and day out and be the best that I can be. However, I try and to take a little bit from a few different players, the motor from Luke Kuechely, and toughness from Brian Cushing

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

The biggest adversity I have overcome was switching schools leading up to my senior season. I was a captain at Eastern Michigan as a Junior and looking forward to the up coming season. I kept faith in God, I had support from my family, I simply manned up and did what I had to do. Through this process, I have matured and have grown immensely. I am looking forward to my future. 

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

Listening to certain songs, Being by myself for 5 min without any music before I go out for my final thoughts. 

What is your biggest strength? 

My biggest strength would have to be my quickness for my size, recently I participated in the Combine in New Orleans where I put up the fastest time for Linebackers in the draft this year in the short shuttle which was a 4.12

What is your biggest weakness? 

I will have to work on my 1 on 1 skills out of the backfield, eyes on the hips

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

In the past 5 years, i have learned 4 defenses, played for 5 different defensive coordinators. I am a smart player that can adapt to anything. I was named Captain as a Junior at a D1 program and I am an asset not just on defense, but on all special teams. 

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

Cleveland Browns, if your not from here, we dont expect you to understand.

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

Jesus Christ, Chris Kyle, Pat Tillman

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

A Financial Investor 100%

 

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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