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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Austin Appleby, QB, University of Florida

Austin Appleby is a gunslinger with great Football IQ.

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?

Austin Appleby

What is your Height/Weight?

6’4 / 235

What is your position?

Quarterback

Where do you play college football?

Purdue University & The University of Florida

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

I’ve been able to take part in a number of community outreach events. But, I think the coolest experiences were volunteering at the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine for individuals with disabilities, visiting kids at the local children’s hospital, and volunteering to build playgrounds for kids in less fortunate areas. I’ve also helped as an instructor in a number of quarterback camps. Through all these experiences, the relationships I’ve made with those kids are very special to me.

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

Grad School Sports Psychology – It was the hardest, but also the coolest.

Where are you from?

North Canton, Ohio

Who is your role model, and why?

My dad. He sacrificed so much to make sure my brother and I always had everything we needed to chase our dreams and he never missed a single moment. He taught me at a very young age that there is no magic to success; only hard work, a positive attitude, and faith in The Lord.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Played baseball as well as basketball throughout high school.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I was over the weight limit in middle school ball, so I got to play O-line and middle line backer. O-line is so hard! And I have such a respect for all they do!

At your position, what separates you from others?

My football IQ. I’ve been told by many of my coaches who have coached as well as played in the NFL (Coach McElwain ,Coach Shoop, Coach Nussmeier, Trent Dilfer) that when it comes to being a student of the game, grasping an offensive system and game plan, and understanding defense, I am one of the best they’ve ever been around at any level.

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

In my weekly routine of film study for an opponent, I watch to get a feel for the personality of the D-Coordinator and the defense. I answer the questions; Who are they as a defense (What are they trying to stop)? How do they do it (Fronts, Coverage, Pressures)? Who are the guys that make it happen (Information players, Blitzers, Superstars)? That foundation is what I am able to take with me through the week as I study more in depth into base/sub pressures, 3rd down, red zone, and 2 min situations and ultimately carry with me into game day so I can play fast.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Alabama LB, Reuben Foster

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

I would compare my game to Phillip Rivers. He a big, physical guy who is extremely competitive and his toughness is unquestioned. He plays with great command and presence. I’d like to say I am a similar mold of quarterback.

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

My greatest obstacle that I faced was when I tore my ACL and MCL back in high school. I was devastated as many schools passed on me, and feared I’d never be the same. I had total reconstruction 3 days following the injury and rehabbed and pushed harder than I thought possible. I was ultimately fully cleared at 4 1/2 months post-op and have never had a problem with it since. I learned so much about myself and my ability to endure adversity through my work ethic and my faith.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I try to keep it light on game day. So I have my own music playlist that gives me good vibes and put me a good positive mood on the bus ride to the stadium. I also have a little highlight video of myself that I watch to see myself making great throw after great throw. This puts me in a confident mindset going into the game ready to cut it loose and play with no inhibitions.

What is your biggest strength?

My greatest strength is my competitive spirit and my will to succeed. I want to be the very best that I can possibly be in all that I do, and push the edge every single day to improve myself and affect everyone around me in a positive way. This never say die attitude is what fuels my preparation, my work ethic, and my ability to endure and over come every adversity that has come before me.

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is when I over use my greatest strength. I want to be great so badly and to help my team succeed that I have gone overboard before. In my attempt to be perfect I have over prepared. Since, I have learned to work hard but to trust in my preparation, and when I get to game day to just go out there and cut it loose, play free, and let the results take care of themselves.   

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

Having me as a part of your organization will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. There will be no one who will work harder or affect others in a positive way in order to bring this team championships like the way that I will. You’re getting a winner. I would encourage you to ask anyone I’ve ever played with or played for, and I’m confident you would hear the same.

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

I can remember as a kid, being in the backyard and dreaming to be like Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys.

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

Jesus Christ, Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs

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

A nice home in the city I’m playing for.

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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