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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Talor Nunez, DL, Texas Tech University

What is your name?

  • Talor Nunez.

Where did you play College Football?

  • Texas Tech University.

What position do you play?

  • Defensive Line.

What is your height/weight?

  • 6’3” 268 lbs.

Did you play any other sports growing up? If so, what were they?

  • Besides football, I also played basketball and ran track my whole high school career.

Who is the toughest player you have competed against in College?

  • The toughest player I have competed against is Le’Raven Clark who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts (2016 3rd Round, 82nd overall).

Are you listening to music before a game? If so, what?

  • Yes. I listen to a lot of Christian rap for pregames such as Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and KB.

Do you have any superstitions before a game? If so, what are they?

  • No superstitions, but I did have a routine of sitting down next to the field goal post in pre-game and reading a couple chapters in the Bible to gain wisdom and calm my nerves before each game.

Who is your role model & why?

  • My role model was my Dad. I would not be the man I am today without him. My dad was a hardworking man and he taught me right from wrong at all times. When I was growing up, my dad had high expectations for me and he taught me many life lessons through hard labor. Whether it was digging irrigation ditches, mowing the lawn, building our house, doing tilework, etc. He always had expected me and my brothers to work consistently and do the job right the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of spankings for all of the times I messed up, didn’t do the right thing, or do what he expected me to do. Looking back at all of those spankings, I would never take any of it back because of the discipline that it engrained in me and also because those spankings have made me the man I am today. I also learned from my dad that no matter what you start, you always finish and never give up. He also taught me that when you have passion and perseverance, you cannot be stopped because that is the key to success.

While in College, what has been your favorite & least favorite class?

  • My favorite class was Calculus. My least favorite class was Dynamic Systems and Vibrations.

Outside of Football, what has been your favorite experience while in College?

  • My favorite experience while in College has been marrying my wife and going on our honeymoon to Cancun.

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL Team & NFL player, & why?

  • Growing up, my favorite NFL Team was the Dallas Cowboys and my favorite player was Troy Aikman. I grew up in Arlington, Texas and we used to go to the Cowboys’ games in the old stadium. My dad had bought me a Troy Aikman jersey and I loved wearing it while playing backyard football and watching the games with him.

If you could be in any movie of your choice, what would it be & what character would you play? 

  • I would be in one of the Terminator movies and I would play John Connor. My dad loved Arnold Schwarzenegger and we would watch all of his movies together. Our favorite was the Terminator movies.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who are they? 

  • If I could have dinner with three people, it would be Jesus, my Dad, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose & why?

  • I would meet with Jesus because he is my savior and I have so many questions to ask him.

Who is your favorite superhero & why?

  • My favorite superhero has always been Superman because he is the most dominant superhero of all time. I was very content with the new Justice League movie because it showed Superman’s true strength compared to all of the old movies that make him out to be weak.

What is your definition of hard work?

  • My definition of hard work is pushing past your limits and being uncomfortable for the sake of improvement. Basically, I will do today what others won’t, so I can do tomorrow what others can’t.

What is the most unexpected lesson you learned while in College?

  • The most unexpected lesson I learned in College is taking advantage of your opportunities. This is all encompassing from family to sports. Take advantage of opportunities to spend with family because life is so short. Last year, my dad, grandpa, and unborn child passed away. I would do absolutely anything to have them back, but I have no control over that. The only thing I could control is the time I spent with my loved ones before they passed away.

What is something you wish you could go back & tell yourself as a High School Freshman

  • Spend as much time as you can with your family; especially with your dad and grandpa.

Why do you wear #95?

  • I really didn’t have a reason for the number I wore. My original number was 59 and it was given to me when I walked on. My special team’s coach eventually changed it to 95 so that I would have an eligible number to run fake plays on special teams. I ended up catching a 15-yard pass on a fake punt against Oklahoma State for a first down.

What is the best part of your hometown, Midland, TX?

  • My hometown of Midland is a family-oriented city. Midland is in West Texas where the oil field thrives. The blue-collar mentality is core in West Texas and I believe that I carry that mindset wherever I go. I know that the power of passion and perseverance is the determining factor to being successful and this is a part of me.

Who do you choose, Jordan or LeBron?

  • These cannot be compared because of the different styles of play, but I will choose Jordan.

Are you a PS4 or Xbox One guy? What games are you playing right now?

  • Neither. I haven’t played video games since I was in high school. Balancing Engineering work with College football didn’t give me free time to play video games.

What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete?

  • My most memorable moment as a student-athlete would be when Coach Kingsbury put me on scholarship. It surprised me and everyone else how he did it. The whole team went crazy and I was bombarded by hugs and pats on the back from all of my teammates. That moment changed my life and I am forever grateful to Coach Kingsbury.

Are you binge-watching anything on Netflix or Hulu right now?

  • Not at the moment. My wife and I enjoy watching This is Us and The Good Doctor together.

If you had one free hour each day, how would you choose to use it?

  • I would use it by spending time with my wife going on random dates.

Before your sophomore season, Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury surprised you by being put on scholarship at Texas Tech. What was that moment like knowing all the hard work you had put in was being recognized?

  • It was truly one of the greatest moments of my life. I felt like there was a weight lifted off of my shoulders because I felt like a burden to my parents who were paying for my school. At that time, my dad was about to sell one of the cars to be able to pay for my school that semester. I cried telling my dad that he didn’t have to sell the car and he didn’t have to worry about paying for my school anymore. It was also extremely exciting to know that I was seen as a value and investment from the team. I had worked my way from 200 lb. walk-on scout team safety to 260 lb. scholarship defensive lineman on the leadership council.

2017 was a year filled with personal tragedy. Your father (Domingo Nunez) was diagnosed with cancer & tragically passed away. Being the oldest of four brothers, you were tasked with things you probably never thought you would have to do. Going through this tragedy while continuing to keep a strong heart for your family, how have you turned sadness into positivity?

  • My faith in God and hope in Jesus was the only thing I had to hold on to during all of the tragedies we went through last year. I also had my wife, and family that were looking to me to lead them since I am the oldest of all of my siblings. I specifically remember that the night my dad passed away in the hospital, I felt overwhelmed with emotion and just wanted to fall apart, run away, and give up on everything. Before I made any irrational decision, my brother, Kaleb (who is at the Air Force Academy), pulled me aside. With watery eyes, he told me, “You know that we both just want to break down and fall apart right now but we can’t. We have to be strong for mom and Isaiah and Elijah. (our younger brothers). You can break down later when we are alone but for right now, they need us.” I needed that talk and from that moment on, I decided to be strong for my family and carry on my dad’s legacy by living in a way that he would be proud of.

You earned your degree in Mechanical Engineering & are enrolled in the STEM MBA program through the Rawls College of Business, what made you pursue that subject?

  • I wanted to be an engineer because my dad was an electrical engineer at Texas Tech. After graduating, I still had one season left of football and wanted to take advantage of being on scholarship, so I found out about the STEM MBA program that only takes one year to finish. The classes are extremely fast and strenuous, but it will be worth it when I walk away from college with two degrees and no student loans to pay off. I also wanted to have a business background with my engineering background to be able to eventually start and own my own company in the far future.

If you could sack one NFL QB, past or present, who would it be & why?

  • If I could sack one NFL QB, it would be Troy Aikman because he was my favorite QB growing up and it would be an honor to say that I sacked one of the greatest QBs in Dallas Cowboy History.

If you could give NFL scouts three words to describe the type of man they are getting in Talor Nunez, what would they be?

  • Hardworking, trustworthy, and dedicated.
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