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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: James Young, DB, McKendree University

McKendree’s James Young is a playmaker. This kid is a tough defender who just makes plays

  • Name: James Young II
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • College: Mckendree University 
  • Twitter: @CampaignJYoung

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

  • I currently live in University Park, a suburb about 20 minutes away from Chicago IL. Lived there most of my life and I love the competition that came through. I had the chance to play with a lot of great players who are either in the NFL, should have been in the NFL, or who are going to be in the NFL.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

  • I would say film study first, then practice, and then strength and conditioning. Everybody practices and lifts weight but not everybody takes the time to sit down and study their opponent and team tendencies. So I take great pride in making sure I study the game and see what certain offenses do in certain situations, that way I can play fast.

What do you worry about, and why?

  • I worry most about making my family proud of me because I know I have a lot people looking up to me and counting on me so everything I do is for them. I can’t mess up.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure

  • My first year in college, I attended a JUCO and I felt like I should’ve played but I didn’t and I wanted to quit and go back home. But I prayed and talked to my family and the next year I played and received multiple offers from D1 and D2 schools.

What do your teammates say is your best quality

  • Making sure our defense energy level is up. The defensive coordinator always talks about having some “juice” and making sure we play lights out. So I make sure everybody on the defense turns their “juice” up and fly around and make plays.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

  • Joe Morrow, he was a D1 bounce back that played at my JUCO. His speed was unbelievable I definitely got better from guarding him.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?

  • A Lawyer, it was always something that interested me.

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

  • Definitely room, I have to always have a clean room I don’t feel right if it’s dirty.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

  • I’m going to save the family member, that way we can go back and save the three strangers.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

  • I would be Martin Lawerence from the Martin Show, his life was humorous and he always got himself into something. Seemed enjoyable

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

  • Probably playing football at my height, I use to think I wouldn’t be good enough because people were taller than me. But my dad always told me to gain confidence in myself and my skills and I wouldn’t worry about anything. Once I did that, I started to realize I was better than a lot of players that were taller or bigger than me, so my height doesn’t bother me anymore.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • When I first started to grow my dreads in 8th grade they were so small that people at my school kept talking about them, I got rid of them. Worst time of my life.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • Probably when I caught a one handed interception at my JUCO

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Lil Herb – 100 Days 100 Nights

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?

  • My heart and competitiveness, I know for a fact I can compete with anybody and I will go hard on everything I do so I can get a chance to be on a team. I just have a certain swagger to myself I don’t think anybody else has.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

  • My grandfather, last thing he told my mom was to make sure I was successful in life. I just want him to see how much I’ve accomplished.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?

  • Rays Boom Boom Room

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?

  • Jalen Mills, he gets beat by WRs too much.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • I would rather be respected, I learned that everybody is different and not everybody is going to like you. But if you are respected, people will admire a lot things about you.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

  • Colin Kaepernick, he simply spoke his mind about certain issues he had with a specific subject. He’s a really good QB he should definitely be on a team.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • Hate to lose, because I feel like I could have done more to put my team in the position to win.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

  • My father, he taught me how to live my life, introduce God into my life, and taught me how to be a man. He’s my biggest fan when it comes to football and also my role model, I owe him the world.

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 [email protected]

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