NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: AJ Roland, C, Midwestern State University
- Name: AJ Roland
- Height: 6 foot
- Weight: 280
- Position: Center
- College: Midwestern State University
- Twitter: @ajroland77
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
- Sachse is a town of about 20,000 people 20 minutes Northeast of Dallas. I love Sachse because it has a small town feel but big-time high school football (6A Div. 1) as well as close proximity to the big city.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
- Man, that is a tough question. I would say I prioritize strength and conditioning first and foremost because it is the foundation of everything you do on the field. AT my size there’s no way I have a chance to succeed without being able to have a very solid foundation of strength and conditioning. The practice has to come next because you can see things a million times in film but until you go out there and practice, you don’t fully understand what the defense is giving you and how you should attack it. Not to mention practice is always a great time to work on fundamentals. Film study, although coming in last in this list cannot be undermined. It is so important to watch the film in order to understand the tendencies of your opponent and pick up any advantage you can get.
What do you worry about, and why?
- I worry about my family. I’ve been away from home for 5 years now, I always want to make sure everything is good with them. They are my lifeline and I don’t know what id do without them.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
- I failed to win the starting job my first two seasons as a travel team player in college. I decided to keep my head down and just go to work. I learned a lot from the guy above me and my coach along the way. I picked up a decent amount of playing time along the way due to injury and I was able to make the most of it each and every time because I prepared myself like a starter. It really set me up for success in my junior and senior seasons.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- My intensity. The football field is a war zone, organized chaos. You have to approach it with a sense of urgency or you won’t be successful.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
- Tyrell Thompson at Tarleton State.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
- I have a degree in Business Management and I’m working on my MBA, so I believe I would find myself somewhere in the business arena as well as training young offensive lineman on the side.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
- I don’t have a desk quite yet so I’m going to go ahead and put that last. I definitely clean my car before my room. I drive a good looking challenger and I like to give her the respect she deserves.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
- It sounds harsh but definitely one family member. I love my family more than anything and I can’t stand the thought of losing anyone else.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
- The Rock in any movie. Dude’s just a badass.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
- I’ve lost a lot of friends since college has begun and that has been tough for me to deal with. As a team, we lost our brother Robert Grays on the field while playing a game. After that moment we all knew that we had to be willing to put it all on the line for our brothers, so that’s what I did for the next 17 games of my career and will continue to do as long as I play ball
What is your most embarrassing moment?
- Giving a school tour and having my jeans rip right down the middle
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- The last play of my college career we ran the ball on the goal line right behind me to win the game in overtime. It wasn’t the prettiest block I’ve ever had but we got the job done.
What song best describes your work ethic?
- Till I Collapse by Eminem.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
- Mentally I feel as though I always have an edge on everyone I go against and you can’t break me
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
- Rob Grays. Just to tell him how much we all miss him and show him what impact he’s had on all of our lives.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
- Good Times Dance Club
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?
- Everyone in the NFL is pretty dang good and worth the media coverage they get.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
Respected. People will act as they like you without knowing you. Respect is earned.
- What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
His career wasn’t derailed but his season was, that being Ezekiel Elliott last year. He didn’t have a case against him and I don’t believe the punishment fit. I’m also a Cowboys fan so a bit biased.
- Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
Hate to lose. I’ve done a lot of winning over the course of my life and I’ve worked extremely hard to get there because losing is the worst feeling in the world
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
My dad. He’s worked extremely hard to provide an awesome life for my family and I.e showed me that hard work pays off at an early age and that has always been my motto.