NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: David Carney Jr., LS, California University of PA
- Name: David James Carney Jr.
- Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
- Weight: 225
- Position: Long Snapper
- College: Bloomsburg University and California University of Pennsylvania
- Twitter: @DavidCarneyJr86
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
- I’m from Johnstown, PA. It’s a small town that used to be known for being a huge influence in the steel industry. The thing I love most about Johnstown is that it’s my home. I am proud of where I came from and will never forget that.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
- We can all agree that all three of these things are extremely important when it comes to success on the football field. If I had to rank them in order of importance, it would be Film study, practice and strength, and conditioning. A film is an excellent tool when scouting opponents, you are able to find tendencies and weaknesses within your opponent so you can take advantage of those on gameday. Practice is crucial and the most important part of a great practice week is the scout team giving the starters the best look that they can. Finally, strength and conditioning, I had the privilege of being part of two phenomenal football programs and the strength and conditioning really helped prepare me to be a better football player when the time comes on game day.
What do you worry about, and why?
- I worry about my family a lot. I worry in different ways, whether it is health problems, safety, making sure everyone is okay all the time. Family is the most important thing and without their support and guidance, I would not have had the opportunities that I have had in football and in life.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
- Being a student-athlete comes with two responsibilities. My first semester of college, I failed as a student and my grades suffered because of this. I felt horrible because I let my parents down the most. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt and I wanted to make sure I never felt that way again. I studied and worked hard every semester to be a great student as well as an athlete. It was a long road and grind, but I was able to turn it around and graduate as a scholar-athlete with my undergraduate degree in biology.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- I have always been told that I have a great work ethic. Matthew Sokoloski, who was the starting snapper before me at Bloomsburg University played a huge part in me striving to be excellent and working hard. He emphasized to me that you need to work harder than everybody else on and off the field no matter what. I took that approach with everything that I did and always put my best effort to try and help my team win.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
- I am going to have to put two players here. Dennis Long from East Stroudsburg University is the best long snapper I have ever seen. The two times I played against him, he had all perfect snaps with perfect spirals and laces up every time. The best overall player I have ever played against was Marcus Jones from Gannon University. In two years he ran for nearly 4,000 yards and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill last year.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
- I am working towards my master’s degree in secondary education. If I couldn’t play football, I would love to share my passion and love for biology with young students in high school. I want to be able to be an influence in this world and teaching is a great way to do that.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
- I am definitely cleaning my car. It can get rather messy and cluttered with stuff.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
- I would choose one family member with no hesitation. Like I mentioned before, My family is everything and I would not be able to live with myself knowing I could have saved someone from my family given the opportunity.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
- I would be Tommy Oliver from the power ranger series. I would always watch power ranger every Saturday as a kid when it came on at 9:00 a.m. He is a great leader and always saves the day fighting against people trying to take over the world.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
- Being a long snapper, it is rare that you get injured in a game. The thought of being injured never crossed my mind while playing. The second to last game of my junior year, I was running down on a punt trying to make a tackle and my leg on tangled with the returner and ended up breaking my ankle. I was devasted not because I got hurt, but because I couldn’t play and contribute to my team. That was a feeling I had never felt as a player before in my life. The road to recovery was a long one. After surgery, I still couldn’t squat for another 5 months. Squatting is my favorite exercise. I was depressed and once I was able to finally lift lower body again, I had lost all my strength and thought that it would never come back. I had to trust the process and just keep my head down and work as I had always worked for football in my career. It took over a year, but my strength came back and I am now stronger than ever!
What is your most embarrassing moment?
- People still mention this to me to this day and it happened over a year ago. We had just finished practice and I was talking to my kicker, Ryan Abbott, about how practice went. I said goodbye and tripped over the ball bag which just so happened to be placed directly below the fire alarm. My back fell against the fire alarm and it got pulled. The entire building had to evacuate and the worst part was having to tell the athletic director and the police. I was known as Fire Dave for the rest of camp.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- The final snap of my career at Bloomsburg University, I made the tackle running down on a punt and was able to help pin the opposing team inside their own 20. It always feels good to help the defense out like that and giving the best field position to take advantage of in order to win.
What song best describes your work ethic?
- That song is definitely Remember the Name by Fort Minor. The Lyrics really relate to everyone that is trying to make it professionally in football.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
- The most important trait to have is to be mentally tough and not let anything phase you. Even the best players in the world mess up, but they are able to let it go and move onto the next play. My coach told me to have amnesia, just completely forget about the last play and move on and prepare for the next one.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
- This is a no-brainer for me. I would bring back my grandfather on my mom’s side. I never got the chance to say goodbye to him. I know my whole family misses him and it would be nice to talk to him one last time.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
- I’m not much of a dancer myself, but it would be cool to own one. I would have to name it, “Dance the Night Away”. It’s simple yet effective at the same time.
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?
- I don’t feel as though any player in the NFL can be considered overrated. You are valued at whatever a team is willing to pay you based on your athletic ability. If a team is in need of a guy, they will go out and do whatever it takes to get him regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
- I would rather be respected because respect is everything. If all you are trying to do is please everyone and make everyone happy, most of the time you will not be taken seriously. If you are respected, you are always taken seriously and seen as a leader instead of a follower.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
- I would say that I love to win. It is extremely hard to win at any level and everything needs to go right in order to have the best chance of winning. Even then, you may not win. I only won 7 games in my entire high school career so I cherished every single one that I got. Winning is hard and I was able to be a part of four winning seasons in college. Nevertheless, I never took those wins for granted and continued to work hard every week to go out there and win.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
The biggest influence on my life would have to be my mom. She has been to every football game since I started in 7th grade all the way through the end of my collegiate career. She cheers the loudest and supports me whether my team is up by 30 points or down by 30 points, you wouldn’t look at her. She taught how to treat other people and instilled a drive in me that will never fade no matter what it is that I am doing in life. Love you, Mom!