NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jhaaron Wallace, LB, Southern Connecticut State University
- Name: Jhaaron Wallace
- Height: 6’1
- Weight: 235 lbs.
- Position: Inside and Outside Linebacker
- College: Southern Connecticut State University
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
- I live in Hartford, but I went to Glastonbury for school most of my life. What I love most about it is the YMCA I used to go to. It was very sociable there. I met a lot of friends and grinded a lot in the gym there.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
- Film Study
- Strength and Conditioning
- I list practice first because this is where you perfect your craft. In the game of football, there isn’t a lot of time to practice 11 on 11 and this is truly the only opportunity work every part of your game. This is also the closest to a game you can get without playing in the game.
- Next I chose film study. This is important because watching your opponent on film allows you to see how they are going to attack. It also allows you to pick up on keys and tendencies to allow you to play faster and make the correct reads.
- Lastly strength and conditioning. Though still very important this is last on my list. You need strength and conditioning to outlast your opponent and win one-on-one matchups man to man.
To me, there is no way you can go the week before a game without practice or film study and expect to be successful. Practice over film study because going into a game with no practice is setting yourself up for failure. Strength and conditioning enhances your game, but alone will not make you a great player.
What do you worry about, and why?
- If anything my family and their safety. But for the most part, I try not to worry, especially about things that are out of my control. I just do what I can in every situation to make the best out of it.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
- My freshman year of high school I was cut from the school basketball team. In my head I was better than a few kids already on the team. This didn’t discourage me from basketball, but lit a fire under me to become a better player. I would go to the YMCA in Hartford and play with kids who were better and older than me. I learned many new things and became a better player. I then played in the town league and was a three year all-star player.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- They would say that I am a great thinker. I think things through thoroughly and see it from every view point which allows me to prepare for everything and think quickly on my feet and be decisive.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
- Marc Jones, Running Back from Gannon University. He is a great power running back who has very good body control, reads the line and makes quick decisive cuts.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
- I would be an engineer. My desire to continue to learn, work and develop new things will go to good use in this new field
Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?
- I would clean my desk first then room. I chose desk because that is where I get my work done and I need that area to be organized and clean so I can get my work done quickly and efficiently.
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 to save one family member because of the bond I have created with this family member. I feel as though I owe it to them as they have provided quality in my life over the quantity of strangers’ lives. I also would not be able to live with myself if I let my family member there to die.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
- Dominic Toretto. I love his idea of family. He has no friends just family. This is one concept that I was trying to instill into our team this season with my fellow captains. We are all brothers and we are family and we have to have each other’s back.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
- Living in Hartford and going to school in Glastonbury was pretty difficult for me. The culture there was a lot different and it took a lot to get used to. Glastonbury is also a predominantly white town and there were no more than 20 black students in my graduating class. The cultural differences were tough at first but it made me a stronger individual and I was able to dismiss some stereotypes that came with being a kid from the inner city.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
- I was in front of my friends and my mom was yelling at me and slapped me in the face.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- The most memorable play of my collegiate career is picking off a slant and go against the number one team in the conference as a freshman.
What song best describes your work ethic?
- “From the D to the A” by Tee Grizzley Feat. Lil Yachty. The song starts quick and goes right into the lyrics immediately. The beat is fast and upbeat. I listen to it whenever I want.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
- My most important trait would be the fact that I am coachable. I am adaptable to any situation. I will fit and perform any role I am put into.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
- My paternal grandmother. She is the only grandparent that I have not met and I was told so much about her. I would love to develop a bond with her as strong as the one I have with my current grandmother.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
- JayDubs. It’s catchy and is like my name.
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?
- I don’t particularly look at ratings of players and I feel that anyone who has made it in the NFL is there for a reason.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
- Respected. Respect is earned or taken and is not something given out to anyone. I want people to respect my game as a player on the field, and me as a man off of the field.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
- It is always disappointing to see someone’s career derailed due to off-field issues. It is important to watch what you do on and off the field as off-field issues can affect your play on the field as well. You belong to a team and now you are affecting the organization in a negative light.