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NFL Draft Diamonds 2019 Prospect Interview: Payton Vanderkooi, WR, Otterbein University

2017 Accolades & Statistics

  • 17 rec – 283 yards – 16.65 YPR – 4 TDs.

What is your name?

  • Payton Vanderkooi.

Where do you play College Football?

  • Otterbein University.

What position do you play?

  • Wide Receiver – Slot and Outside.

What is your height/weight?

  • 5’9″ 180lbs.

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

  • Baseball and Basketball.

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

  • Gabe Brown – DB Mount Union (2014-present).

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

  • A mix of Rap and Rock.

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

  • Always have to go out a couple hours before game time and catch passes from my QB.

Who is your role model & why?

  • My Great Grandpa and my father because of how hard they have always worked, and taught me how to be the man I am today.

You are a Sports Management major. What made you pursue that subject?

  • I love everything about sports and I would love to work in the sport industry one day, whether that is in coaching or in a front office somewhere.

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

  • My favorite class has been Sports Law and my least favorite class has been Managerial Accounting.

What made you choose Otterbein University?

  • Honestly the coaching staff here and the great atmosphere we have on Saturdays.

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

  • Getting to meet some great people here at Otterbein.

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

  • The Cincinnati Bengals and my favorite player was Barry Sanders, I used to watch Barry Sanders highlights all the time when I was younger and I ended up wearing #20 all through my youth league days when I played RB.

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

  • Invincible – Vince Papale.

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

  1. Michael Jordan.
  2. Randy Moss.
  3. Peyton Manning.

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

  • Abe Lincoln.

Who is your favorite superhero & why?

  • Batman, I’ve always been a really big Batman fan ever since I was little, and I am a huge fan of the movies.

What is your definition of hard work?

  • Doing more than whats expected, doing extra when you think you cant do any more.

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

  • Never take anything for granted and play every play like its your last because you just never know when that last play could be.

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

  • Work as hard as you can at everything you do and always be ready when an opportunity presents itself.

Why do you wear #5?

  • #5 is a actually an honor to wear here at Otterbein University. Unfortunately, a former player here at Otterbein had passed away in a car accident back in 2004 and he wore #5, so it is a tradition now that the coaching staff selects an individual that shows great leadership, and character, and can represent Otterbein to best it can be, and they chose me to wear #5 this year. This number means so much to the program and it is more than an honor to be able to wear the #5 jersey this year.

What is the best part of your hometown, Mount Gilead, OH?

  • It’s a small community, but we are all close so when something happens whether its good or bad, the whole community is together on it and there is tons of support.

Who do you choose, Jordan, LeBron or Kobe? Why?

  • Jordan, he is one of the best to ever play the game and he had that killer instinct. He is hands down the one player I would give the last second shot to.

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

  • Xbox One – Fortnite most of the time but I rarely play during the season.

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

  • Setting up a 5K event for Canine Cancer, it was the main part of one of my classes and we raised a lot of money to help with research for canine cancer.

If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?

  1. For my family and friends to live a healthy life.
  2. For my parents to get whatever they want.
  3. Be successful in whatever I decide to do.

What is your hidden talent?

  • I don’t really have a hidden talent.

If there is a book written about Payton Vanderkooi, what is the title?

  • “Against all odds.”

What are three things on your “Bucket List?”

  1. Play in a professional football game.
  2. Visit Bora Bora.
  3. Go to the Super Bowl.

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

  • During the season I tend not to watch Netflix, most of the time I am either watching Film or watching a football game on TV.

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

  • Probably either watch more film or do something to maximize my ability for that day.

If you could catch a TD from any NFL QB, past or present, who would it be & why?

  • Tom Brady, he is one of the greatest to ever do it and it would be more than an honor to catch a TD from him.

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

  1. Football Intelligent.
  2. Hard Worker.
  3. Dependable.

What inspires you?

  • Some people in this world would love to play the game of football, but they cant because of unfortunate situations in their lives, so I go out every day and work as hard as I can because I know there are people out there that would love to be in my shoes and I do it for them. I never take for granted what god has given to me and I try to maximize my ability every day.

What current/former NFL player do you compare yourself to?

  • Wes Welker or Cole Beasley.
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