NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Porter Gustin, DE/Edge, USC Trojans
NFL Draft Diamonds has interviewed some of the best small schoolers to make it to the NFL. Last year our team interviewed over 750 players from NAIA to the FBS. This year we went to NFL teams scouts for every question on this interview. Ten NFL scouts who are avid readers of Draft Diamonds put this interview together for our readers pleasure. We hope you enjoy this interview, with another potential NFL draft prospect.
- Name: Porter Gustin
- Height: 6’4.5
- Weight: 255lbs
- Position: OLB/ edge
- College: USC
- Twitter: Portergustin
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
- What I love most about my hometown is the surrounding mountains and the small town feel.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
- I think that I will prioritize these differently based on the time of the year. However, in the big picture, strength and conditioning is the most important to me because ultimately your body is what allows you to physically play the game. Film and practice go hand in hand but I’d say practice then film study because you learn the most by physically doing your job as opposed to watching it. However, film study becomes much more important during the season when studying opponents. All three are extremely important in finding success on the field.
What do you worry about, and why?
- I often worry about the culture and mindset of my current team and the team I will become a part of in the NFL. Too often I see coaches fail to eliminate players that are cancerous to the culture/success of a team due to their elite individual talent. These players are very difficult to motivate and are rarely willing to change their mindset. I have found that if a player like this is not willing to change their attitude for the better of the team, their elite talent is not worth the trouble that they bring to the team .
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
- Failure has always been a major source of motivation for me. Over the years it has been made very clear that failure, in anything, is simply the lack of preparation. When I have failed to achieve a goal or to perform up to my expectation I’ve always overcome the adversity through bettering my preparation. Whether that was to shoot 100 more free throws a day, spend an extra hour in the film room, or following a stricter diet, having the discipline to prepare accordingly is the solution. Hope is not a strategy, you must overcome failure with preparation.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- Unmatched work ethic, discipline, and toughness.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
- Saquon Barkley in the Rose Bowl
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
- I would have gone the baseball route if football didn’t work out.
Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?
- Desk, car, room
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
- Three strangers because it’s only logical to choose three lives over one, plus my family would want it that way.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
- Batman. He’s always a step ahead of the enemy, he utilizes his resources to the fullest, and he always finds a way to win no matter how dominant his enemies appears to be.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
- I was injured my junior year and was only able to play in 3 games. This came at a terrible time and I am certain that our season would have been considerably different if I had been able to play. On top of that, I had put in an incredible amount of work during the offseason and felt I had improved my skill set far more than what I had put on tape throughout the first 2.5 games. For the entire season I felt as if I had let my team down and completely wasted countless hours of hard work. In the end this injury only increased my passion and appreciation for the game of football and has since helped me easily overcome any setbacks I have faced.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
- Western Michigan throwback pass, without a doubt.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- Notre Dame ran a QB throwback pass against us in the 2016 season where I had a tooth knocked out while making the tackle. I ended up playing the rest of that drive with blood running out of my mouth. I’m still missing that tooth so I get reminded everyday to wear a mouthpiece. By no means was this my most impressive play but certainly a memorable one.
What song best describes your work ethic?
- Nobody to blame – Chris Stapleton. The concept portrayed throughout this song basically says that there is nobody, other than yourself, to blame for the failures in your life. This concept directly relates to controlling your life through work ethic. If I want to accomplish something, work for it, otherwise suffer the pain of regret knowing that you didn’t put in the necessary amount of work to avoid failure.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
- Passion. If you have enough passion for the game then you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes to reach your full potential. Your talents can only take you so far if you don’t love the game.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
- My great grandpa, Mont Gustin. He died when I was too young to really appreciate his accomplishments and his character. However, the legacy he left behind has made a major impact on my life.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
- I don’t ever plan on opening a dance club and I have very little knowledge on the dance club culture so I got nothing
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?
- Not going to say anyone is overrated when I have yet to play a snap in the NFL.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
- Respected. You can accomplish nothing in life and still be liked. You will often be taken advantage of if you are constantly trying to please people. Respect must be earned and has far more value.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
- I feel for every athlete who’s career is effected because of a false accusation.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
- Obviously both but my hate towards losing is stronger than my love for winning.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
- There are several people that have had a major influence on my life but I’d say the biggest influences have been my parents. There are many reasons for this but I particularly appreciate their emphasis on, and lessons directed towards the importance of hard work throughout my childhood. They taught me that success/rewards only come through hard work and that nothing is handed to you, it must be earned, while at the same time providing opportunities for me to succeed. Secondly, both my parents were always extremely competitive no matter what they were competing in, this competitive nature has been ingrained into my character which is an invaluable trait.