NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Quade Raley, DE, Alderson Broaddus University
- Name: Quade Raley
- Height: 6’0
- Weight: 230
- Position: DE/OLB
- College: Alderson Broaddus University
- Twitter: @quade_raley
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
- My hometown is Cumberland, Maryland. Cumberland is a small town of about 20,000 people located in Western Maryland. With my hometown being relatively small, just about everyone knows each other and football is a way of life in our town. There’s nothing like playing on a Friday night in my High School stadium with everyone from the town coming out to support the team. My favorite part of my hometown is playing the homecoming game the first Saturday of November each year against Allegany High School; this game has been played every year since 1936.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
- In my experience, Strength and Conditioning would be the most important. The average college football season runs from August- November, with about 6 weeks of spring ball running from March until April, leaving roughly 6 months out of the year where you are not competing or practicing. In these 6 months, you must keep your body in peak shape and continuously craft your skill to be bigger, stronger and faster when the next fall rolls around.
- The second of the three for me would be film study. What you put on film will truly show what kind of player you are. When I watch myself I always begin by critiquing my stance and my get off. The next thing I look at is my hand placement on the man in front of me; if it was a run did I long arm the Tackle or the Tight End while holding my ground and make the play go inside of me while not letting my eyes wander into the backfield; if it was a pass did I have a quick get off, did I read the pass set the correct way and then perform the best move to beat that man. The final thing I critique myself on is my effort, I watch to see if I was running towards the ball, even if the ball is thrown 40 yards downfield, was I at least bursting towards the ball. Effort cannot be taught and shows your true character as a player. You must be a student of the game and watching film to learn what you did right and wrong is essential to you perform each rep, whether it is in practice or a game, perfectly.
- The final of the three for me would be practice. When you first begin camp each season practice is key because you have to learn the defense and become proficient at it, but after the first couple of practices you have to begin to work on the mistakes you have seen yourself do in film. Throughout my time playing, I have learned that the little things are often what lead to big mistakes down the road. In practice, you must constantly remind yourself to slightly change your stance or better hand placement each rep that you take. Correcting your mistakes is the only way for you to become a better player and the only way to correct those mistakes is by doing each rep the correct way over and over again.
What do you worry about, and why?
- I constantly worry about succeeding. Regardless if it is in the classroom, on the football field or in life I always strive to do the best I can and I constantly want to succeed. Failure is something that I do not like to experience and I feel that it pushes me to constantly give maximum effort in whatever I am doing. Life is too short to not live up to your fullest potential so I strive to constantly succeed in whatever I am doing.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
- My sophomore year of college I was playing Mike Linebacker and after the season the coaches felt that a move to the defensive line would be a better fit for me because I was not performing well. Once I was moved to Defensive End I kept hearing that I was too small and would not make it there so I used all of that negative energy to feed my desire to outwork everyone else and become the starter. In the 2017 season, I became the starter by game 3 and flourished from there. By the end of the 2017 season, I set the single-season record for sacks in a season at Alderson Broaddus and also set the single-season record for both sacks and TFL’s in a season for the entire Great Midwest Athletic Conference. I finished my career as at Alderson Broaddus University as 8th in history for total tackles, 4th in history for Total TFL’s and 2nd in history for Sacks in a career.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- My teammates would say that my work ethic is my best quality. I constantly strive to be the hardest worker in the room and always try to push those around me to work as hard as they possibly can. I never want to be outworked and always want to be the best player out on the field. I always chase perfection and having the work ethic that I do constantly push me to chase that goal of perfection.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
- WR Keelan Cole from Kentucky Wesleyan is definitely the best player that I have played against in college. Cole is now one of the starting WR’s for the Jaguars and we played him in the GMAC championship my sophomore year. At the time I played on the kickoff team and he was the kick returner. I will always remember how fast he was returning the kicks and how he shredded the DBs covering him even when we had him in double coverage.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
- In September I submitted my application for Physician Assistant programs throughout the country. I have always had a desire to help people and I felt that becoming a Physician Assistant would be a perfect career path for me to pursue. If I could not play football I would love to be a Physician Assistant working in an Orthopedic setting.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
- My room would be the first I would clean because I spend a lot of my time there and I believe that the way your room looks is a direct reflection of who you are as a person. My desk would come next followed by my car.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
- It would definitely depend on if I were able to reach my family member or the three strangers in a split second. If there were any possible way to reach my family members in a natural disaster I would go for one of them. In the end, when it comes down to it, your family is your blood and I could not imagine losing anyone from my family, especially if I had to opportunity to save them.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
- I would be Captain America. Captain America embodies everything that a true leader should be, he is selfless and always looking out for his fellow man. He leads from the front and never forgets where he came from, the small little guy who has constantly turned away from the military but never stopped working hard and constantly kept trying until he was given his shot, he was the first one in the fight and always helped anyone who was in need.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
- One of the biggest moments of adversity I have had was learning I had a torn ACL after the 2017 season. After the season I learned that I had to have surgery to remove a torn meniscus and also to repair a torn ACL that I had been playing on that whole season. I underwent surgery in December and I knew that if I wanted to be able to come back and have another great season my senior year that I would have to work extremely hard to come back. I took each day of rehab like it was game day, I worked as hard as I possibly could on each and every exercise that I did. Each time I was able to move my knee more or do a new exercise correctly I took that as a win. Each day that I was doing rehab I reminded myself that I had to get back so I could play my senior season. I was cleared to return to play in 5 months and worked extremely hard throughout the summer to build my speed and agility as much as I possibly could. If I would have not attacked each day as I did there would be no way that I could have came out and led the team in sacks again for the second year in a row or have another good season like I did this year, even earning All-Conference Honorable Mention.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
- When I was playing pee-wee football the coaches let me try to punt in a game and when I punted the ball it ended up flying straight up and falling behind me for a 3-yard loss.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- The most memorable play would have to be either my first sack or my interception for a touchdown. My first sack came my junior year playing Lincoln and it was my first game starting. I will never forget that feeling of seeing the QB roll out my way on a sprint out and then I just closed the gap and was able to get to him before he threw the ball, the feeling of getting that first sack and having everyone celebrate with me was incredible. The other play that I would have to say is just as memorable was the interception I returned for a touchdown this year. I dropped back into coverage on a designed play and when I turned my head the ball was coming straight for me. The feeling of crossing that goal line and having everyone celebrate with me for that was incredible, it was always my goal to score a touchdown in college and doing that made it even better.
What song best describes your work ethic?
- Everyday by Logic
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
- Your determination and the ability to adapt. The step from college to the next level is a massive leap and one that will be full of highs and lows. You must be determined to stay the course regardless of what happens and you must be able to adapt quickly to the different schemes, different practice tempos, and even a different position if you are needed somewhere else.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
- My grandfather on my Dad’s side. I was never able to meet him because he passed away soon after my father graduated from high school but my father always tells me stories about him and his time spent in World War II. I would love to talk to him and just hear all of his stories and I know that it would make my father happy to see him again.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
- The Island. Open it near a beach and have it themed that way as well.
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?
- Dak Prescott. Dak had a breakout rookie season but couldn’t live up to the hype after that season and now I would say is just a middle of the pack type of QB.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
- I would much rather be someone who is respected. Being respected directly correlates with your character and the type of person you are.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
- Josh Gordon. He’s a phenomenal athlete and I feel for him that he struggled through all of the off-field issues that he has but I am glad that he has found a home for now and I hope that those issues are behind him because he has a very promising future if he does.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
- I hate to lose. Losing is one of the worst feelings and that constantly motivates me to want to win in everything that I do.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
- Both of my parents have been the biggest influences on my life. They have been there every step of the way for me and would drop whatever they are doing to help me in a second. My mother has always been my biggest fan and sits up in the stands at every game videoing each play on her phone so I can watch how I did directly after the game rather than waiting for the film to be put up. My Father has been such an incredible help throughout my time of playing sports. Coming out of high school I was not being recruited really at all and my father stepped up to help me contact coaches, write emails to them after each game and take me to every visit and camp that I wanted to go to. As college rolled around he has been a huge help in contacting people trying to push me to the next level. I can never thank those two enough for everything that they have done for me.