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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Tony Anderson, DB, Grand View University

Tony Anderson of Grand View is a playmaker.

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

  • I’m from France, I live in a small city named Elancourt near Paris. What I like the most about Elancourt is that it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been away, I know that every time I go back, everything will be the same. It’s my safe place, my friends and family live there and it’s always good to go back to where everything started.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

  1. Strength and Conditioning: Strength and Conditioning come first because if you can’t play 4 quarters at a high intensity you’re going to lose the game. The amount of time spent practicing or studying film is irrelevant because you will get tired faster and your opponent will out effort you. You have to be able to execute hard and fast from start to finish.
  2. Practice: Practice comes second because the outcome of the game is decided on how well you execute. How well you execute is determined by your physical shape and the amount of time you spent practicing and physical reps are more valuable than mental reps.
  3. Film: The film comes third because the film is what separates you when strength and conditioning and practice are equal for both teams. Studying film gives you mental reps and those reps add up to the physical reps you look at practice. If you have the same amount of physical reps but more mental reps than the other team then it will make the difference. But mental reps aren’t as valuable as physical ones and if you can’t execute those reps hard and fast for 4 quarters the amount of film you watched is irrelevant. The film can also reveal some patterns and give you clues about players’ behaviors that can be exploited.

What do you worry about, and why?

  • The main thing I used to worry about is the future. It scared me, it’s unpredictable. That’s why I taught myself to live in the moment and to focus on what’s going on right now. I do not have control over the future only on the present so I keep reminding myself every day not to worry about what’s coming next. I believe that everything happens for a reason so I know I will be fine no matter what happens in the future.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

  • I could give you a ton of examples of my failures. If there is one that stands up to me it’s the fact that when I graduated from high school I didn’t understand the importance and value of education. I was tired of school and I didn’t want to go to college. I failed at understanding how important education is. It took me a while to realize it but when I did recognize the importance of education I enrolled right away and since then made school a priority and made sure that I passed all my classes. I put my mind to it and since then I succeeded in the academic field.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • My teammates say that my best quality is my discipline.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

  • The best player I’ve ever played against in college is Jason-Matthew Sharsh who plays WR for the University of Hawaii. Lucky me we were on the same team at Santa Barbara City College. I had to guard him one on one at practice and he definitely helped me elevate my game, it was a hell of a challenge every day.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?

  • If I couldn’t play football I would try to stay as close as possible from the game so I would coach.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?

  • My desk is in my room and I don’t have a car so easy answer, I would clean my room first. If I had a car and if my desk wasn’t in my room I would still clean my room first. It’s my sanctuary.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

  • If there was a disaster and I had the choice between saving 3 strangers or one family member I would tell you that it depends on the age of the individuals involved. I believe that all lives are equal but I also believe that children and babies must be saved over adults and elders. If all the individuals involved in the disaster were the same age then I would save 3 strangers. Even if it’s a family member it would be selfish of me to save only one life when I can save 3.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

  • If I could be any television character I would be Rock Lee from Naruto. I’m a huge fan of the Japanese culture and its animes. I’ve always dreamed of being able to be a true ninja, to walk on water, jump super high, move super fast, appear and disappear in an instant. Moreover, Rock Lee is a character I can relate with. I was never the most talented or physically gifted, I had to work hard to get where I am right now.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

  • The biggest obstacle I had to overcome in my life was a culture shock when I first moved to the U.S more than two years ago. I was all by myself and left everything and everyone behind to pursue my dream to play in the NFL. I quickly realized that the U.S is a very different country compared to France and I had to adapt to everything. I felt lonely most of the time and it was just hard to live in a country where I didn’t know anyone and where the language and culture were so different. It took me a while but football helped me overcome this obstacle. I found friends in my teammates and found mentors in my coaches. My focus also helped me in the process. I wasn’t letting any distractions get to me and focused strictly on football so I limited the impact of the culture shock. I now feel totally comfortable living here and I want to stay in the U.S for as much as I can.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • My most embarrassing moment was when I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. The week after we got back together and I went to her place to have dinner with her family. I’ve never felt more embarrassed I think. I could probably find other examples but this one really stood up to me. Most of us can probably relate.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • The most memorable play of my career was during last year ‘s conference championship game with Grand View. We played Benedictine and it was late in the 4th we were up by 10 but they were marching down the field on us. I tackled their running back in bounds for a 5 yards loss. It gave momentum back to our team and helped kill the clock and ultimately led to our victory.

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • I didn’t run into a song that accurately describes my work ethic yet.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?

  • To me, the most important trait you can have to succeed at the next level is competitiveness.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

  • If I could bring back one person back from the dead for one day it would be my grandpa because I never got to know him.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?

  • If I were to open a dance club I would name it Fever.

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?

  • I believe that every player in the NFL deserves our respect. They are the elite and the best at what they do. That said, one case comes to my mind when I read the word overrated. A few years ago the Rams offered a huge contract extension to Tavon Austin and I didn’t really understand why. Plus, I felt like he didn’t meet the expectations that came with such a huge deal the next season.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • I would rather be respected than liked. To me, respect is one of the most important value. You can respect and like someone at the same time but I find it hard to like someone who I don’t respect. Respect is what I’m looking for in my interactions with others. Earning someone’s respect to me is one of the greatest things a human being can achieve.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

  • A player that had his career derailed by off-field issues who I feel the most for is Tyrann Mathieu. Thankfully he managed to make it to the NFL and still plays but when he was at LSU he was a superstar. I watched his highlights a million times and he was my favorite college DB at the time so when he got kicked out of LSU I felt bad for him. I also liked how he managed to make it to the NFL despite being undersized and everything. To me, he was the playmaker in the secondary in all college football that’s why his off-field issues stood up to me. I wanted to see him succeed and become a better person.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • I love to win. Losses are lessons you have to learn from so you can’t hate on them. Always find the positive in everything when it’s possible.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why? 

  • My parents have the biggest influence on my life because they raised me. Through their education, they made the man who stands in front of you and they are the reason why I am where I am right now. I can point out two things that define me and I got those two lessons from them. Those two things are to always believe in me and to always persevere.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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