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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Vinny Papale, WR, University of Delaware

  • Name: Vinny Papale
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 205 
  • Position: WR
  • College: University of Delaware 
  • Twitter: @vinny_papale

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

  • My hometown is Cherry Hill, New Jersey. What I love most about my home town is how close it is to the city of Philadelphia. Growing up I have great memories going into Philly to Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers games. 

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

  • I think that practice is the most important. It is the most important because it gives you the ability to compete, and I feel that it has allowed me to put myself in the position that I am today. It also allows you to perfect your craft and work on new things every single day. I think film study is next. I think it is important to watch yourself and watch your opponent. The more you watch your opponent, the more you can pick up on tendencies and expect their next move. I think strength and conditioning is third, but I think it is pivotal to a players success on the field. A player that has good strength and is conditioned well can perform at a very high level at all times, and I think that is very important in the sport of football. 

What do you worry about, and why?

  • I worry about what my life would be like without football because I have been playing since I have been 5. Obviously I have dreams to play in the NFL, and even if I have the chance to some day, football can not last forever. I worry I will not be able to duplicate that feeling of being apart of a team, because I feel there is no other feeling like it. 

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

  • A time I feel I had failed at something was the first time I was actually targeted as a receiver in college. I had dropped the pass, tipped it up, and it was intercepted. I considered it a failure because I felt I had not only let my team down but also myself. It was a feeling I never wanted to feel again as I felt I had lost some trust from my teammates. It was something I worked on all of that off-season to make sure it never happened again. I pride myself on making contested catches and tough catches, and I made a name for myself by doing that in the following spring ball and I believe I have kept that reputation to this day. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • Consistency 

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

  • The best player I played against in college is probably my own teammate, Nasir Adderly. 

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

  • If I couldn’t play football as a career I would probably join the Navy. It is something that I have been interested in since high school. 

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

  • I would clean my room first. When I have a clean room I feel organized and stress free. 

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

  • If I could be any movie character it would definitely be Maverick from Top Gun. When I was in high school, our receiver group each took a call sign from the movie Top Gun, and I was dubbed Maverick. I like Maverick for having that fearless personality, and it is something I have tried to incorporate ate into my game. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

  • Being under-recruited out of high-school, having really only one other FCS offer other than Delaware, and making a name for myself having had my dad play in the NFL. I feel like it has given me a chip on my shoulder, and I am constantly trying to prove myself on the field. I try not to talk much, and let my actions on the field speak for themselves. I feel me going about my work that way has allowed me to make a name for myself, and has allowed me to prove that I belong where I am. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • I do not get embarrassed that easily, but one thing that sticks out actually happened my sophomore year at UD. We were doing a clap drill before a game, and I had clapped early and I was the only one who clapped, meaning I had jumped offsides. Everyone looked at me, especially all of the older guys, and it was pretty embarrassing and uncomfortable. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • The most memorable play of my college career is scoring the go ahead touchdown late in the 4th quarter against then #5 Elon University. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Whatever it Takes – Imagine Dragons 

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

  • I think that the most important trait to help me succeed at the next level is to be reliable. I think being reliable on the football field, especially in the NFL, would allow you to have a long career. Being reliable can be applied to many different aspects of the game, and is a trait that all professionals need in order to succeed at their job. 

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 from the dead for one day it would be my Pop Pop. He died when I was very young, but I do have memories of him. My dad always says he would be so proud of me and my sister today to see all that we have done and accomplished. I would want him to come back for one day to see us grown up, and see all that we have done and how far we have come.

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

  • Tredici    

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

  • I don’t think anyone in the NFL is really overrated. I feel that every player in the NFL has earned their spot, or else they would not be where they are. Players do have troubles, but I believe that if they work to fix them, they can be fixed. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • I would rather be respected than liked. I feel like being respected is a lot more powerful than being liked. 

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

  • A player I feel for the most is Johnny Manziel. It is hard to see someone go from the very top, to out of a job, due to addiction. You feel for people battling addiction, and hope that they can get the help that they need and a second chance to be the great talent that they are.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • Winning is great, but I do not think there is a worse feeling than losing a game. There are limited opportunities in a football season and you work all off-season for them, and losing one is really tough. 

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

  • My dad has had the biggest influence on my life, having seen all of the obstacles he has also overcome throughout his life. People also told him he was not good enough and that he was never going to make it, yet he did. He has always supported me no matter what and has been with me every step of the way. He has also shown and taught me many qualities that I have tried to incorporate into my life and have made me into the man that I am today. He has always taught me to be humble and level headed, and I think these are qualities that are very important, not only in life but also on the football field.

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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