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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Craig Kanyangarara, LB, UAB

• Name: Craig Tsungirirai Kanyangarara 

• Height: 6’

• Weight: 230

• Position: OLB/ILB

• College:UAB 

• Twitter: C4_Roo

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

•  I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe up until the age of 9. I also grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts from the age 11 and up. Growing up in Harare was a blessing what I loved the most about growing was my culture. As far as Lynn, it was a blessing to move to the city especially coming from Africa and being able to experience life in the Boston area was amazing to me. 

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

•  Strength and Conditioning is a very under appreciated aspect of the game. In order to perform at a high level like Saquan, you have to have a solid core foundation. It’s important to take care of your body and understanding how your body is functioning and ways to stay healthy, and have a physical edge. Your health is everything in this game. Film is just as important as Practice, being able to know your opponent in and out is vital. I like to break down my opponent by watching the past few games and get a feel for what they do. Then go in detail compare their system and ours, see what I can exploit, find out what players make their scheme go, tendencies and so on.  Beginning of the week is when I like to test everything I’d like to use in the game, see what will work or what won’t. As week progresses I narrow it down to what I can or can’t do, how I can cheat the system but stay within the system. Figure my role out and focus on my job to the best of my ability. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I have Faith in God and I asked the Lord to order my steps. Therefore, I do not worry at all. Life does get hard at times but I like to put things in perspective, by viewing things from a positive point of view and learning as much as possible from my failure and success.

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

•  Failed to perform at the level I expect myself to perform this past season due to an injury at the beginning of the season. I did not panic though, I was frustrated but used it as motivation to get better and work on the little things. My faith in God helped me overcome it and kept pushing through to finish the season strong. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My leadership

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

•  Trayveon Williams

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

•  Entrepreneur 

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

•  Room, the state of your mind. 

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

•  All of them because I can do all things through the Lord. God works miracles and I believe in the Lord with all my heart he will see it through. 

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

•  No character, I’m grateful to be in my shoes God is always blessing me and ordering my steps so I can’t see myself being anyone else. 

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

•  Being separated from my mother at the age of 5 until I was 12. God seen us through to be honest, she left me in Zimbabwe where we’re from in order to make a better life for me. It was hard to deal with at a very young age but it built this hunger in me that I cannot erase. I can’t help but be grateful because I would not be doing this interview had she stayed. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  Can’t even recall, I’m not really afraid to be embarrassed we’re all human and I’m not perfect. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  Game on the line vs UNT, timed my blitz perfect shooting through the B gap to hurry Mason Fine and take him off his throwing spot forcing an incompletion to help the team win. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

•.     Relentless   

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

•  Mental toughness, coachable, maturity, passion, hunger, consistency, leadership, communication, commitment, responsible, toughness, organization, and empathy. 

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

•  My aunt Abby, say thank you for all she has done for my family and have her come spend time with my cousins and her grandchildren. 

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

•  Express

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  Respected because I am a man of integrity. 

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

•  Josh Gordon because mental health is real. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I can’t even stand losing a play it will eat me. I can enjoy a win for a couple of days but losing will haunt me for years. I hate losing I can’t stand it, it makes me sick, I hate it. I have to win by any means there’s no option. 

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

• My grandmother, she never received an education, worked labor jobs her whole life, lost 3 kids out of 7. Yet she managed to send all her children overseas to America and England. Built and started an orphanage in 1999. She’s the definition of a super hero she’s done so much for my family and others, is my motivation. I would not be here without her paying over 10,000 to be reunited with my mother and mind you she’s not rich, just sacrificed a lot for us.

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 [email protected]

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