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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jalen McGill, WR, University of Mount Union

Jalen McGill of Mount Union recently sat down with Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot (Photo courtesy of Jalen McGill)

Name: Jalen McGill

Height: 6’0

Weight: 198

Position: WR

College: University of Mount Union

Twitter: @jaytheplaymaker

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

•I was raised in Laurel, MD. What I love most about it is that we always played football growing up. Football was such a big part of my childhood.  

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

•Film Study-breaks sown everything-your opponent, yourself, and the game … if you’re great studying film, you’ve almost won the game without even playing Practice-this is where execution plays a big factor. You can have a great practice but if you didn’t watch film, you don’t know if that play will even be effective against the team you play. Practice helps you to be good at the things you may not be good at. Strength and Conditioning-Although football is a very physical sport, if you play smart (by knowing what to expect through film study and executing your plays at practice), you won’t need to be the biggest or strongest player to win. Now all of these things are obviously important and play a big factor towards the game. 

What do you worry about, and why?

•I worry about my future a lot. I really want to be great. I feel like there are so many things I have to do in life along with things I want to do. And sometimes when I reflect on my life, I feel like I’ve fallen short so many times. But I know I will get there. I can’t give up.  

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

•In track I wanted to run 100 meters in 10.0+ seconds. Almost every track meet I ran in, I did not achieve that goal. But one meet I ran a 10.8. And that was simply because of the extra work I put in. I partnered up with the fastest person on our team, Louis Berry, and did everything he did. He broke down the race to me and showed me how to execute and I finally did it. It used to tear me down because I knew I was faster than the times I ran. I always felt like I needed to prove myself to not just people but myself. And finally all the work I put in showed up.  

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•My work ethic … grinding is all I know because nothing ever came easy ! 

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

•Tre Jones is a player I practiced against, He’s the only person that comes to mind. His technique was so crisp. He always knew what to do. He could cover any route and had the speed to break on any pass.  

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

•I’d love to be an actor or run my own gym.  

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

•My room because that’s where my day starts!  

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

•I want to say I’d save the three strangers because that’d be three people who were able to survive but I think I’ll have to go with my one family member. I love my family! They’ve literally been some of the few people who’ve ever had my back. I’d save them and try my hardest to save the others.  

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

•I’d be the Hulk because he was my favorite superhero up until Infinity War. He let me down in that movie but besides that I really enjoyed his character. When things got bad, he always showed up! 

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

•My college career was probably my biggest adversity. I came into college recruited as an athlete. Started off at Safety, then moved to CB and then WR. Throughout that whole time I didn’t get the PT that I thought I earned. Fast forward to my senior year … In our first scrimmage I had 3 TDs with about 200+ yds. The first game of the season comes and I mess up my ankle back off of someone rolling up behind me and twisting my ankle. I was out for about 5 weeks. My season was basically summed up to being a special teams player. When I graduated I felt almost empty. But God gave me renewed strength. He reminded me of what He promised me and who He created me to be. And now I know I will make it to the NFL ! 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•When I got “mossed”. I was about 12 years old and it was a big flag football game. My family was there to support me too. My older cousin was right on the sideline telling me exactly what the other team was about to do. It was on the goal line and I knew I fade was coming. It came, I jumped, nearly caught the ball and had it ripped out my hands. I felt terrible! 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•When I ran a KR back in HS. My whole team was lined up for an onside kick because it was a close game, but they chose to kick it deep. I caught the kick and almost everyone on the opposing team was unblocked. I made one cut and ran it back for a TD. It felt great and the crowd was ecstatic.  

What song best describes your work ethic?

•Lose Yourself by Eminem … I constantly tell myself that I may get one opportunity to show what I can do, I must be be prepared. Most people fail because they fail to plan. If I’ve already prepared for a moment, when that moment comes I’ll be ready. “When you’re already ready, you don’t have to get ready”.  

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

•Heart … heart is something that cannot be weighed or measured. It doesn’t matter about the size of the heart, as long as it beats, you can do anything.  

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

•I’d bring back Job because He was so favored by God. God literally considered him to Satan. And because of that, Job went through so much because God chose to prove to Satan that Job would love God no matter what. The strength and faith that Job had was almost unmatched. Some people lose their jobs and even fail a test and lose faith, while Job was losing everything around him at the same time, yet he continued to look to God.  

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

•The Boogie because it sounds fun and groovy.  

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

•I can’t answer this question. Whoever is in the NFL proved that they have what it takes to be elite. Although they may not be great compared to other elite NFL athletes, they’re still extremely talented at what they do.  

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•Is rather be respected because being respected stands for something. It means that you hold something that’s greater than a characteristic or attribute. At the end of the day everyone is liked atleast by one person. But in reality, few people are respected. Being respected holds weight. People can like you one minute and hate you the next. Being liked is emotion based, being respected is something you earn.  

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

•Len Bias … I bring up his name because he chose to do drugs one time to celebrate getting drafted in the NBA, and that one time killed him. It’s sad because he was projected to be better than Michael Jordan. So, not only can he no longer play the sport he loves, he ultimately lost his life.  

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•I hate losing with a passion. Yes winning is great, but after a while the enjoyment of winning can escape you while the thought of losing can linger for years. It’s great to go out on top with a win, but when you lose, it’s almost like there’s nothing else you can do because it’s over. Nothing can change what happened, even if you come back even better or stronger the next year.  

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

• My Dad because he’s literally everything I want to be in a man, from his work ethic to his loyalty to his friends/family. His the hardest working guy that I know. He had 4 kids by the age of 24. He’s worked extremely hard to take care of us. Even when we were at our lowest, he made it feel like everything was going to be okay. And now, he runs his own business and we have two family owned clothing brands. He’s my biggest motivated ! If it wasn’t for him, I probably would’ve stopped pursuing professional football. But he just speaks encouragement to me in the daily which reminds me that I can make it. 

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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