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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Malique Taylor, DB, MidAmerica Nazarene University

Malique Taylor of MidAmerica Nazarene recently interviewed with Draft Diamonds (Photo courtesy of Malique Taylor)
  • Name: Malique Taylor
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 182
  • Position: FS/SS/ Nickel
  • College: MidAmerica Nazarene University       
  • Twitter: @MaliqueTaylor

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

• I’m from Oceanside, California, a city in San Diego County. The city has a wide variety of people, so anybody coming out there has to be their own person and that’s one thing I think sticks out about Oceanside. Being next to the ocean is a privilege that not too many people get so I go there as often as I can, do my conditioning there during summer and enjoy the water. It’s a great family environment and it’s nearly impossible to not enjoy the beach, that’s what I love most about the city.           

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

• Film Study, Practice, Strength and Conditioning.

I chose film study first because before I go out onto the field I want to know what formations they run, their tendencies as a position, on down and distance and in the formation. Practice second so I can recognize all the tendencies in live action, and see if I need to change any of my mechanics to put myself in a better position to make plays on the ball and better cover certain receivers. Strength and conditioning third because if you practice hard enough the conditioning will come by it’s self. With that, the weights will always be there after practice to get an hour or two in.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about not being able to utilize my full potential. That goes for my studies and with football. I’ve been accepted into masters programs so I know my studies will be pushed further. Playing in my last college game this past season, I feel like I can go further than college, learn more about the game and compete with higher caliber players.

How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• My junior year in high school I failed to prove to coaches that I deserved to start at corner during 7-On-7. It hurt, but I went to my dad, asked him to help me get stronger, faster and more technically sound positionally. By the time the big tournaments came and eventually season, I was one of the strongest and fastest kids on the team. I was also the same person to follow the best receiver every game. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  My teammates would say my work ethic and attitude are my best qualities.

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

• It would have to be Aaron Jackson of Benedictine College.           

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

• I would be a Private Counselor.       

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

• Definitely my room first and then everything else.

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

• I would help my family member because a family does come first to me. Also, knowing my family, once I help one of them they would want to try to help the other people with me.

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

• Dominic Toretto from Fast and Furious because he was about his family and he took charge in the most critical times of getting the job done.

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

• I faced a lot of adversity in life but not having a settled place to stay before coming out to MNU was a tough one. I didn’t have the resources everyone else did but the beach was close enough for me to utilize. Instead of feeling sorry about the situation I used it to my advantage, I’d run to the beach, do sand sprints, find a pull-up bar, do push-ups and find any way possible to get ready for the season.          

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I think one of the most embarrassing moments off the top of my head is playing in the family madden tournament. I was celebrating victory early as I was running towards the end zone in what seemed to be an open past just to have someone strip my Runner and end the game losing by 4, in front of everyone.       

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• The most memorable memory is being moved from Safety to Nickel/ OLB due to injured teammates in the last game of the season. We were down by a touchdown and on 3rd down, I got sent on a blitz and sacked a very mobile quarterback.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Go Hard or Go Home by E-40. If you doing anything, might as well go 100%, if not then you’re just wasting time.          

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

• One thing that helps me succeed is I easily adapt. I adapt to higher competition, I adapt to sideline adjustments, I adapt to a different position if needed. I just adapt and compete.

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

•  It would be my aunt Nicole. She was an important person to my Dad, the mom of cousins that I consider siblings and I think it would make everyone a lot happier to see her bright smile again.

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

• Taylor’s Backyard Boogie!     

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL?

• I wouldn’t say anyone is overrated but there are times when I can’t help but think I can do better than some DBs who are constantly getting beat in zone coverage.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected, means a lot more than being liked.

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

• Tyrann Mathieu just because everyone said he was undersized, wouldn’t get drafted and everything in between just for him to get a foot in the door and make plays on the field as he did in college.            

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• Definitely, hate to lose. Every loss teaches you something but man do I hate it. I take losses personally and will make whatever adjustments I need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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

• My family. Seeing what my parents have gone through pushes me to go harder in everything that I do. I want to be able to help them with anything in a time of need so they won’t have to stress or worry so much. I have 5 younger siblings, I don’t want them to go through some things that I have and I want to be the best example for them as I can be so that also pushes me when I feel I’m falling behind.

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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