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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Marc Blanc, DE, University of Mount Union

Marc Blanc of Mount Union is a big boy with a mean streak (Photo courtesy of Marc Blanc)

• Name: Marc Blanc

• Height: 6010

• Weight: 252

• Position: DE

• College: University of Mount Union

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

• I am from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I love that despite its size, it still feels like a close knit community. Growing up in the area from childhood up through high school has allowed me to form unbreakable bonds with the people in my community. Everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand and it is as though I have a very large extended family.

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

•  The order I choose is: Practice, film study, and then strength & conditioning. I rank practice first because I personally learn better by doing. Being able to see is one thing, but being able to physically do what you see is even better. I believe is one of the most crucial opportunities to prepare for an opponent, familiarize yourself with the plays, and develop permanent habits. Practice also highlights your mistakes in a setting that you are able to work on improving them. Practicing hard also serves to improve strength & conditioning due to the physical activity taking place. I rank film study second because it is almost just as important. Watching film allows you to really study your opponent and your team. You can pick up on tendencies that ultimately lead you to making more plays. Film study also allows for you to envision your specific plays against their certain plays. I rank  strength & conditioning third because without a sound foundation you will not be able to do anything with your physical tools. With no film study, or poor practice, it would be nearly impossible to make any plays at all. Strength & conditioning is important, but you must also know that to do with it.

What do you worry about, and why?

• Family is very important to me so I would say my biggest worry is about the well-being of my family. We live in a very crazy world and life move quickly and could change in an instant. It is not good to dwell on the idea of what “could” go wrong, but I would denfintely say it is something I worry about frequently and it drives me to be the best I can for them.

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

Early in my college career, I did not have the best study habits and I was a poor student overall. Coming from High School I really had no clue what was expected of me as a college student and also a student athlete. This resulted in me failing a class. I took the failure as a wake up call and realized that I had to do better and work harder. I ended up developing better study habits, improving my time management skills, and developing a sound work ethic. I believe failures are inevitable in the journey of life and it is always important to learn from these moments and use them as a chance to grow.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My grit and resilience. The first couple of years of college football were rough for me. I dealt with both injuries and just not being good enough.  It was very difficult for me because football has always been my only dream and I felt as though i was watching it crumble before my eyes. Most people would have quit due to those circumstances but I just took it as an opportunity to work harder and get better. I went from being on the scout team to having multiple sack games and making big plays in playoff games.

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

• An Offensive Tackle named Caleb Riggleman from Marietta College. He reminded me of Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans. He played with that same edge and tenacity and he was a tough opponent. I had to make sure I was on it every time I was on his side or he would make you pay for it.

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

• If I could not play football, I would like to be in the Secret Service. Despite the position being extremely demanding, the thought of being around the president and first family at all times protecting them seems pretty cool.

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

• I would clean my room first, because having a clean space is important to me to keep a clear head. Next would be my desk as it would be difficult to get any work done with a messy or unorganized space. Last would be my car.

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

• I would save my family member in a disaster situation. My family is very important to me and I do not think that in the moment I would be able to turn my back on them in such a scenario.

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

• I would choose to be The Flash, absolutely nothing beats being that fast.

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

• The biggest adversity I have faced so far in life would be having grew up in a single parent home. My mother has worked extremely hard throughout her life with very little to no help. She came to America in 1993 from Haiti and spoke no English at the time. My father was not the best husband or father early on and he eventually disappeared altogether, leaving my mother to raise me, my brother, and sister on her own. She managed to do this while still working and going to school. There were times when I wanted to quit school in order to work and help out around the house but she would not allow it. She stressed the importance of us finishing school so we would not have to struggle the way she did. Growing up through all of this really motivated me to work hard at everything I do because my mother did it with even harder circumstances and I want to be able to somehow pay her back for everything in the future.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• My most embarrassing moment would have to be two years ago during practice. Our head coach and defensive coordinator Vince Kehres has a tendency of speaking to a group of people but still expecting everyone to hear him, no matter how far away you are, especially if he thinks you are talking. So one day in practice he was speaking to the players on the field and I was on the sideline with other players near me who were in a conversation. As the coach is talking on the field he randomly turns around and shouts to me “what play did I just say?” Now there was no way I could have heard him because he was in the middle of the field and I was on the sideline, and other players were near me talking and joking around. So I looked at how our defense was lined up and I said the play that matches that alignment, but I was wrong. He ended up yelling at me and telling me to shut up. It is always embarrassing getting yelled at by a coach in practice.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My most memorable play of my collegiate career would have to be our playoff game when we played Denison University. We ran a field blitz and I always line up to the field, so I am responsible for looping from my 4 technique (inside shoulder of the Tackle) to my immediate A gap. When we ran it I ended up coming free and getting a big sack on their quarterback.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• My Struggle by Lil Boosie. In the song he says “you don’t know my struggle, so you can’t feel my hustle, you don’t know what I’ve been through.” I choose this because most people don’t know what I’ve been through, and what I’ve been through is what continues to motivate me to work as hard as I do.

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

• The most important trait I believe I can have to help me succeed at the next level would be mental toughness. If your mental is strong, you will be able to get through literally anything. Whatever gets thrown at you will be handled, and you will find a way to make it make you better and benefit from it.

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

• I would choose to bring back a really close friend of mine that I lost last February named Brodic James. we were practically family, I would do anything for him and I know he would do the same for me. His death was very unexpected, he was shot by his girlfriend. I had spoken to him literally the day before his death, I was in the process of sending him a phone because his broke and he didn’t have a functional phone. His death really messed me up and it still hurts to think about it to this day. He was making very positive strides with his life and I would bring him back for a day just to tell him that I love him.

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

• My club would be called Club Rock, because I would aim to have it rocking every night.

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

• I think the most overrated player in the NFL is Dez Bryant, before his injury. I am a Cowboys fan and his last couple of years were not his best years simply put.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected than liked. Respect goes a long way. Someone can like you or be fond of you but still act in an undesirable manner towards you. Whereas with respect, certain actions aren’t even sought after “out of respect.”

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

• I wouldn’t necessarily say derailed in this case, but Jason Pierre Paul. As a fellow defensive lineman, I can’t imagine playing without fingers or a hand. Even life as a whole. There are so many things that are impacted by that. And it was all out of good fun, just about everyone celebrates the fourth of July.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I love to win. One of the most amazing things that I’ve had the opportunity to experience is winning. I can confidently say that I can count the amount of losses that I’ve had at Mount Union on one hand. It takes a lot to win, and even more to do so consistently. It’s a process, one that brings out the best in people if you’re able to endure. As much as losses hurt at the moment, they are always an opportunity for growth so I cannot hate them.

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

•My mother has had the biggest influence on my life. I have never seen someone else work so hard in order to make a positive life for them and their family. As I mentioned earlier, she came to America with nothing and spoke no English. She now lives comfortably and properly raised three children on her own.

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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