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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Alex Zlomie, DE, University of St. Francis (IL)

Alex Zlomie of St. Francis (IL) is a sack master and a super athletic defensive end. NFL teams need to review this kid’s film he can play and he is always around the ball.

         •       Name: Alex Zlomie
        •       Height: 6’2”
        •       Weight: 245
        •       Position: DE/OLB
        •       College: University of St. Francis (IL)
        •       Twitter: @AlexZlomie

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

•        I grew up in Wilmington, Illinois which is a town of about 5000 people an hour south of Chicago. Growing up in Wilmington, you are going to spend your entire childhood playing sports. All of my friends and former teammates were all 3 sports athletes our entire lives which is probably what I loved about it the most.

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

      •        Film Study, Strength, and Conditioning, then Practice. I list film study first because you can see in real situations how your opponent is going to play and catch on to tendencies. Strength and Conditioning are huge aspects of the sport because if you can beat your opponent with physicality, you add that to a mentally strong player, they become unstoppable. Practice is obviously important but if you don’t work hard in the offseason with the first two, no amount of practice and coaching can make you an all-star with how short the season is.

What do you worry about, and why?    

•        In terms of football, the thing I worry about most is letting my teammates down because I could not handle my responsibilities. I understand how much work goes into playing at any level, so I do not want myself to be the reason we do not succeed.

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

        •        My junior year of high school football we were one of the top-ranked teams in the state and ended up getting upset in the first round of the playoffs. It was an experience where anything that could go wrong went wrong and I felt I could do nothing to change it. After that season, I vowed I would do anything I could to not let that happen again, so I put in the extra work and won our first State Championship in the school’s history.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

        •        My teammates would say my best ability is leading by example. I show them that it is possible to do the work that is asked of us and then some, without compromising your academics and social life.

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

        •        The best player I have played against would have to be Nick Ferrer who was the quarterback for the University of St. Francis (IN).

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

        •        Like most of my friends and family from home. I would probably be working construction.

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

        •        Room for sure. I don’t know why but it just seems refreshing to come home to a clean and organized room.

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

        •        Family. Family means everything to me and there’s no one who is closer to me than family.

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

        •        I have always been intrigued by the character of Batman. His only superpowers are that he is very wealthy and very smart. Being an average individual, but also being able to save people the way he does appeal to me.

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

        •        My biggest adversity in life would be growing up in a small town. Although I loved it, it was always tough to try and get exposure for sports and for people to take me seriously in that aspect. There is a misconception about small schools that they cannot produce athletes and it is simply not true. If you came from a small school, you are forced to be an overall well-rounded athlete because you must do it all.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

        •        My most embarrassing moment was when I was a little kid, I would always start dancing whenever someone played Ricky Martin songs. Watching the videos today are rough.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

        •        My one-handed pick six vs. St. Xavier my junior year.

What song best describes your work ethic?

        •        Bury Me with My Guns – by Bobaflex. Just kind of illustrates that when it’s time to get to it I’m going to do whatever it takes to be guns blazing.

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

        •        I would say my hatred for losing is my most important trait. I cannot stand losing and will do whatever it takes for my team to win.

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

        •        I would bring back my Grandfather on my mom’s side. My mom has always said I am a spitting imagine of him and I think that we would have a lot of fun together now if we could be together for a day.

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

        •      Club Z.  It’s short and sweet.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

        •        I wouldn’t say that any professional football player is underrated. They are the best in their line of work so unless you’re on their level I don’t know if you can call them underrated.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

        •        Respected. Respect is earned and not given, so it would mean a lot more for someone to respect me rather than like me.

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

        •        Johnny Manziel. He rose to fame so quick and I don’t think anyone prepared him for it. I think that if he had a good group of people around him giving him the guidance he would still be playing in the NFL today. He was an incredible athlete and a playmaker.

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

        •        I hate to lose. I cannot stand losing and always reflect on what happened and where I went wrong. If you hate losing enough, you will not allow it to happen. You can always get better so finding those weaknesses and correcting them is what makes victory so sweet in my opinion.

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

      •       My coaching staff throughout the years. When we were little it was our dads who instilled how important hard work was and the attitude that if they’re keeping score, win. My high school coaching staff was incredible in making us understand that the tough lessons they taught us on the field would spill over into everyday life once sports are gone.

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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