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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Elijah Chenier, RB, Maryville College

Elijah Chenier the running back from Maryville College reminds me a lot of Marshawn Lynch. He can catch the ball but he will also put his head down.

        •       Name: Elijah Chenier
        •       Height: 5’8
        •       Weight: 187
        •       Position: Running-back
        •       College: Maryville College
        •       Twitter: kotf_3

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
        •        I was born and raised in Baytown, Texas, so right outside of Houston. I think the best part about Baytown is all the family that I have in one city. All throughout Baytown I have family members or close friends of my family that I see literally every day. I love the embrace of warmth and love I get from everyone in my city.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
        •        Strength and Conditioning, Film Study, and Practice
What do you worry about, and why?
        •        My health is my main concern, so with that being said I’ve never had any injury problems or anything of that nature. I just don’t want to have to go to a normal check-up and the doctor says I have something wrong with my bodily functions or a disease of some sort. I’m a pretty healthy person, because I train, eat right, don’t put any toxics in my body or anything. So being healthy is my main concern.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
        •        Well I’m in the education program here at my school and to stay in the education program one must take the praxis exam if your SAT or ACT scores weren’t high enough. Well I took the exam and had to actually pay to take it which was 270 dollars. I had failed my first 2 times taking the exam but after studying and getting help I had passed it the third time. So it was a pretty tough situation, because here I am almost done with school as a senior and I might have to switch my major. It was a stressful few months but with perseverance and prayer I was able to get through it.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
        •        They would say that my best quality is being able to adjust to any situation that I am thrown in. Whether that’s on the field or off the field, I tend to embrace the situation.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
        •        Best player wise I would have to give that to my man Trey Hayes from Huntington College. The man is everywhere on the field and was always in on the tackle. You knew who the captain was of their defense whenever you saw buddy line up at linebacker. He’s a great guy though it was hard not to smile or laugh at him whenever we would line up against their defense.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 
        •        I would most definitely be teaching or a administrator at some junior high. I think when I was in junior high that was when I had the best principals anyone could ask for. That’s still one thing I was to accomplish, so I wouldn’t scratch it off the list just yet.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
        •        Desk, Room, and 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 have to save my dad because he has been such a great man to many people in my family not just me. He’s a positive role model and male figure to many people in my family and community. So it would only be right that I save my father, then he raised me for an long time before my mom really stepped in with more help. The strangers can be any from drug addicts to little kids with no choice but to be homeless, so its kind of risky to pick three total strangers.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
        •        It’s definitely going to be The Hulk. I’ve been called baby Hulk many times and I’ve grown up watching all the movies he was in. I say The Hulk, because he can easily over power anyone then when he at his normal stage he is smart as heck. I think Bruce Banner has 7 PhD’s so it wouldn’t be too bad to extra smart then being extra strong when I need too.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
        •        I would say my freshman year playing football here at Maryville College. I came 12 hours away from home then I started football camp with 12 running backs on the roster. I was probably sitting at number 8 on the list so there was little to no chance that I was going to dress out my whole freshman year. I was on the practice team after camp was over, but I felt like I did enough to separate myself at least from the other freshman that was on the roster with me. The coach however felt different and I was on the practice squad/ scout team for 3 weeks in the season. This was the first time I had never started before or not dress out for a game in 15 years. I was highly upset and frustrated to the point that I was ready to transfer back home. However, I stuck with the process after talking with a few male figures in my life that help get me to this point. Then after stepping my game up on scout team and having a good JV game. I earned my jersey for that next Saturday game and a spot as the 4th string running back then moving up the roster within each next game. At the end of the season, so the last 4 games I was the second-string running back sharing carries with a junior. Then the rest was history and I’m the leading rushing record holder here at Maryville College. 
What is your most embarrassing moment?
        •        I would say my 8th grade year when I was up on stage performing “Beautiful Girl” by Bruno Mars and I forgot the lyrics to the second rap verse. I had just stop rapping and couldn’t remember the lyrics, so I started saying the first verse again, but I was able to still finish strong by bringing a rose to my girlfriend in the crowd at the time.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
        •        I was playing Lagrange College when we ran a regular zone so the qb handed me the ball. There was a defensive player standing in the A-gap, so I just ran him over. His helmet went flying and he was laid out on the ground like completely knocked out. All you could hear was the crowd and both teams on the sideline go “ohhh” so it was pretty wild. Then I just kept running through tackles and almost breaking for a touchdown. That is a play that my coach plays over and over to show how to play slow through fast through. It was my sophomore year so you can easily find that play.
What song best describes your work ethic?
        •        F.I.G.H.T. which is on the soundtrack for CREED TWO and was made by like 8 rappers
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 
        •        My low sense of gravity
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
        •        My Grandpa and to just spend an whole day together to talk.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 
        •        HOLE IN THE WALL
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 
        •        Tyran Mathieu
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
        •        Respect because I can always be nice or encouraging to someone that’s just me.

 What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
        •        Trent Richardson because he is still one of my favorite running backs to ever play college football and I feel like he can still do great things given the opportunity.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
        •        hate to lose
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
        •       My mother because she has been through so much like more than anyone, I know but she still keeps pushing and lending me a helping hand in anyway she possibly can. She wants me to succeed in everything I do so it would only be right that I give some pro-football a shot for her. No disrespect to my dad because I love him so very much and he is tied for who influences me the most in my life too. They are both great parents and even though things didn’t work out between them they never let that affect how I was raised.

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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