- Adrian Vlahovic
- Pace University
- Long Snapper
- 216 lbs.
- Leonia, NJ
- Twitter: @adrian_vlahovic
What is your favorite song to listen to prior to competing?
Cruise Ship by Young Thug.
How would your teammates describe you as both a player and person?
I think they would say I’m a good teammate and am always working to get better. As a person, I hope they look at me as someone who would do anything to help them out.
How do you and your teammates make practice and film study fun?
We like to keep the mood light. Our coach Andy Rondeau has a great sense of humor so that made meetings fun a lot of the time.
When you are studying film, what is your main focus to gain a competitive advantage?
Well, I’m always looking at my long snapping form, but what I’ll also look for is to see what kind of return they are setting up. Whether the opposing punt return team is giving me a free release or whether they have a man blocking me. Punt return schemes often change week in and week out, but if you watch enough film from several games on your opponent you can get a good idea at what they will do. Besides that, I’ll look at their field goal block film to see where the pressure comes from and which guard is going to need some help.
While at the Collegiate level, who has been the toughest player you have competed against?
The toughest player that I was actually on the field against was Deonte Harris from Assumption College. He was an extremely elusive returner and was very tough to bring down. Another great player I played against in college was quarterback Joe Callahan from Wesely College. It was pretty impressive watching what he did against us when I was at Montclair State.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I am very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had in life. I have really been fortunate from day 1. I am really thankful for the way my family raised me and the great foundation they provided for me.
What team do you choose in Madden? Why?
I gotta go with the Pats. Tom Brady to Gronk is unstoppable. Some people say that using them is unfair but I don’t see why they would be off limits.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
Maybe to be a little more patient. That is a really important quality for anyone trying to play at the next level as a long snapper.
What do you value most from your Collegiate experience?
I would say all the experiences I had playing college football. It was truly a privilege to play at two great universities and something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Who is your personal hero?
My father. He came to the United States from Croatia with nearly nothing and was able to build a successful life for himself and our family.
Tell me something about yourself nobody would know.
I am a pretty good soccer goalie. One summer in Croatia, I was invited to play in a local tournament for a team that did not have a goalie. We ended up coming in 4th out of 16 teams.
How do you work on yourself?
I think that this is really important and something I try to do all the time. First, I have accepted that I will never be perfect but I understand you can always be better. Every day is a new opportunity to learn from past mistakes and get better, whatever aspect of life that may be in.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Tim Tebow. I always admired him as an athlete and as a person. He is someone who faced a lot of challenges throughout his athletic career. I was always impressed with the way he handled criticism and adversity. I think he could give me some advice on how to stay patient and trust the process.
If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why?
Being able to fly would be pretty cool. You wouldn’t have to wait in traffic ever again.
What would constitute a perfect day for you?
The perfect day would include doing all the things that I like to do. It would involve taking some snaps and going to the gym in the morning, spending time with family and friends in the afternoon and having a good meal for dinner.
Who inspired you as a young athlete?
I always found Tom Brady’s story inspiring. He was not regarded as a major prospect but became one of the best quarterbacks in the game early in his career. I was also fortunate enough to have some great coaches growing up who gave me the confidence to chase my athletic dreams.
What are the positive attributes that you bring to a professional football team?
I would say that I am a reliable player who is hard working and consistent. Besides that, I think I am a good teammate and a calming presence on the special teams unit. A big part of special teams is confidence. I always try to help boost the confidence of my kicker and punter.
Tell me about a time where you overcame a challenge.
I think we all overcome different kinds of challenges each day. One challenge that comes to mind right away is graduating college. I was never the best student all the way back to elementary school. Through hard work, I was able to graduate college on time with a good GPA and enroll in graduate school. A year from now I will be finishing my Master’s degree.
What one skill would you like to improve on? What’s your plan for doing so?
I have spent a lot of time this off-season working on my snapping form. Transitioning from college to the pros is tough for a lot of snappers because many of us are not asked to block in college. This off-season, I had to learn how to block after the snap. I have made many changes the biggest being body control. Having better body control leads to a more accurate snap and also makes it easier to get up into a blocking position. I think I have made a lot of progress in this area over the past few months but I am far from reaching my full potential. I am going to continue to work hard and strive for perfection.
What is the best part of your hometown; Leonia, NJ?
Leonia is a really small town that many people in Jersey don’t even know about. It’s a beautiful place with lots of trees. In the winter months, there is always the smell of burning firewood in the air at night.
In 15 words or less, give me your pitch to an NFL GM on why you should be a part of their organization.
If you give me a chance, I will always push myself and those around me.