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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jarell Addo, S, UMass

AMHERST, MA – Massachusetts Minutemen linebacker Jarell Addo (26) is fired up after making a stop behind the line of scrimmage. During the UMass game against Coastal Carolina at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Amherst, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire)

        •       Name: Jarell Addo
        •       Height: 6’2
        •       Weight: 208 lbs
        •       Position: SS/FS
        •       College: UMass
        •       Twitter: @jaja_hoola

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
        •  I’m from Leominster, MA; it’s your average size city where it seems like everyone knows each other growing up from elementary school through high school but what I love most about it is how everyone comes together and supports one another no matter what field you are in.

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

  • First I would have to go with film study because if you don’t know what you are supposed to do or where you are supposed to be on the field than you have no chance at being successful and helping your team win.
  • Second comes practice because in order to be better than you were yesterday you have to be willing to put in the hours of practice to perfect your craft and become the best version of yourself that you could be.

Then comes strength and conditioning because in order to fly around and make plays you have to be in great shape physically. Games are won in the third and fourth quarter so if you can outlast your opponent throughout the whole game by being in shape, you’re giving yourself an advantage.        

What do you worry about, and why?

  • What I worry about is what is on me and my family’s plate and whatever obstacles and or situations that are laid out in front of me. I’ve been brought up with the mentality that if you take care of what you have to do now, it is going to take care of the future and to leave the past behind you because there is nothing we can do about it to change it.

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

  • When I had to switch positions in order to get on the field. When I came in I was a true safety but I didn’t fit the scheme we had on hand so I had to essentially sit out a whole season to learn a new position in order to get on the field as soon as I could and help out the team. I was upset at first because I had already red-shirted my freshman year but now looking back it made me hungrier and determined to get on the field and prove that I belonged out there, and once I got my shot I never looked back.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • My teammates would most likely say that my leadership is my best quality. I take pride in being the example of how hard work, dedication, and having faith can get you the things you want in life, not only on the field but off the field as well.

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

 • The best players I have ever played against in college would be my own teammates, Marken Michel and Andy Isabella. In my eyes and I’m sure others, they were elite players and hard working no matter what the circumstances may be. Whether its practice or a game, you’re getting the best from them. They helped me bring my game to another level.

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

• If I couldn’t play football I would use my degree of Sport management to work in the field of sports whether it be with the NBA or NFL. At the end of the day I want to own a professional sports team. I also have my own brand called Ja-Ja Apparel (Just Aspire – Just Achieve) that was created in college with my brothers Shaun Addo and D’Andre Addo along with my teammate Connor Lemieux. I would like to expand the brand world wide while displaying our message of (Just Aspire – Just Achieve) which indicates that with faith, hard work and a plan, there isn’t anything you cant do in this life. You got to aspire to achieve it, no matter what field you are a part of.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
        • Have to clean the room first, then car and desk.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
        • Family member. Family comes first. ALWAYS

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
        • I would be Denzel Washington in the movie John Q because family means everything to me and in that movie he shows that he’d do anything to save his son’s life, and that is how I would feel if I were to be in the same situation as him.

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

• My biggest adversity in life was when I was a child and I was put in coma because my appendix burst. I had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. Without God I wouldn’t be here today so I thank him and my family for helping me deal with that situation and all the love and prayers that were said on my behalf.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
        •  Choking on a nacho in 4th grade in front of the whole lunchroom.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
        •  Getting the game-winning interception in Triple OT on a senior night. 

What song best describes your work ethic?
        • Get Right- Shugg

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

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

• My brother Tyler Jones…He was always the light in the room and had great energy all the time and only meant well, even to people he didn’t know.

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

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 
        •  Harrison Smith

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I’d rather be respected because not everyone is going to like what I do for whatever reason that may be but they will respect what I’m doing. Being respected takes you further in life than being a yes man and getting the likes of others. You’re not always going to be liked when you have to do what is necessary but in the end they will understand why you did what you did and respect it.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
        • I would have to say Shawn Oakman. I feel for the man because he got accused of rape and come to find out the accuser was lying the whole time and this ruined his whole career and didn’t allow him to get a shot at pursuing his life long dream of playing in the NFL.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
        • I hate to lose, no matter what the competition or situation may be.

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

•  My family and close friends. My support system is huge and I can’t thank them enough for being there for me through all the ups and downs in my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.

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

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