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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jesse Jones, DL, Merrimack College

Merrimack pass rusher Jesse Jones recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds own Jonathan Joyce for this amazing NFL Draft Prospect Interview.

Player Profile:

  • Jesse Jones
  • Merrimack College
  • DL
  • 6’1”
  • 330lbs.
  • Hometown: Newark, NJ
  • Twitter: @10_3ra

2018 Accolades & Statistics:

  • 2018 NE10 All-Conference Second Team.
  • GP: 10
  • Total Tackles: 58
  • TFL: 3.0

What is your favorite song to listen to prior to competing?

I don’t have one particular song but I have a particular genre. most people listen to uptempo songs to get pumped before the game but I like listening to more slow R&B songs. Keeps me relaxed.

How would your teammates describe you as both a player and person?

As a player, definitely a good leader and a hard worker. Someone that’s going to give max effort no matter what. As a person, definitely, someone who’s very funny and outgoing. A very personable person.

How do you and your teammates make practice and film study fun?

Well, practice is always fun for us because we love competing but we always have little small competitions such as who gets to the QB the most during team period or who makes the most tackles in practice or who wins the next rep. Then in film, we enjoy watching ourselves trying to compete. As well as watching the young guys get after it.

When you are studying film, what is your main focus to gain a competitive advantage?

Most definitely the pre-snap alignments and tendencies. Most offensive linemen have a tell if their pass blocking or run blocking or pulling. When you understand what a player is going to do before he does it, as a defensive lineman, you can really dominate.

While at the Collegiate level, who has been the toughest player you have competed against?

I can’t name just name 1 because there’s a lot of good players I went against, a few being on my team. Hunter Sallila, Samuel Cooper, Joseph Peduto. I’m not really familiar with players outside my team that much. But generally, the schools LIU Post and the University of New Haven, have had some tough offensive lineman.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I’m definitely most grateful for the position I am in now. Whether I play professionally or not, I can tell people that I played 4 years or high school football then got a scholarship to play 4 years of college football. Now I’m a possible NFL prospect. Not too many people can say that.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

The ability to run faster so I can clock in a 4.1 40 time and impress some NFL Scouts.

What do you value most from your Collegiate experience?

What I value most is my maturity level on and off the field. Coming into college I was much younger mentally. I learned to grow up and manage my life in a much more detailed manner. Football wise, I learned so much more about the game that helped me become successful. All thanks to my coaches and my family and my teammates.

Who is your personal hero?

My personal hero is my mother. She passed away right after my junior season. But as a single mother with four kids, she made the impossible possible. Not having much growing up. She did her all to give her children everything even when she didn’t have anything. As well as a struggle with her own health concerns she made sure we were happy. Forever my hero!

Tell me something about yourself nobody would know.

I’m literally an open book, I feel people know everything about me. Probably that I think I can sing pretty good.

How do you work on yourself?

As a person, I just try and learn every day and live a righteous life to the best of my ability and grow to become a better person

As a player, constantly trying to perfect your craft is essential, that means dedicated summers and dedicated winters in off seasons as well as in season. Watch a lot of the film as well. So you can actually see the improvement.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Probably the motivational speaker, Eric Thomas. Because he’s my favorite speaker that I listen to all the time and to see someone so passionate about growth and resilience, I would love to sit and eat dinner and talk with him about some techniques that make him go every day.

If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why?

Definitely the ability to fly. Let’s be honest, how amazing would that be if you could just walk outside and just take off flying. You can go everywhere. No cars or gas money.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

A perfect day would be to wake up and eat some good breakfast food. Get a good workout it. Play some NBA 2K19. Eat a nice lunch. Play some NBA 2K19. Spend some time with my girlfriend. Play some NBA 2K19. Chill with family then eat a really good home cooked dinner. Then probably finish my night with some more NBA 2K19. That sounds about right.

Who inspired you as a young athlete?

I have some professional inspirations. Such as Ray Lewis, or Warren Sapp. But my real inspiration as a young athlete was my older brother Ancil Oliver. When he was in high school, he was such a good defensive tackle. I used to see how his friends respected him and how popular he was. But I’ve been around the sport since I can remember because of him. Which motivated me to play football in the first place.

 What are the positive attributes that you bring to a professional football team?

Well as a nose, I believe I’ll be a quality run stopper and will be effective in pass pressure. I will be pursuing the ball at all times no matter where the ball is. I take pride in being a good all-around defensive lineman to be effective in more than one way. I’m smart and outgoing and personable so there will be no worries about issues in the locker room or off the field.

Tell me about a time where you overcame a challenge.

I know I spoke about this but losing my mom is the biggest challenge that I’ve ever faced in my life. Then having to play my senior season knowing she’s not there was incredibly tough. But I had my siblings. I had phenomenal coaches. And amazing teammates who were all supporting me through it. How can you not play for people like that? Knowing that my teammates understood me and had my back, motivated me every game through my senior year.

What one skill would you like to improve on? What’s your plan for doing so?

I believe that I can improve as a pass rusher. I have shown improvement during my years at Merrimack. But I know I can be better. My plan on doing so is to keep working varieties of moves with some of my former teammates who have been trying to help me and to keep practicing those techniques and master them.

What current/former NFL player do you model your playing style after? 

Some of my teammates call me Vince Wilfork. But I do have a similar play style to him. He’s a great gap clogger. Excellent run defender and with his strength, he gives pressure in the pass.

What is the best part of your hometown; Newark, NJ?

It is hard to say a lot of good things about Newark, given its reputation. But I learned a lot at my high school Malcolm X Shabazz. My coaches there taught me so much. Definitely one of the best situations for me in Newark.

In 15 words or less, give me your pitch to an NFL GM on why you should be a part of their organization.

I know I come from a small school, but take a chance on me.

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