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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Phillip McDowell, OL, Carson-Newman

Carson-Newman has a stud in offensive lineman Phillip McDowell. He is a big boy with a mean streak on the offensive line!
  • Name: Phillip McDowell 
  • Height: 6’5
  • Weight:310
  • Position: OL
  • College: Carson-Newman 
  • Twitter: @bigphill94 

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

• I am from a small town in South Carolina, called Inman. I love my home town because it is an up and coming city, that is still growing. The community is another thing I love because they will support you no matter what. 

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

• I would list strength and conditioning first because you have to be able to be physically capable to perform on the field at a high level. I would then put film study because you have to study your opponent’s tendencies to be able to practice to counter them. Then I would put practice because practice makes perfect. It gives you the opportunity to get reps and perfect your craft. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• The thing I worry about most is disappointing for my parents. My parents have always told me they wanted better for me and I don’t want to fail them. My parents have pushed me harder than anyone in the world and I just want to succeed for them. 

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

• My freshman year I played terrible in the games I played because of lack of knowledge as well as coming back from injury. I was really disappointed in my self after the season I continue to watch film that offseason and study the playbook. I came back my sophomore year to be first team All-conference, I know my job on every play and it has fueled me to never go back to that. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates would say that my best quality is my mind. My teammates ask me rules for plays and tips on technique. I try to know rules for the positions next to me so that if anyone has a question I can answer it. 

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

• The best player that I have gone up against in college is Cardell Rawlings from Wingate University. He was the perfect definition of strength and speed. He played with a lot of tenacity. 

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

• I would love to coach college football or possibly be the athletic director at a high school. 

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

• I would clean my room first because that where I live. That is my personal space and I do not want that to be messy. The. I would clean my desk so that I would be able to work efficiently and not have to struggle to find things. Then I would clean my car so that I would be able to look professional where ever I went. 

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

• I would choose my family member because my family means more to me than anyone. I would try my best to save everyone but I have to choose my family over anyone 

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

• I would be the Hulk. The Hulk is the perfect definition of what an offensive lineman is, an offensive lineman is supposed to be nice and controlled in controlled environments. But when it is time to let loose on the field it is time to say “Hulk smash”. 

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

• My biggest adversity would have to be my shoulder surgery. It was the longest I would be with out lifting weights or playing football. To get through the suffering of that I tried to get in the word every day to remain positive. I went to rehab every day so that I could build my strength back up and followed all of my doctor’s orders. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I had just had shoulder surgery and I was watching my teams lift and do field work and I was walking backward talking to one of my teammates. Then I fell over a bench in front of the whole volleyball team. It was pretty embarrassing. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • We were playing Catawba in overtime and our defense held them to a field goal. Then our offense drove down to the goal line. We called quarterback sneak and, there is just something about physical pounding a defense for 1 yard to score a touchdown that never gets old. I will always remember that play and how our team came together to be brothers that day. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• the show goes on by Lupe Fiasco This song describes my work ethic because people have told me I can’t do things. So, I just prove them wrong and keep doing me. 

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

• This question goes along with my song choice because the trait that will help me succeed is resilience. No matter what people tell me I will never give up if I think I can do it and I always try to blow expectations out of the water. 

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

• I would not be able to choose just one because I would want to bring both of my grandmas back just to show them how far my career has come. They both wanted to see me go to college, maybe go further, but they did not get the chance to even see me graduate high school. 

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

• Club 76 just because my number in college is 76 and I really don’t know what clubs are called because I never go. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• I would say La’el Collins because he is probably the most physically dominant guard in the NFL but the Cowboys moved him to left tackle. There is nothing like seeing him pull and just throw DBs. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected because my dad always taught to me “ you make not like me but you will respect me”. To go along with that, you will never be able to make everyone like you. 

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

• I fill the most for Ray Rice because he was such a good running back. He was probably the best in the league at that time but, one bad choice caused him to lose it all. I do like how he is now speaking out against abuse to tell others about what he has learned from his mistakes. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose because I am a competitor and competing me you are trying to win every play. If you just love to win you can do that without competing. 

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

My dad is the biggest influence in my life, he pushed me so hard at I young age. I used to hate it but, now that I am in college I appreciate it because without that I would not be where I am. He has also influenced me because he did not have a dad growing up so he figured out how to be a father on his own. 

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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