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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dante Brown, K/P, Fort Hays State University

Canadian Born kicker Dante Brown can do it all and I would be shocked if he is not drafted in the CFL draft and should get a shot in the NFL!
  • Name: Dante Brown
  • Height: 5’11
  • Weight: 190lb
  • Position: K/P
  • College: Fort Hays State University 
  • Twitter: @danteix9

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

•   I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada which is about 15 minutes from downtown Toronto. The things I’d say I love the most about growing up in the area are the diversity of the community which has allowed me to appreciate the all different cultures that influence the overall melting pot culture the city has. I also would say that the accessibility to just about anything you could need or want is a big plus to growing up in Mississauga. Probably the biggest thing that I love about Mississauga is the competitive nature of the people within the city, which definitely encourages you to grow, expand, and always be on your A game.   

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

•  As a kicker I would say Practice, Film Study, then Strength and Conditioning. 

As a kicker or punter, there is a great emphasis on technique and attention to detail thus the importance of getting a large amount of quality repetition due to the nature of the position. Film study goes hand and hand with the practice aspect as in order to have high-quality reps and to improve as a player it is important at the position to be able to break down the mechanics of the kicks to make sure you are being as efficient and accurate as possible. Strength and conditioning is also a large part of being an elite player. With the kicking position being much different than most, if not all the other positions on the field, there is a great emphasis on flexibility, power, and speed. As the position has very linear movements and requires quite a bit of the planting and explosion, maintenance is a big part of strength and conditioning for the specialist positions as with constant repetition of the same movements throughout a long season the body can break down if not conditioned appropriately.  

What do you worry about, and why?

•  Some of the things that I worry about are not being given the opportunity to show my abilities. Another thing that I worry about which is a big driving force in my motivation as a player is my mother. My mother who has been retired from the RCMP with a medical discharge after being hit by a bus directing traffic has been the biggest support system to me through sports and life. My worry for her is more centered around me getting the opportunity to play at the professional level to be able to take care of her financially as she has sacrificed so much for me as a single mom, and who also is taking care of my grandmother and grand aunt while I’m back in the States chasing my dream.   

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

• One example of when I failed at something and overcame that failure that stands out for me  was at 10 years old, I was playing soccer at the highest level I could for a 10-year-old at the time, I was a captain on my team and we were in a very close playoff semifinal game that went down to penalty kicks. We were down to the last 2 kick takers for both teams and at this point in my playing career I hadn’t missed a penalty kick before and I was the second last person to take a penalty. I ended up missing the kick ringing it off the post. This failure would stick with me more for how I responded that the actual miss itself. We went on to win that game after my friend scored the last penalty. The following week we would play in the finals and again go into penalties this time around I opted to shoot last which would be the position with the most pressure as the kick is in more of a sudden death situation. I went on to shoot the pk into the back of the net, thus helping my team to win the final. From then on I’ve learned to push on through failure and aim to perfect upon whatever the shortcoming.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates would say my best quality is my ability to keep a cool head in high-pressure situations.        

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

• Al McKeller – U of Indianapolis 

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

• A few careers I would pursue if I couldn’t play football would be as an entrepreneur, strength and conditioning coach, or as a chef.      

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

• I would clean my car first because I spend the most time in it driving from house to house, city to city, and it also is one of the first things someone sees when I meet them and leaves a bit of an impression because of how you maintain and clean it.

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

• Although the family is important to me it would depend on the situation and who is involved some of the things that would decide my decision would be is there women or kids involved, the age/health of who’s involved, etc.   

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

• If I could be any character I think I would be Batman, because, like Bruce Wayne, he has the power and resources to make change and lives the lifestyle he wishes and as Batman, he possesses the strength and intelligence to fight crime and save the day all after overcoming the many adversities that have come with his lifestyle.   

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

• One of the biggest tests of adversity I have dealt with in my life was the journey I have had to go through to be able to play in the NCAA. I started playing Canadian football pretty late in high school and ended up having to transfer to a Football Prep School about 2 hours away from home in order to be able to upgrade all of my previous high school courses to the higher academic level to be eligible to go to university. With the heavy workload of redoing Grades 9-11 and completing Grade 12, I would also train to play for an American high school football schedule in an attempt to get recruit recognition with the American players. Nearing the end of the recruiting season going through the NCAA clearinghouse I would eventually find out that some of the Canadian classes in which I had higher grades would not count towards my D1 eligibility which ultimately made me ineligible to sign with any of the big programs that were prepared to sign me. With not much time left I ended up signing with a D2 school, St Joseph’s College, Indiana. I only ended up playing four games in one season my freshman year as I got injured early in the season and then the school closed down due to bankruptcy at the conclusion of the school year. After the recruiting season opened up for me again, I decided to return to Canada to study and play football at the University of Western Ontario as a CB. Shortly after committing to UWO I found out that they would not accept my US marks at face value and therefore I was forced to de-commit. With no University prospects in sight, I received a call from Fort Hays State University 10 days before the start of their fall camp and ended up committing there. At FHSU, I would go on to win my first All-American spot as a punter that first season, and win out 2 All-American spots and Special Teams Player of the Year as both a Kicker and Punter this past season, as well as bring home two MIAA Conference Championships with my teammates.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I would have to say the time during one of our home games I had gotten some pretty bad leg cramps from taking some antibiotics prior to the game. I ended up going down in our end zone after one of my punts with cramps in both legs the embarrassing part was trying to walk off the field with the trainers. I felt like a baby giraffe cause my legs wouldn’t work. My friends and I got a good laugh at the video after the game.      

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• I would have to say that would be between hitting the last FG in the double overtime game we had against Nebraska Kearney when I had 5 makes through the game to keep the win alive and the FG I had against Northwest Missouri State on their senior day to decide who won the conference championship that almost got blocked.   

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Dec 31st – Ace Hood      

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

• The Most important trait to have at the next level would have to be is to be relentless in your pursuit of success.         

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

• If I could bring one person back from the dead for a day it would probably be my grandfather because I never got a chance to meet him and I am told we are a lot alike so it would be nice to actually get to meet him and share this journey with him.    

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

• LUX    

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Minkah Fitzpatrick – Miami Dolphins   

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected than liked because having someone’s respect has much more substance to it than being liked. A person can like someone and not have very much respect for them at the end of the day, whereas with respect whether you like the person or not if they are good at what they do you have to have some type of respect for them.     

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

• I feel for Trent Richardson from the Colts because he didn’t have the support system behind him to keep him focused on football once he made it to the league and had a lot of family and friends take advantage of him which definitely derailed his focus and made it difficult for him to perform.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate losing with a burning passion    

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

• The biggest influence in my life has been my mom, she has been a great role model, she has shown me how to have perseverance, be humble, and ultimately be a good man.

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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