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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Brad Zaffram, LB, Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock linebacker Brad Zaffram is one of the best linebackers in the nation. Remember his name come April.

• Name: Brad Zaffram
• Height: 6’1
• Weight: 230
• Position: LB
• College: Slippery Rock University 
• Twitter: @BradZaffram

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

•  Buffalo, NY is home to the best food in America and I’m a big eater so I love it.

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

• All three are equally important because they all tie into each other. You study film to learn your opponent’s tendencies, then you go to practice to work on your individual game as well as your teams game plan on how to attack your opponent. Then if you are bigger, stronger and faster than your opponent through strength and conditioning, and you know your responsibility in your team’s scheme through film study/practice, then you’re way more likely to find success on the field.

What do you worry about, and why?

•  I worry about letting my family down, they’ve supported me through thick and thin and I owe them the world for their support.

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

• Failures teach you about who you really are. In saying that, I failed in multiple ways but one that sticks out to me is when I left junior college with zero D1 offers. Part of it is because I got kicked out of my first JUCO, Lackawanna when I had multiple D1 offers and another season ahead of me. But regardless it was a failure on my part and I believe I am overcoming that as we speak because I am now a draft prospect for this upcoming year. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  They would say my best quality is that I don’t give up, I’m relentless. Even when we are down by multiple scores with 2 minutes left, I am still giving my 100% effort.

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

•  Rice Rathendorff was a QB on Mesa community college we played in our bowl game when I was at Lackawanna. He was just a field general, he would make his own checks at the line and had a cannon for an arm. He also was an athlete who ran all over us. He didn’t even need an offensive coordinator to call the plays, he knew what we were running every time. 

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

•  If I never played football I would be a veterinarian. I love animals and would love to be able to help out the ones who need it most. 

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

•  I’m cleaning my desk first because your desk is where you work and you can’t have an unorganized workplace. Your room and car are generally more personal spaces. 

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

•  I’m choosing a family member every time. Family comes first. 

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

•  I would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Every movie he’s in is a badass movie and he’s always the good guy in his movies. 

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

•  I think the biggest adversity I overcame other than getting kicked out of Lackawanna when I had multiple division 1 offers, is growing up without a father. I feel like it affected me a lot more when I was younger and I learned to deal with it by leaning on my mother. She’s the strongest person I know, she’s been independent most her life, raising 3 boys by herself, etc. I’ve learned a lot from her and she deserves the world and some.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  When I was in 6th grade, the first week of school starting so everyone’s getting to know each other. I’m talking to a group of girls and my friend comes and pulls my pants down but grabs my underwear too, so here I am, a prepubescent Bradley, butt naked in front of 6 girls in the hallway. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  When I was a freshman at Lackawanna I missed a tackle on the goal line in our bowl game in overtime when the game was tied. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  Biggest Blessing by Project Youngin

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

•  My most important trait is my brain, I pick up on play calls and schemes very fast so I believe I’m ahead on that aspect. 

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

•  I would bring my Aunt Marilyn back, she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and had suffered way too much for how much of an angel she was. She didn’t deserve to go out that way. 

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

•  Bar of the skies, I would have a bunch of different levels to it with a rooftop bar. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  Josh Allen, he came in as a rookie and went .500 with the worst offensive line in the league and virtually no receivers. His best receiver was Robert Foster. He quietly broke Mike Vick’s rookie rushing record too. And he has an absolute cannon as an arm, be on the lookout for him and the bills this year!

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I’d rather be respected. If you have any type of success you are always going to have people who don’t like you. 

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

•  Josh Gordon. He is such a rare talent with his size and speed. It’s sad that some people have to resort to pills and drugs as a young kid to get through their childhood. And he ended up dragging it with him to the NFL and couldn’t handle it. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I absolutely hate to lose more than anything. Whether it’s playing pickup basketball in the front yard or a playoff football game, losing hurts.

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

•  My mother without a doubt. Like I explained earlier she is such a tough woman because of the way she grew up and the things she went through in life. It’s from her that I learned to just keep at it no matter what happens. 

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 [email protected]

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