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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: James Hill, RB, Wayne State University

James Hill, RB, Wayne State University is one of the best players that you have not heard of. He is a big back who will make you pay. He has great size.
  • Name: James Hill
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 232
  • Position: Running Back
  • College: Wayne State University 
  • Twitter: @Time2BeGreat22

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

My hometown is Detroit, Michigan. My city is known for getting everything out of the mud and I love how as the future of the city keeps getting brighter so is the exposure for athletes.

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

•  Strength and Conditioning, Film Study, Practice.Strength and conditioning first because health is the top priority. In order to perform at your full potential, the body must be ready both mentally and physically to impact the game until the final whistle blows. Film study is of the utmost importance because studying and understanding each component/detail of the defense’s flow as well as each individual player’s movements gives you the upper hand come game time. Then practice applies the two as the great players practice how they play. Everything studied and learned gets implemented piece by piece each day of practice until it’s time to put the puzzle on display come game day. 

What do you worry about, and why?

•  I have learned not to ever worry and instead ask God. Asking and trusting all situations through him helps one let go and let God, instead of trying to control the narrative, as he already knows the outcome. 

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

•  I always set high expectations for myself and get very hard on myself if they’re not met. Without my high school giving me the right exposure, I felt embarrassed not receiving the offers I craved. My grandmother always told me God has a path for you even when you may not understand his reasoning. There has been a chip on my shoulder since signing day and God has blessed me with the greatest relationships with my teammates and coaches here at Wayne State University. I am beyond blessed and grateful for this position to not only stamp WSU back as a powerhouse but finally give my family the help and support they need. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  My teammates would say the effort and positivity I bring every day. My entire class here at WSU prides ourselves on pushing each other to exhaustion every day for this team. The effort and attitude I bring every day is not only contagious to make my teammates around me better but pushes them to reach their full potential both on and off the field. 

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

•  The best player I have ever been on the field with is Matt Judon from Grand Valley who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. 

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

•  An Entrepreneur

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

•  Room because it’s the place you begin and end your day. It helps keep peace and organization in life instead of chaos. 

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

•  I would grab whoever I could grab first as any value of life is important. My instincts would take over and automatically tell me to save as many as possible. 

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

•  Ernie Davis from The Express. He was truly one of the players who came before his time and I always admired his perseverance. He performed at a high level despite all the outside factors against him including playing with leukemia toward the end of his short career before it ultimately ended his life. 

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

•  My greatest adversity in life has been my father not being in the life of my siblings and I. Its been the fuel to my fire since so can remember as I have always kept my head down and went to work having to learn at a young age nothing is GIVEN, everything is EARNED. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  My most embarrassing moment would be when my family and I were out to eat at a restaurant. My baby sister was chilling on my shoulders when all of a sudden there was spit up all over my head and running down my back. There hasn’t been a baby chilling on my shoulders since! 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  It was homecoming this year when we played at Northwood University. The game started with the clean field until before 2nd series when a storm warning led us back inside due to a delay. We came back out to a field covered in snow and I’m sure it was most of my teammates first time playing in the show. Instead of letting the weather factor get to us we embraced it. Our field crew had to clear the snow off the numbers, lines of scrimmage, and hashes. We ended up running power up the middle and it looked like they cleared the hashes for touchdowns because I went 55 yards up that path for a touchdown.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  True Story – Yungeen Ace

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

•  Accountability. Being able to hold yourself and teammates accountable creates discipline and coachability within a culture as well as improved team chemistry. 

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

•  My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to see how the new world of today reacts since he’s only here (in person) for one day. Would there be a shift of instant change or would it be just for the day until everyone wakes up and doesn’t physically see Jesus here again? 

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

•  Jiggling Judie’s (short for JJs) to let everyone know you’re coming to get your groove on!

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  Kerryon Johnson. Injuries hampered him last year and with a consistent 1, 2 punch with CJ Anderson, expect KJ to be a 1,000+ yard back this year. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would rather be respected, everyone doesn’t have to like you to respect you! 

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

•  Ray Rice. With the number of 2nd chances a lot of guys have received, most recently Kareem Hunt, Rice never got to prove his last year in the league wasn’t a fluke. After doing everything possible to prove he’s a changed man, his situation set the standard for the NFL going forward. Off one bad year and a devastating video, NFL owners told themselves that every one of their teams is better off without this guy even on the practice squad. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  Neither. I really play to figure things out because playing with either can be a weakness to an extent. There can be pressure on yourself and/or the team of wanting to win or fearing to lose like what happens next if we don’t win? Common ground in the center allows you to focus on the present, the current moment, and not feel anything except what’s in front of you because you’re not phased by either wanting to win or fearing to lose. Being able to seize in on the moment at hand allows you to control the outcome without any outside pressure.

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

• The biggest influence in my life is my Mom and family as a whole. I have never seen her stop working as long as I’ve been alive and the sacrifices she has made along the way has even slowed her own life down. I have learned so much from her and my family along the way and I made a promise that my play would give back all she’s done for me. 

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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