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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tristyn Close, OL, West Texas A&M University

Tristyn Close a massive OT from West Texas A&M University has everything NFL teams are looking for. The size, the strength and the technique.
  • Name: Tristyn Close   
  • Height: 6’7″
  • Weight: 335
  • Position: Offensive Line
  • College: West Texas A&M University
  • Twitter: @Tclose77

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

  • I come from Stroud, Oklahoma which is a small town right in the middle of the state about an hour and fifteen minutes away from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It is one of those towns where everyone knows everybody so it is pretty small. But I love it and love when I get the chance to go back and see old friends and talk to people that I haven’t talked to in forever it was just one of those communities where especially on an athletic standpoint, everybody supported you and I am still thankful to have had that support going through high school and it definitely played a big role into getting where I am at today.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
  • Film Study, Practice, Strength and Conditioning    Film is first because you have to know your opponent, being an O-lineman you need to know who you are going to be going up against most of the game and how they play, are they a bull rush coming at you type of guy or are they shifty and going to try and beat you with a move and if so what is their go to. Film gives you an advantage immediately over your opponent. Practice comes second because then you are able to actually put your game plan from watching film to work, have a certain technique and way that you feel should stop your opponent right now just from watching film and change and critique it as needed. Last but not least I put S&C, it is still extremely important but in opinion comes with time and what I mean by that is you have only have a week tops in most cases to get your game plan ready for your opponent the upcoming game but can make time whenever to hit the gym or the field for conditioning. 

What do you worry about, and why?

  •  I worry about my family and them being taken care of. They have done so much for me and have given up a lot just for me to be able to succeed and if I have the chance to make sure they never have to worry again I am going to make sure they are set.

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

  •  I remember one time in high school during a game I got beat and got my quarterback hit hard. He went out for the rest of that drive and thankfully came back but just during that drive. I was just so upset with myself that because I didn’t do my job correctly I let someone else pay the price and it cost them playing time and at the time not knowing what exactly happened I was just thinking he is going to be out for the rest of the game and maybe a couple more. I overcame by just going back to work the next play and I just made sure it didn’t happen again because I just hate the feeling of failure.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • My determination, I am never going to lose a match-up out of laziness/lack of effort. I’m going to keep going until I perfect my craft which in my opinion you never have it perfected there are always things you can work on. 

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

  • He wasn’t an opponent but at my previous school a teammate of mine named D.J. Johnson. Just an extremely strong individual all together and an absolute work horse. He never stopped going and just made you better. 

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

  • Either an athletic trainer or a physical therapist

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

  • Room first because being that is where you sleep and spend most of your free time if that isn’t clean then I believe it shows a lack of responsibility.

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

  • Family no questions asked, family is everything to me.

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

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. He was extremely wise and was able to determine things before they happened and also was extremely openminded. 

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

  • I would say my freshman year of high school my grades were just bad. I was embarrassed with myself because I knew that wasn’t who I was and knew I was better than that and I just got really down on myself. But the following year I sat down and just told myself from the beginning what I was going to do and I would have anything below a B and I went and just did it. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • During practice one day we had just got new knee braces and I was pulling and when I crossed over my knee braces somehow connected and I fell right on my face.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • First game at my previous school we were playing Arkansas-Monticello and it was a simple pass protection, I was a guard at the time and the D-end went away so I came back and completely destroyed the DT and saw are qb roll out so I wen out with him and then proceeded to lay out the D-end. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Domination- Pantera

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

  • I would have to say my IQ and ability to adjust and pick things up fast. 

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

  •  My grandpa Rick, my mom didn’t get the chance to say goodbye before he passed so just for her to be able to talk to him one last time and to see the person she has become and for him to see the great people all his kids have become would mean the world for me. Just to be able to have one more conversation with him would also mean the world to me.

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

  • Club 77

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

  • Ali Marpet, coming from a D3 school he had so many people say he wouldn’t make it because the competition just isn’t the same as others. To go in the second round of the draft and to be one of the more solid guards in the league today is an awesome accomplishment and definitely deserves to be recognized.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • Respected without a doubt. I could care less if you like me but I will make sure I have got your respect.

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

  • Justin Blackmon, I just remember watching him and after he won the best receiver award for the second season in a row I just remember thinking he would be the most dominant receiver in the league. At first when the suspensions happened I didn’t feel bad but seeing that from what I have read he has really gotten himself back together and I feel bad that he had the potential to be one of the greatest to play in the league.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  •  Hate to lose, just leaves a bad feeling for days and I can’t stand it.

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

  • My grandmother, I have never met anyone as strong as her. With everything she has going on with her health she just keeps going and continues working. Even though we tell her time and time again to just take it easy that just isn’t who she is and she continues going til the job is done no matter how much pain she is in and if I can ever amount to half of the determination she has I would truly be blessed.

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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