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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Eljon Williams Jr., DE, Mercyhurst University

  • Name: Eljon Williams Jr.
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 270lbs
  • Position: Defensive End
  • College: Mercyhurst University
  • Twitter: @EljonWilliams65

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

• My hometown that I proudly love is Dorchester, Massachusetts where I was born and raised. Although I moved to Randolph, Mass., all of my fondest memories are held in Dorchester from all of the cookouts my family and I would have, chasing down ice cream trucks with my friends, having water balloon fights in the summer and sledding down the streets in the winter time. I love everything about it such as the diverse community where everybody knew each other, the caribbean restaurants, to the environment where you felt home.     

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

• Film study, Practice and Strength & Conditioning. My reason for putting these three in this order is because watching film you need to understand, from a defense standpoint, how the defense is going to be set up; the formation, type of plays, understanding how the run/pass stunt works especially against certain offense formations when facing your opponents. Also, learning what to prevent or prepare for in game situations. Practice helps you understand how to run the plays properly and see how everything is set up on the field to create a better understanding on how to handle game like situations that may pop up at any point in time. Strength and Conditioning comes into play because it helps you physically as well as mentally prepare your body to compete on the field against your opponents by working out and running; building your body to battle for four quarters on the field and overtime. 

What do you worry about, and why? 

• What I worry about the most is failing. The reason why is because I feel like I wasted my time and energy that I put in and wasn’t able to accomplish my goal that I was fighting for. 

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

• I remember failing an exam in my Microeconomics class that I took last year.  I studied, but didn’t cover everything that would be on the exam. After receiving my grade, I spoke with my professor and asked for a better understanding of the content that I didn’t understand. She told me that the next exam would be coming up the following week and that it was very crucial to pass this one. I learned from my mistakes that I made on the exam, did extra studying and took down notes that covered everything that would be on the exam. When it came up, I was prepared and was confident about passing it. I finished the exam with an -A and passed the class.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My best quality that my teammates say I have is my energy. Growing up, I was taught that I need to have positive energy where people can actually feed off from. If you have negative energy and you’re mentally defeated, then the game is already lost. So I had to stay positive no matter what situations popped up in games, getting my teammates out of a defeated mindstate and finish the game with a win.  

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

• The best player I played against in college was a left tackle from South Carolina State University during my Sophomore year.

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

• If I couldn’t play football, I would either be an artist or a general manager in the music, luxury car or sports industry.

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

• I’ll clean my desk first, I like to start off with the small things first. Then, I’ll branch out to cleaning up the entire room and work on cleaning the car after that.

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

• It would be one family member because I care about my family and wouldn’t want anything horrific happening to someone I love.

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

• I would honestly would want to be Paul Walker. The reason why is because he was my childhood hero after watching The Fast & The Furious when I was four years old, which made me have a huge passion for cars and wanted to be just like his character. 

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

• The biggest adversity that I faced in my life was getting my scholarship pulled while I was finishing up my spring semester during my Sophomore year at Delaware State. This was something that I wasn’t too sure about if I could bounce back from or just stop playing football. The only way I was able to overcome this hurdle was by staying in the weight room to keep my mind on track, getting in contact with other college coaches and praying to God to make a way for me to continue my college football career. From the time I came home in mid May to the end of June, it was the toughest battle for me to stay focused, but in the end, God made it possible for me to earn a scholarship at Mercyhurst University, which I’m truly thankful for.

What is your most embarrassing moment? 

• It was during a spring camp at City Year in Boston, MA., I had just turned eight years old back in February at the time. The camp decided to have a dance competition in the auditorium, in front of everyone which consisted of 40 or more people. I was watching everyone dance and I knew that I would kill the competition with my little breakdance moves I learned. I was up next, coming across the stage and started dancing which made the crowd get excited. The next thing I remember was me tripping over my feet and falling face first, sliding down the stairs on the stage. Everyone gasped then burst out laughing in the same breath and followed me while still laughing. Honestly, probably one of the worst days ever. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career? 

• My most memorable play of my collegiate career that I can vividly remember was starting in my homecoming game against Florida A&M during my freshman year at Delaware State. I got my first collegiate sack then had five solo tackles, one assisted tackle and 1.5 TFLs. in that game, but we still lost that game unfortunately. 

What song best describes your work ethic? 

• A song that I think best describes my work ethic would be Survival by Eminem 

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

• Mental toughness is the most important trait you can have in order to help you succeed at the next level. People can have the physical ability to fight, but only to a certain point. I learned that if you’re mentally weak, you already lost the battle that you’re fighting. Mental toughness will push you past your limits that your body thinks it has reached.

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

• If I had the chance to bring back one person back for a day, it would be my mentor who I also looked up to as an older brother, Mr. Edwards. He was someone who inspired me to be myself & have a true love for art. I would want him to see how much I’ve grown as a person and how far I came along through all my struggles, as well as getting a laughter out of his priceless reaction to see I play college football.

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

• I would call my dance club “Throwback” where there would be old school music; having themes on different nights from the 1970s all the way to the 2000s.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

• In my opinion, I think Malcolm Butler is the most underrated player in the league. Coming from a Division 2 school to be on the Patriots to help bring the team another Super Bowl.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why? 

• I would rather be respected. I know that in life, not everyone will like you for whatever reason they can think of, which I’ve learned not to be phased by. I would want someone to respect my character, my work ethic and how I handle my business both on & off the field. 

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

• Johnny Manziel is someone who had a promising career in the NFL, but let off-field issues get in the way of his path. I remember watching him when he was playing for Texas A&M and how talented he was, only imagining how he would play against the greats when he gets drafted in the NFL. It’s sad how someone with great talent can get in their own way and throw themselves off track completely.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose? 

• I love to win, I’m known to be a very competitive person who doesn’t give up on challenges. I know that in life I’m not going to win everything so I learn from the losses I’ve faced throughout the years, which helps me better myself and bounce back from them.

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

• My Dad has been the biggest influence in my life. He’s someone who showed me not to be afraid of anything and back down from nobody in any type of fight. I’ve watched him fight battles that people thought would be impossible to win but would overcome them with a victory and when I faced difficult battles in my lifetime, he would help me out based on dealing with similar situations when he was younger. It made me become a tough, confident, wise and intelligent man, thanks to my Dad who helped me get through obstacles I know I couldn’t get through myself.

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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