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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jalon Simpson, LB, Olivet Nazarene University

Jalon Simpson is a star linebacker and a very talented track and field star in javelin.
  • Name: Jalon Simpson
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 235
  • Position: LB
  • College: Olivet Nazarene University
  • Twitter: @JalonSimpson

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

•  My home town is Portland, MI. I love Portland for the fact that it is such a community-based city. People in Portland LOVE their Football! Though it is a semi-small city, everyone is very tight knit and hopeful.

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

•  1. Film Study 2. Practice 3. Strength & Conditioning

I put them in this order because at the college level everyone is physically able to play. So, because of that I said knowing your film and what your opponent is going to do/tendencies they have then executing in practice will give you the mental advantage. I love lifting and the whole aspect about physical advantage, but at the next level you need to have a mental strength first.

What do you worry about, and why?

•  There isn’t much I worry about in life, everyone is going to die at some point in time, so making sure your relationships are at hand and your walk with God is secure is important.

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

•  My Sophomore year in College, I was going into the NAIA National Championships for track ranked first and couldn’t pull off the win, being a runner-up. Next year (Junior Season), I kept all those feelings bottled up going into Nationals. I trained harder and became a National Champion from past experiences.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  I believe they would say my Work Ethic or Personality. Everyone knows I train hard every day to accomplish my dreams, and while I am doing that trying to pick others up in the process. I think they might also say my personality because I try to lighten the room when I get a change to. 

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

•  I think the best player I have ever played against was in High School, not to take away from the great players I have played in college, but Khari Willis from Jackson Lumen Christi, MI who is now a safety for the Colts was and is a fantastic player. In college, I would say RB Joe Connor (Concordia Ann-Arbor) or TE Brandon Dillon (Marian).

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

•  If I couldn’t play football I would give back to the game that has given to me and Coach. I believe my calling is to inspire others with my play, but one day when that ends I will want to inspire their play.

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

•  I would say Desk, then Car, then Room. Desk because I am representing others, not just myself. Car would be next, because it’s my baby. Then Room because all I got in the room is TV and clothes, so not much to clean up.

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

•  I would answer this in two parts, I love my family so much, but I know my family are Christians and are saved, so I would say the three strangers because I don’t know where they are with their walk with God. With that being said, I would save whoever is in the most danger at the moment.

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

•  I would want to be John Wick because that is a bad man!!! He doesn’t die and everyone knows him for what he does not necessarily for who he is. That’s how you become remembered, your impact on the world.

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

•  I would say biggest adversity would be moving in the in the 8th grade from Bradford, PA to Portland, MI, because I never had to go through a restart. Today, I am used to it because I have been through it before, but then restarting my life was a bit of a struggle. I overcame it by working out and putting my faith in God, having an output like the gym benefitted me in many ways, as I knew God had a plan.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  2nd Grade I had to go to the bathroom and I was wearing snap up pants. And as I was jumping over a chair to run to the toilet, my snaps started to come undone, and I dookied in my underwear.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  I would say so far, the most memorable play would be last year (2018) against Concordia Ann-Arbor when we had a fourth quarter, no huddle drive on defense and I got an INT with 3 min. left to seal the game.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  I would say “Go Hard” by: Lecrae

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

•  I think the most import trait to get you through any adversity and give you success is Faith and Will. To have Faith that what your doing will work no matter what, as well as the Will to push myself farther and harder then I think I can go.

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

•  I think to bring back Jesus would be world changing in today’s culture. To see what he could do with just one day in society now would impact so many people on so many levels. I just want to be able to meet him.

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

• “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” This is inspired by Will Smiths song.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  I think Harrison Smith never gets any love when it comes to social media or ESPN talk, but he is the best safety in the game right now, and makes a huge impact on that Vikings Defense in both the Pass Defense and Run Defense.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would say respected because you’re never going to be liked by everyone. Look at Lebron James and Tom Brady for instance both of them are Hall of Famers and get lots of negative talk when it comes to being liked its probably 50/50. But not one time will you hear someone say they don’t respect them, because their the best at what they do.

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

•  I don’t feel for anyone because it’s a decision they make and have to live with. I wish we would have got to see a drug free Josh Gordon, and a mentally healthy Aaron Hernandez for their whole career. I also wish the media would have laid of Tim Tebow for his faith and walk with Christ but, we all make decisions and live with them.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I HATE to lose! Winning is a sweet feeling, but you should expect to win! Losing sucks and I don’t ever want to be beat, I don’t care if it’s at Shuffle Board or Corn Hole, I have to keep playing till I win.

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

• Biggest Influence in my life has been my father. He has gone through so much throughout his life, and I know he pushes me harder to have a better life then he had. He has raised my brother and I the right way, and has endured so much pain himself, yet still poor’s into others first.

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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