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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Shane Zylstra, WR, Minnesota State University – Mankato

Shane Zylstra is an amazing WR playing for Minnesota State University – Mankato. His brother Brandon is currently on the Vikings and let’s face it NFL teams will not miss on a second Zylstra.
  • Name: Shane Zylstra
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 218
  • Position: Wide receiver
  • College: Minnesota State University-Mankato
  • Twitter: @shanezylstra

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

• My hometown is Spicer Mn. Spicer has more lakes in and around it than you could ever begin to imagine. I grew up waterskiing competitively and have always been very attached to the water.

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

• First would have to be practice, second would be film, third would be strength and conditioning. I think practice and film are crucial to a team’s success and a necessary component to working together towards a common goal.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry most about someone outworking me, it is always on my mind and it is what drives me each and everyday. 

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

• Last year I failed in the semi-final game of our playoff run at MSU. I felt like I could have done more to put more points on the board for our team. I had two separate occasions where I either dropped a pass or another where I got tackled inside the 5 yard line. This experience has fueled my off-season and has left a bitter taste in my mouth every since. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• I would say my teammates say my best quality is my work ethic. Since I’ve stepped on campus I have always tried to work as hard as I can because I know athleticism only gets you so far. 

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

• Gunner Olszewski-Bemidji State, New England Patriots

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

• If I couldn’t play football, I would love to be a Physician’s Assistant and assist in surgery. 

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

• I would have to say my room, my room is a place I like to keep clean and tidy.

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

• I would save one family member, family is extremely important to me and many have supported me tremendously throughout my life. 

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

• I am a big Marvel fan, so I would have to say Iron man, he has been dominant in his role throughout the Marvel series. 

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

• The biggest adversity in life was when I had knee surgery after my freshman season. It taught me patience. It also taught me more about the process of being a better player in the off-season, while also helping with my leadership skills.  

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• One of my most embarrassing moments was at my wedding when my brother revealed all my childhood stories to our guests. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My most memorable play of my college career was my touchdown catch on our 27 play drive in a blizzard. It was 4thdown and kick-started our momentum to win that game. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• eye of the tiger

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

• Durability is extremely important, you can be the fastest, strongest, smartest player in the league, but if you aren’t durable, none of that matters.  

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

• My grandfather Gary Zylstra, he passed suddenly in 2012. His death hit me really hard. My grandpa was a huge supporter and fan of every sport that I played in, and rarely missed any of my games. 

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

• Vinny’s Night club

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Brandon Zylstra

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected, I do not feel as if everyone should like me, but I would hope they respect me as a man, and as a player through my character and on-field success. 

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

• Josh Gordon, he is an incredible player and athlete, but couldn’t stay away from drugs. I feel for him most because I don’t know his background or up-bringing. Maybe something from his childhood contributed to his behaviors on and off the field. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I absolutely hate losing. Nothing drives me more than a loss. I am able to learn far more from a loss than a win.

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

•My brother Brandon, he has been a huge contributor to my success on the field. He has taught me what it means to set goals, work hard, and chase dreams. He has worked his tail off to get where he is today. Brandon took the unconventional path to get where he is, and it has shown his determination and perseverance. 

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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