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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Zack Blair, QB, Indiana Wesleyan University

Zack Blair the athletic QB from Indiana Wesleyan University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds Jonathan Joyce.

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Zack Blair
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • QB
  • 6’0”
  • 197lbs.
  • Hometown: Tipp City, OH
  • Twitter: @zblair_10

2018 Statistics:

  • GP: 10
  • CMP-ATT: 135-242
  • CMP %: 55.79
  • Passing Yards: 1,875
  • YPC: 13.89
  • TDs: 15
via @zblair_10 (Twitter)

As an athlete, what is your motivation?

There are two main factors when it comes to my motivation as an athlete. My first and most important motivation is my desire to glorify my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ above all else. Whether I played the best game of my life or the worst game of my life, God always receives the glory. Because of my declaration of faith in Him, it is vital that I work as hard as I possibly can because He has given me every ability and tool I need to be successful. So, it is only right that I act upon those gifts and refine them to maximize my abilities as a quarterback. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Jesus deserves my very best in all that I do, and that includes football. The second factor for my motivation is my teammates and coaches at Indiana Wesleyan. There is not a harder working group of men in the country than the players and coaches who are a part of our program at IWU. So as a captain and the quarterback, it is my duty to grind as hard as I can for my brothers and coaches who give it their all every single day. My greatest earthly disappointment would be to let this group of men down. So, I work as hard as I can for them and the success of our program.

What defines success for you?

For me, success is not just winning and losing; awards, and accolades, or championships. While those are extremely important and may be defined as success to outsiders of any football program, those are not the things that I would define success by. I believe the ultimate success would be one that is eternal and goes far beyond football. Wins and losses fade, but eternity lasts forever.

What would your teammates say about the type of teammate you are?

My teammates would say that I am the ultimate competitor. I love every aspect of the game, from the film/mental standpoint to the weight room to practice to gameday. I play hard with grit and savvy. I am a natural-born leader and express my leadership through my words and actions. I am extremely loyal to my team and coaches and put the team above myself.

via wiwutv51 (YouTube)

What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?

  1. I do not and will not consume alcohol.
  2. Staying in good shape constantly: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  3. Reading God’s Word daily.

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, DE, University of Toledo (Currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers).

Who is the best player in the NFL?

Drew Brees.

via @IndWesleyan_FB (Twitter)

What is your team of choice on Madden, why?

The Pittsburgh Steelers, they have always been my favorite team growing up.

Failure is inevitable in life. How do you handle situations that don’t go in your favor?

During my RS Sophomore season at Ball State University, I became the starter midway through the season. I was so excited, the hard work that I had put in since I was 7 years old was finally going to pay off and I was going to achieve my dream of becoming the starting quarterback at a Division 1 university. Five plays into the first start of my college career I broke my ankle. I ended up having season-ending surgery and wondered why God was doing this to me after I was so faithful in an environment where I could have easily walked away from my faith. After I received the news from our team doctor I went into the locker room and called my now fiancé, who was away at college watching the game on TV. She was sobbing and I told her that God was going to bring good out of this injury and that His plan was greater than anything we could have ever imagined. God was faithful through this situation. I felt Him calling me somewhere else to finish off my 2 years of eligibility. That place was just 30 miles north of Ball State in Marion, Indiana. Indiana Wesleyan and the football program have been one of the biggest blessings God has given me. I would not trade my experience here for anything. I’ve learned over my 4 years of college that football can be taken from you in an instant. This game is not forever and I have discovered that football comes after your relationship with God, family, friends, and loved ones. This game will let you down but my God will never let me down. That is why I cling to the verses Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” This is how I can handle failure in every instance in my life. By clinging to God’s Word and being content in every situation.

Is there a current/former NFL player that you model your game after?

Aaron Rodgers.

via @wiwutv (Twitter)

Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell yourself as a High-School Freshman?

I would tell myself to enjoy those four short years of high school as much as I could. There is nothing like high school football and playing for your hometown under the Friday night lights. Playing with your best friends who you have grown up with is something that you will never get back so don’t take that for granted.

What is your go-to restaurant near campus?

El Taco.

If your life was a book, what would its title be?

“Run Towards the Roar.” A lot of times in life people tend to run away from the things that they fear, the “roars.” I have made a promise to myself that when challenges come, instead of running away in fear, I will run towards the roar. I think our culture today has put too much of an emphasis on comfortability. No one ever did anything incredible being comfortable and I believe that I have lived an “uncomfortable” life. I have pushed myself in ways that I never thought I could and did things I never thought I would be able to do.

What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?

“ILYSB” by LANY.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

My dad’s mother, Judy Blair. She passed away from cancer when my dad was 26 and I never got the chance to meet her. My Dad brags about her all the time saying how incredible of woman she was and how much she would have loved my 4 siblings and I. She was a single mother and worked so incredibly hard to provide for my father and his brother. I would love to be able to hear her wisdom and witness her work ethic first hand. My dad says her loyalty was unmatched and she loved people fiercely.

Forty-years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?

After my playing career is over, I want to pursue college football coaching. I hope that I am remembered as a player’s coach who cared about more than just wins and losses. I hope that my players can remember me as a man who changed the course of their lives and was a father figure to them. I hope that my house is a place of refuge for them and a safe place for them to come to. I hope that I am remembered as an incredible husband and father to my family. Lastly, and most importantly, I hope that I am remembered as a devoted follower of Christ who brought the Gospel to as many people as possible.

In 15 words or less, why should an NFL team invest in you?

They would be investing in a quarterback who’s a leader, smart, tough, confident, savvy, and reliable.

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