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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Marquis Spence, WR, Merrimack College

Marquis Spence has been tearing it up this year for Merrimack. The kid is a legit NFL draft prospect.
  • Name: Marquis Spence
  • Height: 6’0
  • Weight: 185
  • Position: Slot/Wide Receiver 
  • College: Merrimack College
  • Twitter: @_Quiss44

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

I can go on forever and talk for days, but to keep it short and sweet – growing up in Englewood, New Jersey, nothing was given or guaranteed. It’s a small town. About 20,000 people live there, and it is 10 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Two of my guys that I know and played with in youth football (Englewood Raiders) are from this local town and currently play in the NFL – Juwann Winfree (Denver Broncos) and Garrett Dickerson (New York Giants). So, now that brings me to what I love the most about my hometown. It is the brotherhood that I made while playing football in Englewood. Seeing them pursuing their dreams in the NFL and knowing the dedication and time we invested since we were on the pee-wee team, gives me that motivation to go harder for my family. I also love the support system from my hometown. Everyone supports each other, and there is never any negativity. Englewood NJ “Raider Pride” is a community of family and love.

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

As a receiver, the order that I’m going with is: Film Study, Practice, and Strength and Conditioning. I believe Film Study is strongly key for football athletes at any level (e.g., high school, college, NFL, XFL, or any football league). Film helps you with Schemes, Learning Coverages, Knowing your opponent, etc… Film is key. Second is Practice because dedicating that time to be around your team gives you an opportunity to compete, work hard, and get better together. Plus, it allows you to work on something you have stored away for different games. I like to call that, “Working my craft.” For third, I chose Strength and Conditioning because the weight room and conditioning is needed, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like you do not have to “live in the weight room” to play a strategic game of football. Rolling out and Stretching is definitely needed, but I don’t feel you have to dominate every category in the weight room (e.g., lifting weights) to play football. 

What do you worry about, and why?

Life in this generation is scary. You never know when it’s your time. What I worry about the most is the current culture of violence. I love life, and family to me is key. I’m not just talking about my blood family, but also about the bonds and brotherhood that I made while growing up playing this sport. Football is a crazy sport. It can bring a whole group of guys together from different areas to form lifelong bonds. I never wish to pick up the phone to hear a call about anyone passing away. I use the game of football to calm me down. 

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

During the Spring semester of my freshman year, I struggled academically, which caused me to be ineligible for my sophomore season. I was frustrated with myself for disappointing my family, teammates, and coaches. Although I barely wanted to practice, I did. I remained disciplined and set my mind to trust that every setback is a setup for a come back. I talked with my mom, and she never stopped encouraging me. When the end-of-the-year meetings started, I decided to make a change to better myself and mature. This “wake up call” really helped shape me into the person that I am today.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates say my best quality is my big moment ability and my patience. I am the guy that they can rely on in big moments – my receiver group and I break it down every day on “PlayMakers.” It is why we are out there. We have to be special and execute those “crazy plays” to bring the spark. It is exciting seeing my teammates out on the field with hyped up energy just like me and makes me even more pumped up for the game.

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

The best player I have ever played against in college would have to be Jake Carlock. He was a strike/OLB for LIU Post. He now plays for the Giants. He was very tough to get around and difficult to block. Great player all-around. 

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

If I couldn’t play football, I would be a Coach, Athletic Trainer, or Sports Broadcaster. I love the game of football, so I would find a way to stay around it and remain engaged. 

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

I clean my room first. Raised right!

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

I am definitely saving one of my family members. I was raised in a very close-knit family, and family comes first. We share a common saying that, “All we have is US!” My grandmother (RIP MA) instilled these values in us, and we live by them daily. I ride for my family, but I would not forget about the strangers. I would definitely send them help.

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

If I could be a movie character, I would be Denzel Washington when he played the head coach in Remember The Titans. After watching that movie, it opened my eyes so much about diversity.

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

My biggest adversity in life would have to be being an African American man in an unfair world. I overcome this by appreciating my culture and forming a strong brotherhood of motivated and successful guys. I do not allow any distractions or negative energy into my life. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment would be my cheering mother and sister. You can always find them in the bleachers at the 50 yard line yelling and screaming, “Go Baby, Go Mookie” from youth football to college. It’s unbelievable how these two have the ability to turn an entire section of spectators, including visitors from the other team, and have them cheering “Go Baby, Go Mookie” by the end of a game – it’s extremely embarrassing.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

I feel that I have a lot of memorable plays in my collegiate career, but this one stood out the most. I’m going to have to go with the play, this year in the Central Connecticut game on ESPN3, when I caught the “game tying touchdown” with One hand to bring us back. It was probably one of my best catches ever in college! 

What song best describes your work ethic?

Would have to say Meek Mill – Ima Boss!

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

The most important trait would have to be physical agility for success at the next level. The professional league has some grown men playing out there – you have to be a play-maker that is confident in the game. My game would definitely have to be tied to speed, strength, and coordination and my play making abilities for sure.  

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

I would want this person back for more than one day. It would have to be my friend, Dyshawn Simpkins. My boy was 19 when he passed away due to street violence. He was on my highschool team, Paramus Catholic, and then went to go play at Norfolk State University but then passed away. I pick him because he would of been dominating the MEAC playing corner and anybody who knows him, can back that up. 

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

Q4 Strip    #SLATTTT

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

Most underrated player in the NFL is Keenan Allen. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

I would rather be respected because respect goes a long way and liking someone is only based on emotion. Even if someone doesn’t like me, I am still going to be me.

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

I’m going to have to go with Rueben Foster because he had great potential, but made bad choices in life. Now his name is labeled negatively in the league. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

I HATE TO LOSE!

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

The person in my life that has the biggest influence is my Mother. She’s my why, my rock, my everything. I watch her work hard and persevere through many of life’s obstacles. She knows everything about me, and she pushes me everyday to go harder and harder. Her main message to me is, “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and “Always make smart decisions.” I love her and my sister to death and everything is for them. Promised them that since day one!

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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