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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Elijah Salazar, RB, University of Incarnate Word

Elijah Salazar the RB of the University of Incarnate Word is a stud and he recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Elijah Salazar
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 196
  • Position: Running Back
  • College: University of the Incarnate Word
  • Instagram: esal32

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

• I am from San Antonio, Texas. I love that my entire family is here, it is definitely a big town but with a small town feel.

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

• Strength and Conditioning first, it allows you to establish a firm foundation, I would definitely say this is the nucleus of any organization. You must be able to keep your body healthy and able to compete to translate this effort to the field.

Film would be second, you need film to be able to study your opponent, to learn from mistakes and establish some kind of game plan.

Third would be practice, so you can perfect and transition what has been established from strength and learned from film.

What do you worry about, and why?

• In football, I worry about effort, if I am truly leaving everything I have out on the field. In my life, I worry about souls, I worry that the lost will be found in Christ.

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

• My senior year in high school, I tore my ankle in the first quarter after scoring a 40 yard touchdown while cutting to the outside, this was very important game for my team, God gave me the strength to finish off the game with three more touchdowns and over 100 yards rushing. I persevered and put my team before myself. Later I found out this would be a year ending injury. I was told I was not going to be able to play again, every big Division 1 team dropped their offers for me, and I was left going to an NAIA school where I red-shirted due to my injury. I leaned on God, continued to trust him and pushed myself to get back on the field, I earned a D-1 walk on to UIW where I earned a scholarship in the spring.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Hard work and perseverance.

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

• The best player I have had the opportunity to compete against was Raquanne Dickens, he was the starting RB my junior year at UIW and broke new school records, whom I looked up to and competed with, he definitely taught me a lot on and off the field and helped me elevate my game.

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

• I would pursue ministry as a Christian missionary.

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

• Room, this is what prepares you for each and every day.

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

• I would say family, my family has always been there through my hard times, and I would like to be there for them through there’s. 

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

• I would be Ernie Davis from the movie the Express, I respect his relentless efforts and all the obstacles he had to overcome. He faced death itself when diagnosed with leukemia and still fought to be out on the field.

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

• In coming from a NAIA to a Division 1 school I had to prove that I belonged there. After receiving a scholarship, that fall I was called in by the O.C. to come to fall camp, I came and was worked in with the 1s, later compliance said I was ineligible because I was short a credit. The following season, the coaches worked with me and prepped me, this was the season I was going to be able to finally compete again. That season the whole coaching staff was fired and a new staff was hired from Texas Tech, they moved the team in a different direction. I have been blessed with the opportunity to compete again in the FCS D-1 Senior Scout Bowl to showcase my talents, I have fought and worked hard to arrive at this point.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  The first time I met the girl I currently plan to marry, I had no idea her name or who she was and told her that I was going to marry her.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• First opportunity I was able to play in the spring when I transferred in to UIW, I was thrown a bubble route and spun off of our starting outside LB and ran for a big gain. This earned me respect, made me a best friend and was my first D1 play.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Keep Going by Aha Gazelle

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

• Faith and persistence.

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

• King Solomon, because he asked the Lord for Wisdom.

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

• Haha, I wouldn’t, I would open a church and name it “Last Call”.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

• Alfred Morris

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected, because not all leaders are liked.

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

• Kaepernick, I feel for him because it is difficult to stand for what you believe in and be judged for it.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• Hate to lose because my competitive nature.

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

The biggest influence in my life would definitely be my father, not many are blessed to live in a two-parent household or with a father who is constantly striving to be a part of their lives, I was. My farther loved my mother with all his heart and that impact was reflected on me, he taught me how a woman deserves to be treated. I didn’t grow up with a lot and we didn’t have much money, but my dad worked three jobs constantly as I grew up to provide the best life he could for us, this taught me perseverance and hard work. He poured into my older brothers and taught us to be best friends and have each other’s back through anything and everything. He always encouraged me to chase my dreams and supported me no matter what. My father most importantly taught me to be a man of God, and to always “do the possible and let God do the impossible”. My father also has taught me humility by never taking credit but always give all the honor and glory to God. My father helped mold me into the man I am today, I hope that I can pay him back for everything he’s done for me.

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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