- JaVaughn Craig
- Austin Peay State University
- 210 LBS.
- Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
- Twitter: @JCraig_2
2019 Accolades & Statistics:
- 2019 All-OVC Football First-Team.
- 2019 Hero Sports All American First-Team
- 2019 STATS All American Third-Team
- GP: 14
- CMP-ATT: 216-369
- CMP%: 58.54
- Passing Yards: 3,208
- YPC: 14.05
- TDs: 28
- Rushing Attempts: 125
- Rushing Yards: 731
- YPR: 5.85
- TDs: 9
Congratulations on the All-OVC honors. What was the first emotion you felt when receiving that news and who is the first person who you shared it with?
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I was very happy when I found out I was named to the First-Team All OVC team. I was even more excited to see my other teammates on that list as well. Once I found out, I thanked God for blessing me and placing me in the position to accomplish the things that I did. I then called my mom and my dad to share the news with them. My family means everything to me, and my parents along with my brother and sister are the true definition of what it means to be a family. So, it was very important that I was able to share that moment with them. Also, I reached out to my teammates and thanked them for playing a huge role in my success. Without them, everything I was able to accomplish would not have been possible without them. Everyone dreams of being recognized as one of the best, and I was fortunate enough to experience that. So I am truly grateful.
What have you taken away the most from the Coach Hudspeth, Coach Zetts and the rest of the Austin Peay coaching staff?
Coach Hud, Coach Zetts, and the rest of the staff are incredible. Coach Hud founded our culture around a set of core values. These values not only helped my teammates and I become better football players, but better men. Coach Zetts did a great job of always pushing me to be the best person I could be both on and off the field. Also, when you prioritize your life the correct way and do the things you are supposed to, you will receive the results you are hoping for. And most importantly, influence is something that we all have and it goes beyond just playing football. Football just places you on a platform for more people to be influenced by you. So how you live your life on a daily basis reflects the type of person you are and the influence you hope to leave on those who are either around every day or watching you from a distance.
When football is over, what do you aspire to do in the professional world?
I love God and I love my faith. I love people and I have a heart for those who are less fortunate than I am. As well as those who may have experienced some of the things I have grown up with. I love spreading God’s love and being able to leave a lasting impact on people all around the world. When football is over I hope to start my own brand. At the forefront of this brand, I hope to create and establish a nonprofit organization. This organization will seek to improve the lives of others both domestically and internationally in ways of Church planting, building orphanages, building schools and creating education programs, providing job opportunities, etc. In life, we all face some sort of adversity and to feel the love of God and support of others is something that everyone needs. So I want to be able to do whatever I can to be a light and to help those who need it.
What separates you from other players at your position?
I have a strong desire and passion to be the greatest both on and off the field. I am coachable and always seeking to get better. I demand nothing but the best out of myself as well as my teammates because all I want to do is win. I love to learn the game and I am never satisfied until I am perfect at what I am doing. I have come from having nothing, so I am obsessed with being successful. I love the process of preparation and being more prepared than my opponent. When prepared, the game itself becomes easy and fun, and I always want to have fun. I am able to retain a lot of information while also processing it quickly, leading to results on the field. I have God-given talents that make me unique and able to do more than what your typical quarterback can do. I am a quarterback with the ability to extend plays, as well as add an extra number in the run game. I have great speed, elusiveness, and power at the quarterback position. I am a leader both on and off the field as I will always represent myself and an organization in the best way. I love to win and I am a great teammate.
Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?
I would have to say, Darius Jackson, an alumnus of Jacksonville State University. That guy is a monster on the field. Always a threat to make an impact play at any point in the game. He always demanded a double team and still found ways to make plays. His work ethic is incredible and is inspiring, which is what makes him the great player he was and still is today.
Is there a current or former NFL player you emulate your game after?
I watch and study a lot of guys in the league. I am a guy who has seen the darkest places of life and experienced the power of God. And I can remember Hurricane Katrina and the impact it had on New Orleans. Then, to see Drew Brees come in and not only restore hope for the city but to help unify everyone and give people something to be proud of is inspiring. That’s the impact I want to be able to have on the world. So, when it comes to impact, Drew Brees is who I look up to and try to emulate my game on and off the field after. Being fortunate enough and blessed to be able to see Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson play in person in college while going through my recruitment process is something that I am extremely grateful for. Both of these guys have that “it” factor and are winners. I love Lamar’s shiftiness and the energy that comes from how electrifying he is. Along with the power and determination Dak presents. So I try to emulate these three great men and strive to be the best. And if you were to combine these three guys together, I think you’d have a pretty great quarterback and that what I want to be.
Let’s take a trip back to the first day of your freshman year at McCallie High School. What advice would you give yourself then, knowing what you know now?
You never know the impact and influence you will have on someone. Always strive to live a life that honors God and all the things you do. If you want to change the world, you have to carry yourself in a manner that expresses that. When it comes to being the best, the only thing that limits you are the limits you place on yourself. You are more than enough. Therefore, use every ounce of who you are to make the world a better place. All things are possible when God is at the head and center of your life.
If I’m in Clarksville on a Saturday night during the Fall, where is the one place I have to eat at?
There are a few restaurants in Clarksville that are pretty good, but none that tops Johnny’s Big Burger. Johnny’s is Clarksville. It has withstood the test of time being in business since 1965. The burgers are always amazing and there’s nothing that compares to the “Bun and Cream.” A honey bun fried on the stovetop to go with a scoop of ice cream. You cannot come to Clarksville and not go to Johnny’s. So big shout out to Johnny’s and all they do for the city.
You’re in front of all 32 NFL General Managers and have 15 words or less to give them your pitch on why JaVaughn Craig will be an asset to their organization for years to come. What do you tell them?
I am obsessed with being excellent and successful in everything that I do.
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