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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Joe Petro, WR, Marist College

Joe Petro the speedy WR from Marist College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name Joe Petro
  • Height: 5ft 10in
  • Weight: 180lbs
  • Position: WR
  • College: Marist College
  • Twitter: @josepetroo

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

I’m from Manalapan, NJ. My favorite thing about Manalapan is how competitive sports are (starting at a young age). Manalapan sets the standard for sports in Monmouth County and we’ve produced a number of pro – athletes.

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

1. Practice – As a receiver, timing is everything. There’s no way to develop that connection with a quarterback other than full speed practice reps. 

2. Film Study – The smallest details of your opponent’s tendencies make the difference in you winning the matchup and making those plays or vice-versa,

3. I only rank this last because if you’re truly committed to the game and committed to self-success then it shouldn’t even be a question of whether you’re in the best shape possible or not. I’m a huge fitness and nutrition nut and to me its a given.  

What do you worry about, and why?

I worry about not doing something I love for the rest of my life. Truthfully, I fear that tremendously.

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

I didn’t start football until high school, and was injured most of my junior year. I expected to have a lot of success senior year, but ended up being a rotational DB and only starting 2 games. I saw this as a failure especially since I gave up my first love (baseball) to put everything I had into my senior year of football. I responded by walking on at Marist and working my way up from scout team player to special teams ace to starting receiver. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My love for the game which translates into a very strong work ethic.

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

David Jones – Cornell cornerback. Really physical for a corner, he hit like a safety and made me work for every catch I had.  

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

I want to be a publicist for pro athletes or other celebrities, especially those highly involved in fashion.

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

Room, I can’t get into an unmade bed.

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

One family member, I know they would do the same for me.

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

Bruce Wayne. I respect a guy with humble confidence.  

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

I mentioned before that I walked on at Marist. Before that I attended the University of Pittsburgh for one year as a regular student. Little did I know this would affect my eligibility down the road. About a week before camp this past season I received a call that I was ineligible because of the 5 year clock rule. I ended up having to fight the NCAA and get a waiver submitted just to practice. I went through all of camp and then the first two weeks of the season unsure if I’d ever suit up for a game again, but when I was on the field I didn’t think about any of it, I just put my head down and worked like everyone else. I eventually was rewarded my eligibility in week 3. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My first practice as a walk-on I came out with a headband that was hanging out of the back of my helmet, thinking I looked sweet. A senior offensive lineman and captain called me out during stretch.  

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

My first game back this year after the whole eligibility dilemma, it was home-coming against Cornell. We were down 14-0 and needed a spark, I caught a 50 yard pass off a deflection as I was falling on my back to set up a score. It was my first catch of the year, the crowd erupted, and it even got posted as a top 10 play by the NCAA FCS page. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

Kill ‘Em with Success from the Creed II soundtrack

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

Coverage Recognition – I see myself in the slot at the next level and I feel that reading coverages is everything in the slot. 

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

My grandfather on my Dad’s side. I never got the chance to meet him, but my dad says he was tough. 

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

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Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

Robert Woods

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

Respected. I feel like people who try to get others to like them don’t act like their true selves.

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

Josh Gordon. I feel that he clearly had a serious issue and didn’t receive enough help. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

Hate to lose.

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

My dad. He has worked tremendously hard to give my sister and I a better life than he had growing up and I envy his selflessness. He has instilled a lot of important values in me since I was young. He’s a leader and is well respected amongst his peers.

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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