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Prospect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Marquee Livers, TE, Kentucky State University

Marquee Livers the big TE from Kentucky State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Marquese Livers                     
  • Height/Weight: 6’3 215 lbs.
  • Position: Tight-End/ Wide Out
  • College: Fresno Junior College Transfer to Kentucky State
  • Twitter: Mlive5_

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

• I am from the south side of Muskegon Heights. It’s a Small City located along Lake Michigan with roughly Ten-Thousand people in it. For the past 20 years it has had a very high crime rate and even became the most crime infested city in 2019. There are not usually a lot of job offerings in city limits which makes poverty thrive. Honestly the people in Muskegon heights are very loving of their own people within the community. Although it is very territorial, sports are the one thing that brings the city together. Muskegon is a city like no other. The love you get is genuine, everyone knows everyone, and the bonds you create last life times. Although what I love the most is the pride in my city. It’s like everyone is born with the highest competitive nature I’ve ever witness. I’ve been to California, Texas, and many more places but no city makes you bring out that inner fight in you like Muskegon heights. It made me who I am today and keeps me growing as a man and a better student athlete. It’s the attitude of a champion that nobody can do the job better than me. I’ve always said if you can make it in Muskegon you can make it anywhere.

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

• Honestly I feel that all three are equally as important. Strength and conditioning is very important because before you are in the tip top shape you are not ready to go out on the field. It leads to injury and your body will not allow you to do what I needed to play the game the right way. Practice is just important because it’s making you get used to game speed. One thing I personally do is work myself to practice in game speed. Already having timing down pack and chemistry is what comes from practice. Practice make your perfect permanent. And allows you to be comfortable with what you are doing. As far as film study going on it helps a ton to know what your competition is doing. Their tendencies and things they often do to give away their scheme. As A wide out and tight-end I read the box with the defensive line man and line backers. Really trying to get an idea of what kind of fronts they are in. Helps me understand who’s blitzing and from where. And who has contain and gap controls. Then the safety and corners depending on how they are tilted and rolling or disguising their true coverage scheme. I feel you have to do all three to be an elite player so I can’t put one over the other. Every aspect of training is important.

What do you worry about, and why?

• For the most part I worry about my future and how things will unfold. Wondering if my family is safe in the environment back home. Although growing up you hear the statistics of how long most people play in the NFL. They never made me stray away from my dream.  I know what I’m fighting for and I have extreme confidence in myself. Sometimes not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel can become overwhelming. I have had a broken toe, had to walk on junior college in California with my last 100 dollars in my pocket. Walked to school 5 miles every day in blazing heat before and after practice. Sat out an academic year for transfer rules and came back to no scholarship. Having to pay thousands out of pocket just for my chance to continue my career. Adversity is nothing new to me but my worries get high at time just knowing I have people depending on me. Regardless of the situation with football and school my goal is to break my family’s generational curse. Knowing what it takes to do that often times makes me worried.

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

• Something I Failed at would be not earning a division 1 scholarship at Fresno state. Through my best friend Damari Scott. He moved away when we reached our sophomore year and moved to California. He earned a scholarship to play football At the University and we always talked about how dangerous it would be to be playing side by side again. SO that was something I grinded for as well as I felt I deserved. From walking 5 miles to school every day to living with 8 people in a 3 bedroom apt. going out playing with a full heart, watching film all day every day, and just loving and enjoying the process. I learned how to be humble and become more of a student to the game. Many times I could have given up thinking is it really worth it? I just knew what I was trying to accomplish was bigger than me. I felt god didn’t bring me this far to let me fall off the boat now. I had to sacrifice friendships, relationships, and really question what kind of dog I was sometimes.  When I didn’t receive a scholarship I had a chance to walk on but because of miscommunication I didn’t end up playing for Fresno state. I knew I was the better man for the job then the players that already played my position there but couldn’t get an agreement on time. I ended up at Kentucky state university and looked at the positives of it. I’m at a HBCU, I am closer to home, I have scholarship money, and also I am leaving California with 2 associate’s degrees on the next flight home to see my mother. I took my blessing to have another opportunity to play the game I love and move forward. Never had to question myself because I knew I left it all on the field and the classroom.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My Teammates would say my best quality would be my leadership or Competitive drive. I want to be the best and no matter how tired I am I always push harder. I give every rep I do 110% no matter the opponent in front of me. I understand I have a long way to go and I can never get satisfied. But I love the process I appreciate everything about football and practice. It makes me want to encourage my teammates to go harder also. To know everybody on my team can go in and produce without any energy dropping is where championship teams start. I love to be the work horse and being the one all my teammates depend on. The one coach can call and say when in doubt Marquese can do it and do it with amazing effort and Hunger. I love the game!

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

• The Best Player I have played while in college honestly has to be one of my own teammates. While playing Tight End at Fresno City College I was continually challenged by Former Linebacker from UAB Chris Woolbright. He was stronger than me at the time and tried to impose his will every rep. It was times where he tried to knock me out my stance before the ball was even hiked. It made me grind harder knowing somebody out there was putting in the work behind the scenes also. Made me think also how many other people in the world was going as hard as I am. He made me take every rep in practice as a game rep. We battled as though we hated each other during practice but rode home afterwards together. He helped me start seeing my full potential and that made me a better player.

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

• If I couldn’t play football I probably would have tried another sport. I was a 4-Sport Varsity Athlete in high school so I would have more than likely tried one of those out.  If sports wasn’t the focus I would continue to pursue a job in the social work field. I more so want to work with juveniles because I feel that’s when I need most guidance. Growing up there wasn’t a ton of positive role models that could relate to. So I know with all my life experiences what kind of mentor I could be to the youth. Already a great leader in sports I know I could mold more great leaders.

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

• Between my room desk and car being cleaned I would go with what I interact with first and the earliest. Waking up in a messy room is a bad way to start off your day. To even get up for work and having to step on things and can’t find clothes to start your day would be a problem. Hygiene would be off because of dirty clothes being mixed and so on. Next would be having my desk clean because this is my work space. I can’t lose important documents and I have to be organized incase I’m rushing I don’t have to look all over for things. Lastly I would clean my car because it’s more so about the transportation. Yes I would want to ride comfortable and ln style but it’s more so about being able to get from point “A” to point “B”.

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

• I would save my mother over three strangers because I know what my mother could bring to the table in a natural disaster. She’s a nurse so she would be able to help more than three people if a natural disaster were to occur. Not only that but she can cook and clean and she is very organized to get order. I have extreme confidence in how she could help me help more.

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

• If I could be any television or movie character it would be Goku from Dragon Ball Z. Mainly because he respects all people even his opponents. He never under estimates anybody and always has high spirit. Goku is known for his cheerful, energetic personality and his love of competition. He would go to the end of the world for his family also. He never gets comfortable where he is in life. He just wants to keep getting better until he’s the best. He wants to compete with the best and show he belongs with the greats as I do also. No matter the hardships or circumstances just find a way to win the moment.

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 me graduating high school and making it to college. Coming in as a freshman I wasn’t the ideal student. I didn’t look at school as important I look at it is something I just had to do. I wasn’t a great leader nor was I a team player on the football field. At any second my coach Willie Snead III (Father or Willie Snead IV- Ravens) could have kicked me off. I wasn’t living life to succeed, I was just in life trying to make it to the next day. I experience some bad losses of people in my life over the next couple of months and years. I just got tired of being regular. I didn’t want to be a waste of talent or someone who ends up dead before I turned 21. It was all just me growing up and finding god. They closed my school going into senior year saying if it reopens it would not being any sports. So I had to transfer to Reeths Puffer High School which was 30 minutes north. It challenged me more in the class room and as a student athlete than ever. No film from the previous three years so I had to make due with a senior year worth of film. Had to take 3 extra online classes with 2 months before graduation. I could have given up but I kept telling myself “God Didn’t Bring Me This Far to Let Me Go”. Thinking where I come from and knowing I didn’t want to go back drove me harder to overcome these hardships. I never lost focus of what I wanted my next step to be. With support of surround peers I was able to push through.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• My Most embarrassing moment would have to be not passing one of my classes in junior college. I thought I was a mid-year graduate. Until I didn’t do well on a final. I didn’t pass the class so Hampton University didn’t want to wait on me to go back and take the class. We found out a week before report day. I had already made an announcement on social media. Everyone was waiting on me to make a decision beforehand. Ordered a Hampton university coat before I left. I was crushed and disappointed in myself to the fullest. How was I going to tell my family I’m not going anymore and so on. It began to stress me out but it only made me grind harder. I got a job to work and pay to go back and finished what I started. No matter what I would play at the next level was the mindset I took on.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• One of the most remembered play I had in my colligate career would have to be in junior college. Mainly because of how it happened. We were going from Fresno, California to San Mateo, California. Which is about 3 hours and I had eaten something bad the night before. One of my teammates says take one of these pills it will help clear your stomach. It didn’t kick in until middle of the first quarter. I tell one of my coaches I really have to go. I went and as soon as I come out I hear “Livers Go In”. I run in directly from the portable stall to the field. Didn’t know the play I lined up my quarterback told me go in motion and run a corner. I did so and caught it between two defenders on the sideline for a touchdown. That sparked a run that allowed us to go upset San Mateo College.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• If I could pick one song to describe my work ethic it would be Meek Mill song Big Dreams. One quote that stands out is about the grind at the start of the song. ‘’Ever Watched Your Dream Manifest”. To actually see it in your head and clearly have vision of it. I’ve dreamed of playing at the next level since 4 years old. All the sprints and 5 am workouts because I saw it for myself. It made me dedicate myself until success was my only option. He goes on to say “if you don’t got a dream you don’t got nothing”.

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

• One of the most important traits I have that could help me succeed at the next level is Football IQ. To be able to know how the defense is trying to stop you is a huge advantage. To be able to line up and you can tell what defense the opposite team is in helps make your job a whole lot easier. To just know coverages and fronts slows the game down in your head. It allows you to relax because you know what’s coming and how to react to it. Knowing if I’m at tight end and my tackle is uncovered we can double team up to the next level linebacker without the coach having to remind you. Keying in on the little things and movements of the defenders. Trying to see where the safety is and how he reacting on the snap. All of that happens in a matter of seconds. Having great play recognition and watching film are ways to obtain that information. I understand how to control my body and block to spring my ball carrier free. Just by knowing which way I need to move the defender setting up my angle to block or even just playing mind games with the defender.

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

• If I could bring back one person from the dead it would be Mahatma Gandhi also known as the Indian holy man. Mainly because he was the voice of non-violence in an increasingly violent world. He had policies and compassion towards the poor. Gandhi’s non-violent resistance was true layout for peaceful change and ending wars. Although I’m not Indian I admire how he fought for Indian rights. He was a leader with a great heart. Mahatma inspired all Indians to understand and learn resistance through non-violent civil disobedience. I believe he had so much more to teach and even more that we could have learned from him.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• The Most Underrated player in the NFL would have to be Da’Mari Scott. His route running and releases are second to none. He has great speed and hand eye coordination when tracking the ball. I feel he’s just starting to get his feet wet and get comfortable finding his home with the Giants. He’s player with the same go get it attitude every play. It’s evident he puts in a great amount of time into his film study no matter if its studying defenses or other players at is position to become better. He is A great returner who is fearless, and could possibly be good on either side of the ball if need be. He’s an all-purpose type of player in my eyes. And at any moment he’s going to have a breakout game

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would Rather Be Respected then liked or loved mainly because that means more. I feel as though anyone can be respected, but they don’t even have to be liked, let alone loved. Respect is earned but, often the people who get the most respect don’t even seek it out. They are just being themselves and lead by example. They simply take action in a way that makes others feel admiration. Without respect it’s hard to lead a company, manage a team or gain accomplishments because you are not taken seriously. I would rather be the leader who gets others to listen because they knew I wouldn’t steer them wrong. Just because you are a likable person doesn’t mean you are someone looked upon with honor.

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

• The Player who I feel was derailed by off-field issues that feel for the most is Brandon Marshall. Dealing with anxiety and depression but still being able to go out to perform is a huge thing. A lot of people think it’s some made up thing you can get over but it not, it weighs on you for long periods of time. Marshall’s public battle with borderline personality disorder messed up his image and the way people looked at him. Outsiders start looking at him like he was crazy. Whole time he just needed help. For a fact he started to improve mentally. Although he still may never be able to fully bury the violent incidents from his past that others continue to dig up. I just don’t see them looking to see how better he was instead wanted to make his problem a story. I felt like they even bashed him in his E60 documentary.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I feel my will to win by any means is not as strong as my mindset to not lose. I love winning just as much as the next person. I cannot say the next person’s passion to not lose is as strong as mine. I have literally dug into myself time and time again pushing myself past limits morally and physically because I do not want to lose. I know the consequences of me not doing my job so I work to never lose a rep on the field. I never want the man I’m responsible to block, make the play. If I could block all 11 players at one time I would. Just showing how much I hate to lose. I feel as though if it was depending on me you can take it to the bank that I won’t lose the rep, miss the block, or move the chains.

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

• The biggest influence in my life would have to be LeBron James. Somebody who has always had a never say never attitude. Living in Michigan as a child I loved watching videos of streetball. I only watched 1 player outside of that and it was him. His struggles and accomplishments gave me all the motivation that I need. From making sure his mom was taking care of, marrying his high school crush, starting a family then even a high school. I have never witnessed a more powerful African American role model that’s been so sensible and positive at all times. Often athletes and celebrities have hiccups in their careers but I have never seen a shameful LeBron James moment. Not knocking other athletes but he stands out with his character. Hess the perfect example of the role model I want to be an example to where I want to go in life. He showed even a small town kid because be the best if he trained the right way and kept god first. Honestly if I didn’t have LeBron James as a role model I feel it would have changed my whole perspective on how to carry myself.

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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