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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tre Smalls, LB, North Carolina A&T University

Tre Smalls the hard hitting LB from North Carolina A&T University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot. (Photo Credit: Kevin Dorsey)
  • Name: Leon E. Smalls II aka Tre Smalls
  • Height: 6000
  • Weight: 250
  • Position: LB/OLB/EDGE
  • College: North Carolina A&T
  • Twitter: @Tbigs41

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

• I am from Charleston, SC which is a culture shock; from the diversity within each borrow to the true Charleston Geechee experience. Even though it’s a big city there’s always a family vibe; this transferred into the competitiveness of high school football which shaped me into the athlete I have become to be.

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

1) Strength and Conditioning because when I think of football two words come to mind; strength and conditioning. With these two words alone, I have been able to withstand the game of football. Being a football player requires strength and playing at game speed requires conditioning.

2) Film; As I sit in the film room I lock in; the study of film allows me to become a better player strategically. Observing my opponent allows me to understand not only their weaknesses but their strengths. Finding their strengths is harder when your main goal is to defeat your opponent. However, as a strategic player I aim to find another solution. But the person I’m really watching is myself; learning what areas I am weak and main the areas I am strong.

3) Practice; Practice is where hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. I am a firm believer that practice makes perfect; when I’m on the practice field I’m not fighting to win the game Saturday, I’m fighting to win within myself. I’m fighting to execute the playbook; I’m fighting to be a better version of myself from the week before. And last but not least I’m having fun and getting it done.

What do you worry about, and why?

• The health of my family, and if they are safe or not. It’s a crazy world we live in today and anything could happen at any time so I just like to make sure that they’re alright.

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

• When I was training for the 5-10-5.  I was trying to get the turn down to open my hips up and run the 10 yard part of the drill but I kept slipping and slipping. So I walked away from it, caught my breath, calmed down and went back to it. I got both turns down right and my trainer timed the last try it ended up being the fastest 5-10-5 time I‘d ever ran.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My Teammates would say that I am very determined. 

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

• The best college player I have ever played against would be Offensive Tackle from South Carolina State Alex Taylor.

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

• The career I would choose if I couldn’t play football would be to own and operate my own gym and training facility.

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

• Out of my room, desk, or car I would clean my room first because I like to have my living space clean.

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

• If I had to choose between one family member and 3 strangers I would choose the one family member because I love my family.

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

• If I could choose to be any movie or television character I would be Naruto from the Anime TV show Naruto. I can relate to this character a lot because he is determined and focused on one goal as am I. He believes in himself when everyone else seems like they don’t.  

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

• The biggest adversity in my life would be my ADD. I have dealt with this by being more attentive to one thing at a time rather than multiple things so that way I don’t get distracted from the task at hand. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• Trying to dunk my freshman year and getting stuffed by the rim in a high school. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• Getting my first collegiate sack against Delaware State.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• The song that best describes my work ethic would be Duffel bag boi By Lil Wayne 

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 to help me succeed at the next level would be awareness. 

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 for one day it would be my grand mother so that I could get to see her and be able to hold her and have a conversation with her one last time. 

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

• If I where to open a dance club I would name it Club Ocho because that was my number (8) in high school.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• The most underrated player in the NFL is Deion Jones 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected because you should treat others the way you want to be treated. 

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

• If I had to choose one NFL player who had his career derailed it would be Josh Gordon. Being that he wasn’t in his prime he truly had his whole career ahead of him. Even though he abused illegal substances I feel for him because, he could’ve been dealing with more issues then what we saw on the surface. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to loose because I don’t like the feeling and it makes me feel I didn’t preform my best. 

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

• The biggest influence in my life would have to be my mother because, my mom does everything with in her power to help make things possible and within reach for me if I an’t do it for 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

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