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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Zac Newbell, WR, Henderson State University

Zac Newbell the speedy WR from Henderson State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Zac Newbell
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 182
  • Position: WR/KR
  • College: Kilgore College/Henderson State University 
  • Twitter: @that_boyy_zac

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

• I’m from the Northside of Houston, Texas and what I love most about Houston is the unlimited access to food & activities. The large amount of diversity let’s me see a bit from every culture which is interestingly exciting to me. 

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

• Film Study is most important to me because there is always something to learn. Something to learn from other players to use to my benefit or tendencies of other teams that I can expose. I put Strength & Conditioning and Practice in the same bracket because studies have shown that efficiency work in the weight room will keep me healthy. Also I believe it is best to both lift & play my sport so my body can adapt to the power that I’ve created and I can also be in tune with what I need to work on more to be stronger, faster & more durable. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I don’t worry about much. As long as I take care of my business, there isn’t much to worry about. I’ve been blessed. 

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

• Almost got cut walking on at Kilgore College. I thought I was doing well but Coach Eckert wanted more. Took a couple hours to process it. Worked my butt off that summer, came back earned the starting spot during fall camp and had a good redshirt freshman campaign. Which led to me earning a scholarship and going on to be one of the leaders/captains of the team heading into the following season. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My intelligence, my ability to learn every receiver position on the field and execute it well. When we take tests the day before the game, they try to cheat off me because they know I’m going to make 100% every time. 

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

• Kendall Sheffield CB. He went to The University of Alabama out of high school, transferred to Blinn Juco, went to Ohio State and is now in the NFL. I had a big catch down the sideline on a 9 Route when we played. I played well that day. 

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

• I am into a lot of Sports Performance/Strength & Conditioning stuff. There are a lot of guys I look up to in that career & I plan on furthering my education by understanding how the body functions and how I can help improve it for others. 

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

• Room, it’s a must. I’m always in my car so I’ve got to keep that as organized as I can. I never really let my desk get dirty. 

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

• Family member. I have a big extended family, but I don’t know them too well, so my immediate family is all I have. My mom, dad, younger brother & older sister. 

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

• The Flash. Everyone was calling me that after my video of me running 24mph went viral. 

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

• Breaking my collarbone during fall camp heading into my redshirt sophomore season at Kilgore. Put me into sort of a deep depression for a while because a lot of things went downhill after that. Ended up only playing 3 games at the end of the year. In those 3 games I had 7 catches for about 200yds and a TD. I owe it to my teammates for their support & respect by voting me a team captain during the last 4 months of the season. I hadn’t played a game the whole season. That meant a lot to me. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• Probably not taking care of my grades my first 2 years of high school. It’s something I’m not very proud of, but I learned a lot from it & I am better today because of it. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• Touchdown on a 9 Route in Juco vs. East Mississippi(Last Chance U) in a bowl game. It surely drew a lot of attention from scouts that evening. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Real In My Veins – Young Thug 

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

• Definitely my knowledge of the game. 

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

• Darrien(DJ) McClintock. Childhood friend and well known & loved by everyone in my community. Drowned in a lake trying to save someone else and yes he did save her. Just shows the type of person he was. I’m sure many others would do anything to see him 1 more time. Especially his family who I know very well and his best friend Ronny, who I played football with at Kilgore. We had seen him 2 weeks before his passing, it was shocking. 

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

• Zone 10. That’s my brand. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Devante Adams 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. I’ve had a bunch of people that liked me & liked to be around me, but would still try to find a way to take advantage of me. I don’t have to worry about that when I’m respected. 

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

• Antonio Brown. Only because that was my favorite player for a while and just to see the ride he went down. It’s inexcusable but tough to watch because he’s someone I admired for a while. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose because it just eats away at me until I can get that next win. I’m always going to find a way to win in the end, I come from cultures where losing is unacceptable. Especially at Westfield High School in Houston. 

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

• Marcus Salem & Kierrie(key•air) Johnson. Marcus was my neighbor & started teaching me how to play football when I was 7 years old and I grew to admire his work ethic and how he does everything he can to put his family in the best situations all while having a healthy balance of work & fun. His success has been something to take note of. 

Kierrie is my mentor. He played 5 years in the CFL after graduating from the University of Houston & playing Juco football at Blinn. He played at the same high school  and took me under his wing heading into my senior year of high school. He introduced me to my future career in sports performance so I definitely owe that to him. He helped me athletically, mentally & spirituality.

Marcus & Kierrie are both big brother figures to me and had large roles in helping me get to where I’m at today. 

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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