Andrew Verboys the former small school wide out sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot for this amazing interview. With the XFL now over, XFL prospects can begin to sign with NFL teams and we think Andrew will have a great shot at making a squad.
How has the transition been to the XFL?
The transition to the XFL has been very smooth for me I felt. I feel the game is not far off from the football we are used to. The biggest adjustments were probably learning new special teams techniques with the new rules and getting used to the pace of the game with the 25-second play clock. Both adjustments I like better for the game actually. When I was with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL that took some getting used to. That’s a whole different game up there; the XFL has just a couple tweaks to it.
What do you bring to the XFL?
I feel I bring passion for the game to the XFL. The XFL has a kid that loves football, loves to compete and is extremely grateful for the opportunity. I think I have a unique under dog type story I guess that I bring as well. The cool thing about this league is everyone has a good story. This league has created a great opportunity for players like myself.
What is your favorite pre-game meal?
My go to pregame meal is two pieces of grilled chicken, half a plate of pasta with marinara sauce on it and about one third of plate are vegetables. I have water as my drink pre game. I always felt like that meal fueled me best for a game.
Did you watch wrestling as a child? If so who was your favorite wrestler?
To be honest, I never got into watching wrestling growing up. However, I did know who Vince McMahon was and what the WWE was. That’s probably the only sport I didn’t watch. Football, basketball, baseball and golf were my sports to watch and play growing up.
What was your biggest knock when leaving college?
My biggest knock leaving college was that I did not have enough production or enough film. I went to UMass as a QB, switched positions when I was there to WR then decided to transfer for a fresh start and a better opportunity at a scholarship. I decided on Delaware I liked the head coach who was there at the time, Coach Dave Brock. He brought me to Delaware, told me if I played he would put me on scholarship. I played that season, my RS Sophomore season. However, coach got fired 5 games into me being there. Although I earned my scholarship at the end of the season the new staff that came in for my last two seasons there had their own agenda and played their guys and I got lost in the shuffle unfortunately. So in the end, my college football career did not go as I envisioned and I definitely did not finish with the production for myself or as a team as I had hoped for. I definitely left Delaware with still a lot to prove because of all that; I am still trying to do that everyday.
The XFL has established some new rules, what is your favorite rule that is different from the NFL?
My favorite new XFL rule is the overtime rule. I think the shoot out type style where each team gets 5 plays against each other is an exciting format to play in as a player and extremely entertaining to watch as a viewer.
Who is the best player on the opposite side of the field that the fans need to pay attention to?
There are a lot of great players on the other side of the ball in this league but a couple names that come to mind that people should keep an eye out for is Darnell Jamar, Derrick Jones and Jermaine Ponder Jr. Darnell is an LB, he and I were in training camp together in NY he’s a very athletic linebacker but also has a very physical style as well, that’s a good mix, he will be exciting to watch for sure. Derrick and Jermaine are DBs who were with me on Team 9 before being called up to Seattle. I had some good battles with those guys. Derrick is so smart and has a long athletic frame; he’s a tall corner who can move too, he’s a tough match up for anyone. We talked all the time about our games and I always walked away from those talks with him that made me a little better. Jermaine is another great player, he plays so physical you always need to get crafty when gong up against him. I’m very appreciative of getting to go up against all 3 of those guys. Tenny Adewusi is another guy people should watch, he is a safety for Dallas, he was a teammate of mine at Delaware.
Is there one player around the league that you are looking forward to playing against?
The one player I look forward to playing against would have to be Derrick Jones. We talked so much when we were on Team 9 together about football and how he plays as a corner and how I play as a WR and what we both look for when we are playing or what we try to accomplish vs. certain looks. I was able to pick up a lot from him in that time we had together on team 9. He is a very smart player, that would be a fun match up. We had a good time competing against each other in practice, can’t imagine what it will be like in a game.
If you could sit down with any person dead or alive and could interview them, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would probably pick Julian Edelman. He is a player that I try and model my game after and I’m always studying his film, trying to pick up on moves he has or things he has to his craft that I can try and steal and add to mine. I would ask him a whole bunch of things, like how did he/does he handle the doubt all the time or how did he handle people telling him can’t do something. With professional sports comes a lot of stress I would ask him how he handles that on a day-to-day basis, especially early on in his career. I would ask him about his training regiment and nutrition and how he keeps his body in top shape all the time. I would ask about his daily schedule/routine in season and in the off season and then I would ask a bunch of football related questions in terms of routes and thought processes going against certain looks and running certain routes. Everyone has their own way of doing things but knowledge is power so the more you can learn from guys that have been successful at what you are trying to do and have done it over a long period of time, the more you take and learn from them the better off you will be. Coming from a family of football coaches, I have always been a student of the game and interested with all aspects so I would probably get as many questions as I could get in before he told me enough.
What is your biggest individual goal you have this year?
My biggest individual goal I have for myself this year is to make it off the practice squad and end the season on an active roster for a team, making a contribution to that team and doing anything I can to help that team win games.
Who was your favorite football player growing up?
My favorite football player growing up was Tom Brady. I always rooted for him. Then later on when Julian Edelman came onto the scene he turned into my favorite player. For some reason, I always rooted for the guy every one doubted and counted out or the guy every one told he can’t do something. I love watching those type of guys hard work pay off for them.
What was the biggest adversity you had to go through to get to where you are today?
I have been through a lot adversity as a football player. All of them are big and all of them have gotten me to where I am today. I have had two season ending knee injuries/surgeries in high school before my career really even started. I wasn’t recruited coming out of high school or prep school, I have gone from a non scholarship to a scholarship athlete, I have transferred colleges, I went through a position change form QB to WR, I have had 3 head coaching changes and have had 5 different position coaches in college. I went from playing to not playing at the University of Delaware. I went undrafted in the XFL draft; I have been released from a professional team on 3 different occasions and I have heard just about any knock a player can hear at one point or another and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t change any of what I went through. It is all part of my story. It’s given me my edge and keeps that chip on my shoulder. It’s taught me how to work hard and grind, it has taught me how to fight physically and mentally and it has driven me above and beyond to want to reach my goals and live out my vision I have for my career. If you dream big, you fail big sometimes but you have to learn how to get up and keep fighting for that dream when you do fail. My experiences drive me, and they will continue to drive me. I have always been told that if you work hard, keep your head down and stay true to the game, the game will eventually be true back to you.
Who is your biggest supporter?
I don’t think there is one single biggest supporter. I have a great support system but I think it starts with my mom and my dad tied for the biggest. I owe them everything and am so thankful to have them as parents. Growing up they taught me so much and still do teach me so much. They always want the best for me and my two sisters, Taylor and Emily. They support me through the good and the bad and believed in me no matter how crazy my goals sounded to people. They always provided me with an opportunity to chase my dream and that’s something you can never thank anyone enough for, ever. The best thing I can do is make them proud. I am very thankful and lucky I have a support system that runs deep starting with my Mom and Dad, my two sisters Taylor and Emily, my girlfriend Mel and her family, my grandparents Nan, Bud, Gram and Pop and guys that are like family to me Rippy, E.G. Green, Eric Grantham and Barry Weisfeld.
What do you think is your biggest attribute, that fans will love?
I have always been known as a player that plays with a lot of effort, plays tough, works hard and plays competitive so I think fans could take a liking to that type of player. I can promise I am always going to empty everything I have to wherever I am, I think fans can respect that.
Do you have a nickname?
I don’t really have a nickname that I go by all the time I have a gotten a whole bunch of short names before from friends and teammates, AV, Drew, Verb, nothing that really sticks though.
What is your most memorable moment in life?
My most memorable moment, I think it is tough to pick just one but a recent memorable moment was this past year in June. My professional home debut in Montreal with the Alouettes. My Mom, Dad, two sisters Taylor and Emily, my girlfriend Mel and Taylors boyfriend, Kevin, drove all the way up from lower NY to see me play in Montreal. It was a preseason game, and cut down day was the next morning so obviously there was a big stress on playing well but I remember earlier that day I was able to take a step back for a minute and take it all in. To go through what we went through to get to that point of playing in a professional game, to see all that hard work I put in begin to pay off and to have my family show that support in driving all the way up to see me and driving all night to get back home for work and school the next day, it was all pretty special to me. The whole day just meant a lot to me, something I will always remember for sure. I ended up having a good night on special teams with a couple of tackles and it was just great to see everyone after the game and have them be apart of the journey with me.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Wow this is a tough question; I don’t think I have an all time favorite restaurant. But, my girlfriend and I love Mexican food so that’s the route we usually take for date nights. She came and visited me here in Texas and we went to the famous “Joe T. Garcia’s” Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth and I think right now that holds both our number 1 spot for Mexican restaurants.
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