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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Halen Steward, FB, UTSA

Halen Steward the hole opening fullback from UTSA recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Halen Steward
  • Height: 5’11
  • Weight: 240 
  • Position: Fullback
  • College: The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Twitter: @Steward_H32

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

My hometown is in Hastings, Florida. Hastings is a small country town where the population is roughly 650. At night you can see the stars glisten better in the country than in the city and there’s often silence. It’s not a busy city, there’s never heavy traffic like San Antonio but it’s home. It has amazing people and a peaceful atmosphere that makes my home a great vibe. I am a family-oriented person so what I love most about Hastings are the people I get to spend time with. Being around my family and having a good time with them is a what I love the most.

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

In order of importance, personally I feel that it goes 1) Strength and Conditioning, 2) Film Study, and 3) Practice. Strength and conditioning builds your body for the season mentally and physically, if your body can’t maintain, you can’t play. Film study, would come after that because it is one the most important things about football. When it comes to playing in the game film prepares you to anticipate things that are likely to happen. You analyze your plays and learn from your weak spots and enhance your strengths as well as others where you can exploits their strengths to help put you in the best position to make and execute plays. Last is practice. Practice is the icing on the cake, sharpen your work ethic, your mental and then apply everything you learned on the field with repetition.

What do you worry about, and why?

I worry most about being able to provide the best life for my family. A man is supposed to provide for his family, although I am the youngest child I feel like there’s still time for me to make every opportunity I can into something great in order to make sure my family is set for a long time.

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

My 11th grade year of high school one of the most important years of my high school career, to get me where I wanted to be in life, I failed my ACT and SAT twice. I knew I needed to pass these to entrance exams to get into my top colleges.  I talked with my mom, a teacher I look up to and my guidance counselor and made the decision to drop one my elective classes and replace it with a tutoring class. High school is supposed to be fun but I had to look forward toward my future. “What can I do now that will help me in the long run?” The teacher I had talked to was teaching the tutoring class and said they would love to help me improve my scores and the next time I took the SAT I passed. Which overall, is how I received the opportunity to play at UTSA.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates say my best quality is leading by example. I never had much to say when it came to the game, but I knew it was for the best to just go out and do what was asked and expected of me without complaining. 

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

The best player I’ve ever played against in college was Marcus Davenport. He was also my teammate so going against an athlete like that in practice every day pushed me to become better. Marcus could use power moves or he could finesse with his speed to get to the QB so I had to work my butt off to try and stop him.

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

If I couldn’t play football I believe my career path would be somewhere with art. I love to draw and create my own art. I love to play football but another way to express myself is through my art to help show people that there is beauty/gifts in everyone, everything, everywhere – you just have to find how to express yours. Therefore, it would definitely have to be an aspiring artist.

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

Desk, room, car. Once my desk is clear gives me the extra push to clean my room. Car is last because I’m not often in my car so it’s rarely dirty.

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

Out of instinct, if there was a disaster I would save my family member because I would risk the possibility of me having to mourn one versus three families having to mourn because I chose three strangers over my blood. While that doesn’t seem like the most ethical thing I think in the moment I would be thinking of how either the family member or the three lives will affect me in the long run. In this case, both decisions is worrisome but I would most likely choose my loved one. 

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

If I was a television character I would be the superhero, Black Lightning. Black Lightning helped the community he was from before helping anywhere else. In the show he plays two lives one as a superhero and the other as an educator, a principal at the local high school. He instills into the minds of the younger generation that their future starts with them, they have control over the choices they make and they will get the future they desire by any means necessary. Plus, he was a family oriented man and he fought hard take care of and keep his family together.

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

I tore my ACL twice and didn’t know if I was ever going to be the same, didn’t know if I was going to get a shot going pro with this happening. I overcame this with support by becoming closer to God and manifesting positivity over my knee and life. I began hanging around people that pushed me to become better. I could have easily gave up and shut down but I put in the work to build my confidence back up, get my mental right and train my knee to be stronger and did not sit around and wonder what if.

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What is your most embarrassing moment?

One of my most embarrassing moments in my life was when I was in a play in high school school and messed up the little role I was given. Yes, I like art but expressing myself through theatrics wasn’t it

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

The most memorable play of my college career is when I scored against Kansas State my junior year. I had just came back from an injury my sophomore year and need to prove myself in every game. Couple games back I scored a 4 yard touchdown pass.

What song best describes your work ethic?

Undefeated- Ace Hood

The last line of that song says Every time they kept me out I come back hard – I’m undefeated. For every set back I have always made a major comeback that massively speaks to my resilient work ethic.

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

My most important trait to help me succeed at the next level is to keep being resilient. We all have had bad days but every day I come back to get better. Knowing that by the grace of God I have another 24 hours of opportunity to show the world who I am and what I can do, there’s no reason to think otherwise or have doubts, to worry, yes they come but I do not let them consume me. I know there’s no reason why I shouldn’t come back better mentally, physically and spiritually each day of my life.

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

If I could bring one person back from the dead for one day, it would be my father. I would just want to see his face in the flesh, hear his voice one more time, to take walk, really just to enjoy great vibes with my pops one more time so that he can see what a man I have become from the boy he raised me to be.

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

Bop it Bar

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

Grady Jarrett, I am not sure if he is underrated but I feel like he doesn’t get talked about enough. He plays with passion. His speed getting off the ball and relentless effort to get to the ball really stands out to me. He’s a go getter.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

I would rather be respected, that’s how I was raised I don’t need people to like me but the right people will respect me. Respect goes a long way when you doing good things everyone isn’t going to like you and that’s okay as long as I am respected that’s all that matters.

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

Aaron Hernandez, because he was in a position that every NFL player and people that want to be in the NFL aspire to be. He had it all, he was playing the game he loved, getting paid, living comfortably and it’s sad to see someone make it all the way there and throw it all away for no reason at all. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

I hate to lose. When you put in the work every day and prepare yourself  the best way you can, it hurts to take a hit whether you lose by a field goal or one touchdown.

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

My brother Tony Steward, we have been through a lot of the same things in life and he still made it to where he wanted to be which was to the league. He showed me that no matter where you are in life your goals are still capable of being reached! You have to be willing to go against the grain and work, work and work for what you want because it’s not going to be handed to you. I’ve always looked up to my big brother because he made me feel like I wasn’t the only one in the world that has had setbacks and I wouldn’t be the last.

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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