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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jamari Collins, DT/DE, Urbana University (OH)

Jamari Collins the 6030, 275 pound DT/DE from Urbana University in Ohio, recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Jamari Collins
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 275
  • Position: DT/DE
  • College: Urbana University (OH)
  • Twitter: @jamari_collins

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

• Ypsilanti, Michigan. Small city just east of Ann Arbor and 30 miles west of Detroit. What I love most about it is that it is a chill and quiet city. My family has been here for years before I was even thought of so just like anyone else and their hometown, what I love is how comfortable I am because no matter what, it is home.

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

•All three of these are just as important as the next to be able to play football at your best and at the next level. If you prepare one or two of these aspects of the game and lack or forget the other, then it will show come gameday. Being physically and mentally prepared are equally important.

What do you worry about, and why?

•I worry that I won’t be able to payback and give my parents everything they deserve in life. They have given me everything and without them I wouldn’t have made it this far. I think about it every single day and it drives me to work harder in football and in life.

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

•The first 2 years in my college career I was playing sort of “see ball, get ball” football or still stuck in a high school football mentality. I wasn’t really playing with technique and I didn’t realize I was playing below what I could until I learned to be more discipline in my technique. It wasn’t until my d-line coach drilled technique into us every day. Broke down film and schooled me on how it needs to be done and why, and that made me a better football player. So, to answer the question, I feel like my first two years of college ball were lessons on how not to do it. With coaching and learning how the system works made me a better ball player.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•Doing what is best for the team and putting the team before myself. Leading by example and doing the right things on and off the field.

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

•A former teammate of mine, Doug Hardin who played center. Going against a guy like him every day in practice who was arguably the best center in our conference at the time, especially as an 18 or 19-year-old will humble you and make you better as a player. 

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

•I would use my degree to the fullest potential and own my own business.

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

•Desk

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

•Family is first so a family member no doubt about it.

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

•Martin Lawrence in Martin. It seems like he got a cool laid-back life, good genuine and funny friends, has a career he has a passion for and has a wife that loves him. He seems like he is truly happy with life in the show.

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

•Going into my senior year of high school I did not have a single college offer. I got discouraged at first, but I just prayed and worked harder than I ever did up to that point and had a great season. I was selected to the all-conference and all-state team and Urbana gave me an opportunity to play college ball.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•4th grade, first year playing football. I got ran over in a tackling drill we were doing; I’ll never forget that and I never let it happen again.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•My junior year versus West Virginia Wesleyan, I scooped up a fumble and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time I have scored in my life.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•Grown Simba – J. Cole

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

•My versatility, special teams and knowledge. I can play anywhere from DT to DE on the defensive line; I have played productively in a 4-man and 3-man front. I think of special teams as opportunity, my junior year of college I was #2 in the nation with blocked field goals with 4. Senior year I got the starting job on the punt team and blocked two more field goals. Finally, I can learn the d-line playbook and know what we’re all supposed to do. You never know when you may have to help someone remember what their responsibility is or when coach needs you to move spots and you must be ready for both.

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

•I would bring back my cousin who died from cancer in October of 2018. He was my aunts only child and only 27 years old. It has been a tough loss for everyone in our family, but I would bring him back so he can be with my auntie again.

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

•Honestly, I don’t do the party/club scene. I have been to four parties in my life honestly and two of them were in middle school. I can’t even think what a good name would be, I would sell the club for a profit and do something that’s more me.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

• Grady Jerrett

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. If you are liked by everybody then it is probably because you pretend to be what they would prefer so they will like you. When you are yourself and genuine then you are respected, some may not like you, but they have no choice but to respect you because you are true to yourself.

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

•I don’t think there is anybody that I feel genuinely bad for from off the field mistakes. When your career is derailed from drugs and things of that sort, I can’t say I really feel bad because you put yourself, your career, teammates and the organization that you were apart of in jeopardy. You can argue that maturity is a big factor and that is true I also know that wrong place wrong time is real. However, you must know the platform and the position you are blessed to be in.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•Hate to lose

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

•My dad first, but also my uncle and my grandfather. Growing up they have been the male role models in my life. They all own their own business in different areas and support their family through hard work, preparation and dedication. I have only seen them work and make way and provide for family, never making an excuse and doing what a man is supposed to do. My dad has always showed me that nothing worth having comes easy and everything is earned. That is what drives me and makes me work harder in football because that’s what I have seen my whole life is hard work and dedication.

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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