- Name: Derek DJ Arnson
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 205lbs
- Position: Punter
- College: Northern Arizona University
- Twitter: @arnson_dj
What is the best restaurant in your hometown city?
- Deans Hermanos Mexican Food
When breaking down your film what will stick out?
- My consistency and my ability to produce in pressure situations.
If you won the lotto, what is the first thing you would do with the money?
- Pay off all my family’s debt and buy my parents their dream cabin in Nutrioso, Arizona. I would make sure my family and extended family is taken care of, I would donate a turf field to Basha High School, and I would provide three full scholarships to an offensive, defensive, and special teams player that walked on to the NAU football squad and earned a starting spot.
What has been your biggest failure?
- I haven’t had any major failures, but I have made many mistakes along the way. I have learned to listen to counsel and advice the first time, especially when coming from my parents and coaches.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
- My leadership and my accountability.
Who is the hardest working teammate on your team?
- Our hardest-working teammate who will always be with us is Malik Noshi. Rest in peace Big Mal.
Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
- Most people close to me call me Deej, but I’ve had D, Big D, Deejer, and Bubba D. The last one because my older sister couldn’t say Baby D when we were little, so Bubba D stuck.
What is your degree in, if you do not make it as a football player, what is your dream job?
- I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. My goal after a career in the NFL is to go to medical school and become a cardiologist.
What is your coolest life moment?
- My very first collegiate punt was 57 yards and my gunners downed it on the one-yard line. Completely flipped the field. I haven’t left the field since.
What song would you sing at Karaoke night?
- Don’t Stop Believin – Journey
If you could pick any actor to play you in a movie, who are you picking?
- Henry Cavill
Who is your favorite football team?
- Other than the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
- Extremely Flammable, Explosive
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What is your biggest fear?
- Disappointing those who believe in me and living with regret
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
- Emmanuel Butler
Take us through game day, How do you prepare?
- I have to have my game day playlist ready to go, then I walk the field, both hashes up and back to pick out my targets for every kick, then I get my legs stretched by the trainers. Then I kick to the returners and we go to the locker room after I punt the ball to a single returner and our whole team circles him, then we break and head in to prepare for the game.
Do you have any hobbies?
- I enjoy playing the piano, I love being outside; camping, fishing, hunting, and I enjoy playing videogames with my friends.
If you had to compare yourself to someone in the NFL, who would that be?
- I compare myself to Taysom Hill. We have a similar background, and while I know he is the better athlete, we approach every single play with the same tenacity and drive.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
- My grandfathers and my father. I would not be where I am today with the wonderful opportunities I have if I wasn’t raised by their examples in how to carry myself and be a protector and provider. I have to give as much if not more credit to the wonderful women in my life my grandmothers, mother, and sister. They taught me how to have a soft heart and have prepared me to be the best husband and father I can be when that day comes.
What motivates you to work hard?
- My grandfather told me once “That you can lose the opportunity of a lifetime, in the lifetime of that opportunity” and I have always had that in the back of my mind. When facing a difficult decision, I know to have faith in God and to give it all that I can to not live with regret. I am motivated to provide for those loved ones around me, as I was given a God-given talent, and through that talent, I can bless their lives. But it all falls on my shoulders to act and to do, that is what gets me out of bed and helps me fight the man in the mirror. I strive to attain my goals because I’m not just doing it for myself.