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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Paul Grattan, C/G, Villanova University

Paul Grattan Villanova
Paul Grattan is one of the best interior lineman in the entire FCS. The C/G product from Villanova University recently sat down with Jimmy Williams. Paul Grattan is a special player!

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

I love Villanova. It’s a great university. The campus is beautiful and it’s not just a university but a community that really supports everyone that goes there. I volunteered a lot for the Special Olympics and the Andy Talley bone marrow foundation. Villanova has the biggest student-run special Olympics in the country, we take extreme pride in that, and I love making all the athletes feel like I do on game day. 

How did you end up at Villanova?

I had some offers from just about everywhere in the MAC and CAA going into my senior year but what set Villanova apart was the connection with the coaches and the school. The coaches deeply care about you, not as just a player but a person as well. Almost all of our coaches have been here for five-plus years and some even longer than that, with Ferrante being there for 30. They invest in what they have built and it shows. The combination of athletics and academics is unmatched.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

They would probably say my best quality is the edge I play with. I carry a big chip on my shoulder everytime I step onto the field and make sure my presence is known. Our defense usually has some choice words for me when we do scrimmages but they know the edge I bring is making both of us better.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I see myself as a leader on the team.  When our offensive captain went down for the season and wasn’t on the field with us, both Dan and I had big shoes to fill so we did, and I think our success shows that.  I have really only played in a spread offense type scheme so it’d be interesting to play in a different scheme. However my favorite plays I think I work with best with are our powers and force schemes. I have come a really long way as a guard and have done really well so far in that position. But I have a special liking towards center and look forward to honing my craft there.

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

On an opposing team it has to be Bilal Nichols from Delaware, dude was a complete beast.  Thankfully he made my job a lot easier by getting ejected from our game haha. But the best player I’ve ever played against was Tanoh Kpassagnon. There’s a reason why he went in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Justin Covington. He’s an amazing dude who puts his heart and soul into everything he does. He’s had a lot of adversity in his life and he wakes up everyday with a huge smile on his face.  Also he’s an absolute freak athlete, we would have had a completely different season on top of the great season we had last year if he didn’t go down with an injury.

Paul Grattan highlights

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

My dad passed away when I was in 8th grade. It was an extremely tough point in my life for obvious reasons. But he gave me the passion for the game and life that I have now and I try to carry on his attitude to everything I do.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is getting my Villanova degree. I just graduated yesterday, and it feels amazing. After my dad passed I knew the only way I was going to be able to go to a good university was to pay for it through football.  I wasn’t the greatest student in high school and without football, Villanova would have never even looked at my application. So being able to graduate Villanova with a 3.0 GPA, making the dean’s list, and being accepted into the Public Administration masters program are my biggest accomplishments.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds Draft Breakdown of Paul Grattan!

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

The most memorable single play was actually a “take a knee” play haha. The final play at Lincoln financial when we beat Temple my junior year was unreal. My sister went to Temple and played volleyball there so it was a huge game in my family. After we took the knee I just remember turning around and seeing pure joy on everyone’s face. It was a pretty surreal experience.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

If I didn’t play football I’d probably play baseball. I played baseball growing up and I love playing the game, also they make the big bucks in the league.

What was your major/minor? Other than football, what would be your dream job?

I’m a political science major and I’m now in the public administration grad program. My dream job would be the mayor of Pittsburgh. It’s my hometown and I love my city. I do plan on eventually running, hopefully after a long career in football.

What have you been working on in the off-season?

My lower body strength has been a big point of emphasis for me. I know if I want to take my game to the next level I have to start from the ground up. Guys are only going to get bigger and stronger as I progress and I have to make sure I can move them.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My team is obviously the Steelers. Can’t be from Pittsburgh and not like the Steelers. My go to guy to watch and study is David deCastro. He’s awesome and I love the way he plays, he’s very cerebral.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any secret talents?

I love fishing, it’s my favorite thing to do to get away from the world. Being out in nature and just having time to reflect and be mindful is a great way to release stress and get your mind right. 

Why do you play football?

I play football because there’s nothing else in the world like it. I’ve been playing football my entire life, and I’m obsessed with it.  Being out on the field is therapeutic to me. I’ve had some struggles in my life and being able to go out there and play helps me a lot.  Also the bonds you create on a football team last forever, and I’ll never trade those people or moments I’ve experienced for anything in the world.

Who or what motivates you the most?

My family motivates me the most. If I don’t push myself and do everything I can to be the best that I can be then I see that as failure. I have an opportunity to do something special and take my game to the next level that will allow me to provide for my family like never before. So if I do not do everything in my power to make that happen I will have failed both myself and my family in my eyes.  My family has given me a wonderful life and support system so I will do anything to repay that and through succeeding in football I can do that.

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