- Name: Bayley Blanchard
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 200 lbs
- Position: WR
- College: University of West Alabama
- Twitter: @blanchard1121
Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
The University of West Alabama is a very special place. The campus isn’t very big, so you meet a lot of people and harvest great friendships with those people that you meet. The support we have for each other as a university is incredible and our administration is the reason for that. I am the Student Athletic Advisory Committee President, and I am also involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
How did you end up at West Alabama?
West Alabama started recruiting me halfway through my senior football season. They reached out to me, I went on an official visit, and I fell in love with the place. The selling point was the coaching staff and how they care about not only you as a player but as a person. I visited other universities but felt more at home at West Alabama. They offered my major, ”Exercise Science” plus I loved their style of offense.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates see me as a leader on and off of the field. They see me as someone that would not ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do. I think they would say that I am a loyal and reliable teammate, and I am someone they trust in the heat of a game to make a play.
What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
The role I see myself in on my team is a leader as well as a playmaker. My best suited position for my skill set is a receiver because I’m willing to do whatever it takes to come down with the ball and make the play. I have reliable hands and I have the grit to allude my defender to get open.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The best player I have played against in college is without a doubt Kyle Dugger from Lenoir Rhyne. He was a safety that was recently selected in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft by the New England Patriots. He is a very athletic and all-around outstanding player who was always in the right position. I will also be honest and say he is one of the hardest hitting opponents I have ever lined up against.
Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
The teammate that impresses me the most is our running back, Derrick Underwood. He is a very shifty and hard-nosed athlete that we rely on a lot. He always comes ready to put in the hard work and is always equipped with a positive attitude.
Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
When I was twelve years old, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer. It shocked our entire family because he had always been so healthy, and he was not a smoker. My family did a wonderful job of rallying around him and never letting him give up. While we were not certain of what the future held for him, our father as well as my coach, it was truly a time to look an unseen adversity in the face and to pull through it as a family unit.
What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I am without a doubt most proud of obtaining my degree at the University of West Alabama, yet that does not overshadow being on the State Championship team my senior year at Piedmont High School as well as going on to win the Gulf South Conference here at UWA.
Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I have had so many memorable moments and plays here at UWA but the one that always seems to stand out the most to me is when we faced off against West Florida. It was third down and my defender was on me like glue. The ball was pitched in the air from our quarterback and I went up with one hand and came down with the ball at the goal line for the first down. We followed through by punching the ball into the endzone the next play. We walked away from that game with our heads held high as well as with a “W” for the record book.
If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
If I didn’t play football, I would absolutely play baseball. I have played baseball since I was 3 years old and traveled all over the country playing travel ball with many different teams in major tournaments. Baseball is actually the sport I spent my life grooming myself to play in college. In a twist of events during my senior year, I fell even deeper in love with the game of football and decided to hang up the baseball cleats and wear football cleats permanently.
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What was your major/minor? Other than football, what would be your dream job?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Science, specializing in Exercise Science. My dream job is to become a chiropractor. Chiropracting is my dream job because I care for people and want to put a smile on someone’s face every day. I am a very personable person that loves to get to know and help people. I feel like God’s plan for my life is to make a difference and to be a positive light to others.
What have you been working on in the off-season?
In the off-season I have been working on the details of the game. I’ve been working diligently on footwork, perfecting routes, and catching as many passes as I can. I’ve also been focused on getting bigger, faster, and stronger.
Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite player is Julian Edelman, and my favorite team is the Patriots. I would say I model my game after Julian Edelman and Adam Thielen. They play the game with passion and are tough players. They seem to always find the open spot, gain first downs when their team needs it, and make big plays under pressure. Most of my teammates even say I model Thielen when I’m on the field.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any secret talents?
In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with friends by the pool or lake. My hobbies include slow pitch softball, pick-up basketball, and fishing. My secret talent is freestyling with the boys. Put me on a good instrumental, and I can kill a freestyle.
Why do you play football?
I play football because I love the game. I love the values it teaches you and how you can relate them to anything or any situation in life. It teaches you how to fight for your brothers as well as how to dig through adversity and come out on the other side. You may not win every game and that also is a tough lesson to learn. In life, even the best laid plans can go awry and football teaches you not to quit whenever the plays aren’t going your way.
Who or what motivates you the most?
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ motivates me because without Him I am nothing. My family also motivates me because I want to make them proud. They always show me love no matter what I do. My grandmother Carolyn Blanchard, who passed in 2008 motivated me from a young age and taught me to always dream big. She also taught me that although life may knock you down, you have to keep pushing through no matter what.