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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Gavin Barclay, OT, Lafayette College

Gavin Barclay Lafayette College
Gavin Barclay the mauling offensive lineman from Lafayette College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Gavin Barclay
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 315 lbs
  • Position: OT
  • College: Lafayette College
  • Twitter: @G_Barc53

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

I attend Lafayette College located in Easton Pennsylvania. It is a small school with a lot of personality. Outside of football, I do what I can to make being an athlete as great as an experience possible. I am a Peer Mentor, which helps first year student athletes transition into college athletics and academics. I am also a Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative. Again with the goal of creating the best athletic experience possible at Lafayette.

How did you end up at Lafayette College?

I ended up at Lafayette because it mixes Division I athletics with great academics with Lafayette being one of the top colleges in the country. Growing up my family always stressed that superior academic and athletic performance could be one and the same. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

Consistency and leadership. In game, I am not the loudest but I come to work and win every down of every game. When things get tough, I am level headed and can pull the huddle together and focus on the goal of moving the ball down the field to score. Good day or bad day when it is time to lift, practice, watch film, or play a game, you get the same hard working person.

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

A leader. Someone who keeps the huddle consistent, never too high and never too low, with one goal to dominate and score points. I can play in any scheme. Our offense involves most run and pass schemes. Football presents situations where you have to run to kill time or pass when you’re down. Whatever scheme we have to do to win. I prefer tackle (either side), but I have played guard on both sides. I will play whatever position puts our team in the best position to win.

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

Malik Hamm. Ever since he came to Lafayette, his work ethic, grit, and passion were another level. He’s tough to block and he consistently disrupts the quarterback whether one guy or three guys are blocking him – it doesn’t matter. I am lucky to call him my teammate and line up across from him for practice because he makes me better every day.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

John Burk and Harrison Greenhill. They both come to work with a determination to dominate. They both work incredibly hard on and off the field and are leaders among our team. Playing next to John and across from Harrison in practice always shows their dominant play style.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

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

Over the past years, both of my grandmothers have had severe dementia. Family is very important to me and having grown up closely with both of them it was very hard to see the ones I love become less of who they were. 

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

Having the opportunity to play Division I football at a great school like Lafayette is something I am proud of. Additionally, one of my achievements that I am proud of was being given the opportunity to be a starter as a freshman. Since then, I have started in all 34 of 34 games for Lafayette. This has taught me a lot about myself, and about football. This has developed my football skills tremendously. 

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

One of my favorite plays of last year was in the final minutes of the Lafayette/Lehigh 155th matchup. We were driving down the field bit by bit to the red zone, and had to opt for a field goal. Jeff Kordenbrock lined up and put it right through. After our defense shut down Lehigh’s offense, we went on to win the Rivalry game 17-16. 

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

If I didn’t play football, I probably would have played lacrosse. This was always my second sport throughout highschool and I liked it because you could still hit and be physical. 

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

I am a Biology major. I have always had a passion for helping people and making people’s lives better. My dream job is to be a dentist. To this point, Chiefs O-lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has always been a role model of mine for his love of the game and passion to help others.

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

I have been putting a lot of focus on technique and perfecting my craft. With good fundamentals it becomes second nature so when I am playing there is no thinking, just doing. In addition to strength training, I have been working on my core. The core is the center of all activities of football whether that is the game itself or the activities surrounding it. The core stabilizes and braces your body.

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

My favorite team is the Steelers, and one of my favorite players growing up has Maurkice Pouncey. He was the one who I looked up to in my early days of football as a center even though I have grown up and become a tackle. There are also several tackles I look up to like Tyron Smith or Terron Armstead. They both are dominant players who are fun to watch and learn from their years of experience and techniques.

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

In my free time I like to spend time with my friends and family. Aside from working out and doing football activities, it is always nice to sit down and relax with the ones who have supported me all my years of football. Along with this I enjoy cooking and being outside. 

Why do you play football?

I play football for the competition and for the desire to win. Football constantly puts you and your team in adverse situations where you need to come together to accomplish the common goal. Football is the greatest team sport. It brings together eleven guys from all around the country to compete for a common goal. 

Who or what motivates you the most?

My family. They have always been there for me growing up and helped me become who I am today. Their continued support into college has been great. My team also motivates me. We spend so much of our time together, whether it is lifting, practicing, or playing, we all have the same common goal to win. 

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