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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Gabriel Mendoza, WR, Kansas Wesleyan University

Gabriel Mendoza
Gabriel Mendoza the quick and elusive wide receiver from Kansas Wesleyan University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Gabriel Mendoza
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 170
  • Position: WR
  • College: Kansas Wesleyan University
  • Twitter: @gabemendoza80_

What is the best restaurant in your hometown city? 

• Native Grill & Wings. They have the best wings, in my opinion.

When breaking down your film what will stick out? 

• There are a lot of things that stick out while watching my film but the most common things are my speed and how quickly I can read defenses. I love to play quick and get on the toes of the DB. Once they understand that I have speed, I can then change up the tempo and dictate how I run a certain route. This is also where my football IQ comes into play on reading defenses. It’s all about finding the soft spot on the field. You don’t want to run yourself out of the play or into a defender, and I, truly, believe those are the most common things that stick out while watching my film as well as other things of course.

If you won the lotto, what is the first thing you would do with the money? 

• The first thing I would do is put at least half of it away into a savings account, and I would also make sure that my family and close friends are good and financially stable. 

What has been your biggest failure? 

• I don’t really believe in the word failure because I believe that everything happens for a reason, and it’s all a learning process no matter what it is. The biggest thing that I haven’t had much success on is keeping my faith and trust in the Man upstairs. I’ve been through some difficult situations throughout my life where I have doubted my role as a person as well as God, himself. Of course, it’s all a learning process, and I believe that I have been better about it then past years. I’ve been working on my faith with God and believe that it is improving and strengthening over time. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates say that my best quality is determination. I have fought through injuries and obstacles throughout my football career. A lot of my teammates have seen, in person, the struggles that I have gone through, but never have I ever settled or given up before. I’m always looking for ways to better myself as a player both on the field or in the film room. I have put in the extra work before and after practice just because I want to be the best. I believe I can do whatever I set my mind to.

Who is the hardest working teammate on your team?

• The hardest working teammate on my team is easily between Jevaughn Codlin and Richard McCauley. They workout and work on their techniques at least a couple times a day. Those guys are really determined in being the best they can be. I’ve seen it live. I’ve learned a lot from them as players and have implemented their determination into myself. I really hope they get to where they want to be because it’s inspiring to see how much work they’ve put in to this game.

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

• I’ve had a few nicknames throughout my career so far such as Flash, Red Rocket, and Doza all because of my speed or my last name. Other than that, everyone calls me Gabe, but I’m interested in people coming up with cool new nicknames for myself.

What is your degree in, if you do not make it as a football player, what is your dream job? 

• My degree is Biology, and I don’t really have a dream job. I’m interested in the medical field. I would love to help others, and I want to be financially stable, but other than that there isn’t a specific job that I want to do at the moment. 

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

What is your coolest life moment? 

• My coolest life moment was my senior year of high school during football season. It was the first round of the playoff, and we had home field advantage. We were playing Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona for a second time that year. We lost to them earlier in the season (on my birthday) where I went off. During this playoff game, they took the lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. Next possession, I ran a vertical down the sideline and took it to the house (97 yard touchdown). Long story short, it was a battle all the way to the end. I was able to seal a couple catches and put our kicker in field goal range to tie it up with no time left in the 4th quarter. We then go on to win in double overtime. I ended the night with well over a 100 yards on a few catches and a touchdown. It was the greatest game I’ve ever had, and my family got to witness it all. This was my coolest life moment. 

What song would you sing at Karaoke night? 

• I’m a terrible singer but I would easily sing just about any song by Chris Brown or Jacquees.

If you could pick any actor to play you in a movie, who are you picking? 

• I would say Mark Wahlberg (from Invincible) or Sean Astin (from Rudy). I love both of those movies, and they overcame many obstacles throughout it. 

Who is your favorite football team? 

• Arizona Cardinals

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

• Eat or Be Eaten!

What is your biggest fear? 

• My biggest fear is losing my family. I can’t imagine life without them.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• The most underrated player in the NFL is either Keenan Allen or Davante Adams. Both of them are footwork wizards, and they don’t get enough credit for what they do on the field.

Take us through game day, How do you prepare? 

• First, it starts off with getting the right amount of sleep and nutrition in the body days prior to game day. Then I eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. I continue with watching some early college football games in the afternoon. A couple hours before we take the field, I listen and watch hype videos as well as listen to rap music. It hypes me up. Just before kickoff, I get down on a knee and pray. I thank the Lord for everything he’s done for me, I tell him to continue to protect everyone, and no matter what happens I will always love and serve him. 

Do you have any hobbies? 

• My hobbies include playing video games and spending time with my girlfriend, family, and friends.

If you had to compare yourself to someone in the NFL, who would that be? 

• It would be Tyreek Hill because he’s really fast, and he’s not the biggest player on the field. I play really fast and love to use my speed to my advantage. I see myself like him and the way he plays.

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

• My parents have been the biggest influence on my life because they have shaped and molded me into the person I am today. Through all the struggles they’ve been through, they’ve never given up on me or stopped loving me. They have given me an incredible life, and I can’t wait to return the favor once I become successful in what I do. I am beyond grateful for having them in my life.

What motivates you to work hard?

• People that doubt my abilities and the losses/obstacles that I have had motivates me to work hard. I’ll never give up or let someone set the bar for me. I love to work hard, and it makes the reward feel so much better than something being handed to you. I promise anyone that doubts me is going to feel me in the end.

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 [email protected]

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