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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jalon Simpson, LB, Olivet Nazarene

Jalon Simpson Olivet Nazarene
Jalon Simpson is a fantastic athlete who plays linebacker at Olivet Nazarene University. He’s had back-to-back years of tallying 100+ tackles and also has aspirations of Olympic gold as a javelin thrower. He recently told his story to NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Jalon Simpson
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 240 lb
  • Position: LB
  • College: Olivet Nazarene University
  • Twitter: JalonSimpson
  • Instagram: Jalon.Simpson

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My major is in Sports Management Business and Marketing. I am also involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was a R.A. for an apartment. Currently, I have an internship with our Sports Information Director.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My energy and positivity. Uplifting my teammates and pouring into them as a leader is one of the best things that I do.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
One of my biggest roles is that of a team leader. I’ve been a team captain the last 2 years. Our coaches believe that in order to win they have to put their best players on the field. So, I’m also out there on 3 of 4 special teams units. I’ve played in multiple schemes both as an ILB and OLB.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Joe Conner from Concordia Ann Arbor is one of the best RBs that I’ve faced. He’s very shifty and hits holes tight. I know he had a few workouts with some pro teams.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
One of the best teammates that I’ve ever had was Caleb Coe. He played a nickel linebacker. He basically taught me everything I know. He was one of our team captains. James Officer also impressed me. He was a physical freak on the offensive line.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
One of my biggest down moments was when I went to Track Nationals my sophomore year. I was ranked fairly high, but had one of the worst performances I ever had.I let it get to my head. I ended up talking with one of my mentors in order to get me refocused. Track is a very mental game, and I’m thankful that I’m at the point where I’m very successful at it. I just can’t hold on to my past mistakes.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Definitely Track & Field. My father is a javelin coach, and I couldn’t throw in high school because the state of Michigan wouldn’t allow it. I played some basketball in high school, but track is where I have truly excelled. My personal best for the javelin throw is about 233 feet. I am currently preparing to compete for the Olympic trials next year.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m really proud of my brother. He’s battled through a whole lifetime of injuries and he’s finally to the point where he can really compete in athletics. He’s worked so hard. He is truly inspirational

My greatest achievement as a football player is being voted team captain. It’s really humbling to see how people view me.

My highest achievement to date is getting accepted to the US Track & Field National Championship in 2019

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I had a game saving tackle on the RB for Robert Morris. That win put us in the conference championship.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I’m from the Pittsburgh area. I root for the Steelers. Even though he played for the Ravens, I have respect for Ray Lewis who was just able to be mentally and physically prepared for every game.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite song is “Live your Life” by T.I.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My favorite comfort food is definitely puppy chow. It’s a mix of Chex Mix, peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?
Some of my favorite actors include Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith and Denzel Washington.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
One of the things I do is my spare time is coaching players for javelin throws. There’s a concept called RPR (Relax Performance Reset).

I also play guitar, bass and drums for the FCA worship band.
Who or what motivates you the most?
I’m motivated because God has blessed me with the physical ability to do what other people can’t do. My goal is to be the best that I can be and to honor my family in all that I do.

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