Hello, I am @jrberendzen on Twitter and this is one of my free agent interviews where I ask very deserving free agents questions about the players themselves and about what a team would get in these players. All of these players should get picked up by NFL, CFL, and XFL teams and get a shot at being a career football player. So I hope you all read this interview with Lee Privett and follow his journey on Twitter @LeePrivett
1.What are your favorite moments from your football life?
I have about 3 that are my personal favorites. My 1st favorite moment my first visits to various college football programs throughout my senior year and later joining the Peru State University team.
My second favorite memory isn’t really a moment but rather the time I spent with the guys during my time in Peru. Whether it was in the gym, on the field, or in a classroom I loved every second and would never trade it for anything.
Finally, my most recent one was the time I spent at The Spring League showcase in Denver. It was an excellent experience and I met many great people and was coached by some phenomenal people.
Overall, I enjoyed the grind of everything, it was hard work but it was fulfilling and purposeful.
2.What is your favorite workout?
I enjoy fieldwork. The running, agility, and body mechanics are something I take joy in refining and learning. Drills, where the ball is involved, are especially engaging.
3.What is your mindset when you are on the football field?
Joy, regardless of how tired I am, if I’ve had an off day or something didn’t go right I know as soon as I hit that field that nothing else matters. I get to live in a moment that so few gets to experience and I thank god every day that I get to do it. Not being on that field even as a redshirt is a heartbreaking feeling. When I’m on the field, I get to refine my craft and do something I truly love. Regardless of rain, heat, or snow, it’s where I want to be. In short, I love every moment.
4.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
I would have to pick Jerome Bettis, the guy was a childhood hero of mine. People off the field say he has a heart of gold and is just a real pleasant guy to be around.
5.What has been your favorite stadium that you have played in?
The Oak Bowl in Peru, Nebraska. Got there the year they completed construction and the fans were some of the nicest people.
6.Rank focus, footwork, and skill-based on what is most important to you as a football player?
I would have to leave it in that order (1.focus 2.footwork 3.skill). Without focus, you can’t work on much of anything without becoming distracted. Football is especially cruel if you aren’t focused. It leads to players getting hurt, stagnation, or mental mistakes, footwork is something that can be worked on and skill comes from combinations of knowledge, experience, and practice, but without focus, you won’t improve nearly as fast with the other two.
7.What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?
That’s a bit tough to describe, if I had to put it into words it would be a clinical comedic atmosphere. I find that it’s good to make sure that me and my teammates have a good time but make sure we’re focused on the task at hand. If everybody’s having a good time it makes practice easier and makes install go more smoothly.
8.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?
When I was little I was insanely clumsy because I was born early and some of my muscles didn’t develop properly. I and my family would watch the game and I would see the players running, hitting, etc. And the only thing that ran through my mind was “I want to be like that!” All the players were so big, strong, fast, and deliberate in their movement and I wanted to be that way too. Eventually, I learned the work they put in and all the things they do on and off the field and I just wanted to be like them. They were my Sunday supermen. So, I asked my mom and dad to sign me up for Pop Warner, fell in love with the grind and the rest is history.
9.What has been your biggest challenge in life?
My early childhood was probably my most difficult time, as a kid I was often labeled a troublemaker and didn’t do to well with school or other people in general. On top of that I was diagnosed with autism very early and as a result was separated from my peers. Bouncing in and out of SPED classes and constantly learning how to interact normally with other kids resulted in a lot of bullying both physical and emotional. After years of hard work and self exposure therapy I learned to interact with other people on an intellectual and social level. But I still had a hard time even in high school with me often being the target for jumpings because people knew who I was and found it funny. Still can’t use a public restroom with anyone within 10 feet. It’s still an ongoing process but I’m proud to say that it has little control on my life now and I’m a better man for it. The help I got from teachers, and family helped me also.
10.What would a team get in a player like you?
A team would receive a player with a clean nose and regimented routine, a player that has the drive to work constantly and consistently until the job is done. There would be complete transparency and a work ethic that would result in improvements and refinement during the entirety of my career. Hard work, and a player that is thankful for the privilege to play.
11.If your life was a TV show what would you call it and why?
I’d call it something like The Longest Road, or something similar. Becuase my journey has had few detours but it has been a difficult growing experience. Each season a time of constant character development on a path to become a better man. Hard choices, sacrifices, loss, achievement. All culminating the the finale. The overarching theme would be ” it’s not where you start, but how you finish” because that’s my life in a nutshell. It’s a long road with many detours, potholes, stops, and sudden events, in the end the best part of the story is the journey, not the conclusion.
12.What do you hope to achieve as a football player?
Thats a difficult question. I hope to continue the sport for as long as I can to the best of my ability. To make my family proud and happy. Really one quote stands out to me “You will pursue perfection knowing you will never achieve it, but in your pursuit you will achieve excellence” – Vince Lombardi. I guess his quote best describes my goal both on and off the field.