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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ponce Deleon, DB, Shepherd University

Ponce Deleon Shepherd
Ponce Deleon is a ball hawk in the Shepherd secondary with 15 pass deflections and 9 career Ints so far in his career. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I can see myself as a slot CB, or a high safety. During this offseason, I’ve been working on my man coverage, getting better at press and off man, helping me work in any scheme being a strong safety or slot CB.

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 experience as a student is very new, as the first person from my family to go to college. There have been a lot of things I’ve learned over the years. My major is Sports Marketing, this year has been definitely different because of COVID-19, but I am a part of FCA (fellowship of Christian athletes). This organization that speaks the truth about God and spreads the Gospel to anyone that wants to hear. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say I am a hard worker who over competes. They would say he never gives up on his teammates and is always trying to do more work. Very energetic most of the time. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Jermaine Wynn who’s a slot receiver at Slippery Rock. He is a WR that can do it all and is a hard worker.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Linebacker Chrys Lane. He is very talented and does what he can to be the best.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Well, I can honestly say I haven’t been through that much struggle “Thank God”. But if I were to look back at my past it would be high school going into college, I was very undersized. Many coaches didn’t want to recruit me, so it definitely was a confidence breaker at first but then I realized that I have to be patient and trust the process.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would do boxing. It’s a very exciting and competitive sport. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Being able to go to college and play college ball, people my height don’t really get as far as I’ve come. I am also thankful for life. I’m proud that I never quit and I never take anything for granted.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career?
Having two interceptions in one game and returning one for a touchdown against West Liberty. Another was having 19 tackles, and half a sack, that was my career high against Fairmont State.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athletes would be Budda Baker, Ed  Reed, and Brian Dawkins. My favorite team is the Steelers. The best person I can match it with is Tyrann Matthews or Malcom Jenkins.

What is your favorite comfort food?
don’t have one, love a lot of food

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Act of Valor

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Don’t really have a favorite, can be from gospel to Beyoncé to old rap.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
study football, play games or just rest

Who or what motivates you the most?
My Mother. She’s the hardest worker I know.

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