- Prospect Name: Ezekiel Michael Daure
- University: Duquesne University
- Position: CB
- Class: Sophomore
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 185 LBS
- Hometown: Castle Shannon, PA
- Twitter: @MichaelDaure
- Instagram: @zeke_xxii
Last year was one for the ages, to say the least. We saw things like the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement, Murder Hornets, West Coast wildfires disrupt not only our day-to-day lives but our way of life moving forward as a whole. Looking back, what are the positive things you’ll take out of the year 2020?
In 2020, everybody got exposed. There was no more hiding behind anything. Everybody’s true colors got shown, which I believe was positive. You knew where everybody stood and where you stood with everybody. Personally, I was able to find a new sense of happiness, which was really good for me. Football-wise, having our 2020 Fall season get canceled sucked, but I turned it into a positive by gaining weight, getting stronger, getting in great shape, and working to become a better defensive back.
Talking about the Fall 2020 season being canceled, what was the mood of the locker room when that decision was made? Did guys take it as an opportunity to get better and move forward, or was it a bigger feeling of disappointment?
I think the team was disappointed. It was just a roller-coaster of emotions throughout the summer. I think when we got back on campus for class, we took it as an opportunity to get better. It may have been a bad situation, but as a team, we had to get better and make the most of the extra time to train.
The NEC is scheduled to play a four-game schedule beginning on March 5-7, 2021. Looking ahead, what do you think your nerves will be like when you’re able to run out on the field?
It’s gonna be an amazing feeling just being able to be suited up with my teammates again. Through all the uncertainties, it would be so amazing. I’ll appreciate it more, especially knowing that it can be taken away at a moment’s notice.
You played High School football less than 20 minutes away from Duquesne Rooney Athletic Field. Did you attend games while growing up?
I actually never attend a game. I never attended a College Football game until I got to go on college game-day visits.
Being from the Pittsburgh area, what kind of impact did the Steelers have on you at a young age?
They impacted me a lot. Just watching Steelers football was special. I remember attending the parade in 2009 after they won the Super Bowl. I used to wear a Steelers’ jersey to school every Friday for the upcoming game. I fell in love with the game of football from a very young age, and part of that is from watching the Steelers.
Is Big Ben coming back next season or is it the start of a new era for the franchise?
I believe he’s coming back for another year.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge most athletes are facing today?
I believe the greatest challenge athletes face is that some people don’t realize that athletes are normal people who just play a sport. Some non-athletes think that our sport defines them, but it doesn’t. Athletes are so much more than just athletes. Some athletes use their voice for something that they believe is right and they are shot down. For example, they are told to “shut up and dribble.” Athletes aren’t here just to play. We have voices too. Which we have to use since we have the platform. Athletes can help make a positive change in so many ways just by using their voice and being a role model.
What have you learned most, so far, under Coach Schmitt, Coach Richardson, and the rest of the staff?
I’ve learned a lot from all my coaches. They all have helped me become a better man and football player. Accountability is a big thing they taught me. Holding myself and my teammates accountable. I have to give a shout out to Coach Rich and Coach Grib for helping and teaching me as a defensive back.
How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
I believe they would say that I work hard and that I’m committed.
If your life was a book, what would the title be?
That’s a tough one. I’d say “Diligent.”
Who is the best player in the NFL?
Tom Brady, he’s the G.O.A.T.
The last question; can leadership be taught or is it something you’re born with?
It can be taught. Sometimes you are forced into a leadership role. When everybody is looking to you for the answers, you’ve got to step up and be the leader. Some people may not know how to, or like, being a leader or have leadership qualities, but if you come to work every day and lead by example you are a leader. Leaders create more leaders.