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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Branden Mack, WR, Temple

Branden Mack was a huge target in passing game at Temple University. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Branden Mack
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 220  lbs
  • Position: WR
  • College: Temple University
  • Twitter: @MACK_IT_OUT
  • Instagram: @b_mack215

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?
When I first came to Temple as a freshman, my major was Marketing, but I quickly found out that I had to change that and find something that was enjoyable that allowed me to help others in the community. I graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in Human Development and Community Engagement. I had two internships. One was with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the other was with Team Impact which helps children with disabilities. I hope one day after my football career is done to be a school counselor and maybe get into coaching.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that I’m a leader and a hard worker. Young players come to me for advice about the playbook and running routes. They also see that I’m a hard worker who is willing to put forth the extra effort. I will stay after practice to get more work and even come in on my days off. Due to my efforts, I was awarded a single digit jersey. I wore # 88 my first two seasons. Then I wore # 1 in 2019 and 2020.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
In my early years my main role was on special teams as I helped some of the older more established players by taking the load off their plate. I started the first game in 2018, and rotated in and out throughout the season. We had great players in the WR room, and I was able to soak up all the knowledge that I could. During my junior and senior seasons, I started to pick up a lot of responsibilities.

I mostly played in a spread scheme. Yet, we would occasionally use pro style sets here and there. I’m a fairly versatile player that can play on the outside and move inside. I could even be used as the move tight end in some schemes. I have been used a lot as the go-to man on 3rd downs and given the one-on-one opportunity to catch the ball. I’m obviously a big target to use in goal line situations.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Cincinnati has a great overall team that you have to respect. One of the players that I matched up with that gained my respect was Ahmad Garner. He uses his length very well, and he was good a competitor against me.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
In my opinion, Delvon Randle is one of the best safeties to ever play the game. He was very physical and fast. He was a great leader that showed everyone how to play the game. Delvon was also awarded a single digit jersey which shows how much hard work and dedication he had.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
In 2017, I lost my father. His death was very sudden and unexpected. He was my best friend and it was hard losing him. Football was our bonding time, and it just felt weird not having him around. I had lost my father and even the love of the game for a minute. Yet, there were several people in my life that helped me get through that situation. My mother and my siblings were always there. My mom is such a strong woman. Seeing her persevere through it was very motivating. My teammates also helped me deal with the loss. A bunch of my teammates took a bus to the funeral. They were there to embrace me and pick me up when I needed them to. Having football in my life has definitely helped me mourn the loss of my father. Not only does it give me an outlet to get through some of life’s frustrations, but football has also provided a lot of brothers that I love dearly and will never forget.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball was my favorite sport when I was little. I played basketball all throughout high school and also ran track a couple years. I never took those sports as serious as I do football. Football is my love.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m very proud that I was able to get a scholarship that helped pay for my education. I was a bit under the radar in high school and only had a couple offers. My biggest achievement is graduating and being the first in my family to receive a degree. My biggest achievement as a football player has to be getting that single digit jersey.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My most memorable play has to be getting my first college touchdown against Buffalo. That was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.

My most memorable game was against Cincinnati in 2018. They were a top 25 team and that game was very tight. I was able to get the game tying touchdown to send us into overtime. Then in overtime, Isaiah Wright hauled in the winning pass to give us the game.

One of my most memorable moments happened in 2019 against Memphis. They were undefeated and ranked 17th in the nation. I started off that game really hot and had 5 catches and a touchdown. Our offense was able to do enough to secure the win. That was a huge statement game because it showed everyone that Branden Mack can play football.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete is Lebron James. He’s just been able to play at an elite level his entire career. My favorite football team is the Philadelphia Eagle. Some of the players that I look up to and try and model my game after are guys like Mike Evans, DK Metcalf, Julio Jones and even Megatron. Devante Adams is my favorite receiver. I just like how he runs all his routes.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Some of my favorite artists include guys like Lil Baby, G Herbo and Meek Mill.

What is your favorite comfort food?
If you want a good cheesesteak, you have to go to Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies in Philly. My favorite comfort food is probably fried fish or fried chicken with mac & cheese. Home cooked is always the best.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Samuel L. Jackson is my favorite actor. He can play just about any role. Transformers and Planet of the Apes are some of my favorite movies. My favorite TV show is Martin.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I’m a fairly laid back kind of guy. I like to chill with my friends and family. I’ll also occasionally play Call of Duty.

Who or what motivates you the most
My mom motivates me the most. Her telling me about her childhood and seeing what she has accomplished being an African American woman is amazing. She is such a strong woman that has overcome so much. I love my mom and hope that one day after getting to the league that I’ll be able to give her whatever she wants because she has sacrificed so much for me.

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