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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Trajan Stephens-McQueen, LB, Georgia State

Trajan Stephens-McQueen is an athletic LB at Georgia State University with great instincts. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
Photo credit: Todd Drexler / Georgia State Athletics

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?
I’m set to graduate this upcoming Spring with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Learning Technologies and Counseling. I wanted to get into the virtual reality field like for Oculus. I like being able to integrate gaming systems and learning different software. I started an internship in Feb. 2020 with a team called Foundry 45. It’s a virtual reality based corporation.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My best quality is knowing the system and having a high football IQ. I’ve been playing at Georgia State the last four years. With that, I gained a lot of trust with my coaches and teammates. I am a good leader that can communicate well with my teammates. They voted me team captain this past year. My teammates know that they can come to me and ask questions. I can help them understand the scheme that we’re running.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’ve had many different roles on our football team from the captain on the defense to being a big contributor on special teams. I place a huge emphasis on special teams. I have tons of experience playing on all special teams units. I could really fit into any scheme. We ran a 3-4 scheme for every year I played at Georgia State. I mainly played in a 4-3 in high school, and I know I can go back to it fairly easily. I’m the Mike Linebacker. I could play on the outside if I have to. I can adjust to that because I know how to tackle. I could be on the outside in certain schemes. I played to the field instead of the boundary, playing against the top playmakers of offenses.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
WR Omar Bayless from Arkansas State. He’s currently on the Carolina Panthers right now. Omar was an impact player that was moved around. He always found a way to get open.

Louisiana also has some great athletes on their offense including guys like Trey Regas and Elijah Mitchell. They have a highly competitive team. We had a dogfight with them this past year.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Penny Hart. He’s just one of those players that did everything the right way. He worked hard to get where he’s at. He’s currently with the Seahawks. Penny would push himself to the limit and get everyone else to match his energy. It seemed like he got better every day. He never took days off.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
When I was 13, I lost my great grandmother. She was the sweetest soul. She took care of me as a kid. My brother and I were always excited to see her. When she passed, it changed a lot in my life, and I was in a bit of depression. I stopped eating, and there were times that I would break down in public. It was hard to go to her funeral. I got a lot of comfort from my family. My grandmother, the woman who just lost her mother, was instrumental in my growth. She would tell me that there’s more to life than death. Everyone’s time will come, and you can’t let it affect your life. I tried to put it all behind me. I didn’t want my brother to see it affect me so much. My grandmother helped me get through that struggle.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I was very heavy into baseball growing up. I’m left handed and have a strong arm. I pitched and played first base all throughout high school. I made All Conference my senior year. I had to give that up and put all my focus on football and my dream of playing in the pros.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of setting the single game tackle record at Georgia State. In 2019, we were playing against Army. The other starting LB on the team tore his ACL in that game, and a redshirt freshman came in. I was prepared to take it up a notch in that game. Not only did I have 20 total tackles, but we won that game 28-21.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I had a very memorable moment my junior year playing against Tennessee. I had an interception to ice the game. I remember talking to a reporter before I went out of the field, and saying that I was going to make a big play. We were in Tampa 2, and the offense was trying to use their hurry up. I was reading the QB’s eyes. I flipped from one side of the field to the other and sealed the game with an interception. What made that play great was that I called it before it happened. I was able to back up what I said.

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 such an amazing athlete in how he has obtained so many accolades and championships despite coming fresh out of high school. Linebackers like Bobby Wagner and Kwan Alexander are guys that I study. They just know how to do their job taking on blocks and getting big hits.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
NBA YoungBoy and Lil Baby are two of my favorite artists. Their music is typically my game day vibes.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Brisket with mac & cheese, collard greens and potato salad.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
One of my favorite movies is Taken with Liam Nielson. He always catches my attention in his movies. My favorite TV show is Impractical Jokers.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like being outside on the North Carolina trails. Being on the water is nice. I picked up fishing in college. I also play video games in my spare time.

Who or what motivates you the most?
My family. My mom, dad and younger brother have always been my support system. They never had any doubts in me. My parents have always been there for me and have been there every time I needed anything. I also aspire to be the best older brother that I can. I try to be there for my brother, and hope that he looks up to me and follows me in my footsteps.

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