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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jalen Wayne, WR, University of South Alabama

Jalen Wayne South Alabama 2022 NFL Draft
Jalen Wayne the standout wide receiver from the University of South Alabama recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Jalen Wayne
  • Position: Wide Receiver, Punt Returner
  • College:  University of South Alabama   
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 205
  • Twitter: 6godBatman
  • Instagram: 4masterwayne

What makes you a top prospect at your position  in the 2022 NFL Draft?

For my size, I am very fluid with every route in the tree. I get off press well and can also get open versus off coverage. My favorite part of my game is jump balls downfield although I do like to run under balls as well. I am a top prospect in my position because I can play both sides, slot or outside, block linebackers, and put corners and safeties into the sideline consistently. I take pride in blocking as much as I take pride in making plays downfield. I also make plays on special teams on a kickoff return, punt return, and onside kicks.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

When I decided to play my senior year in high school I had just turned 17.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

That my work shows for itself before my mouth says anything. I play hard every down and am addicted to competition. I love to learn because I have not played very long so I am eager to soak up information and criticism. I love to win, and I take losing personally. I am very self-driven and self-motivated so it does not take much to get me going. I am a nephew of a great receiver but I do not like to live off his name. I have my own style of play and my goal is to beat every record that he set.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

I have 2 dogs and when I am not playing football then I am either hanging out or hiking with them. So a big goal for me is to donate a large amount to ASPCA. I hate seeing dogs out on the street and fending for themselves because I could never have my dog living like that

What is the best advice you have ever received?

If I were to rank the best advice I would first start with the motto my mother always abided by me and that was to always remain myself. Whenever myself is subject to change entirely for something then I must evaluate if what I am doing is really worth having. But in a more situational sense, related to football, when I was a junior in high school, my 2 friends, at the school I would soon transfer from, had advised me to try out for the football team. Just off the sake that basketball was not profiting how I wanted it to, and also because they believed in the bloodline between me and my uncle.

Who was your childhood hero?

When I was a child, my hero undoubtedly was my mom. Still is, the sacrifices she made for me can not go uncredited.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

We got a new transfer tight end from junior college, his name is Lincoln Sefcik. He is a very mobile tight end that resembles Travis Kelce to me. I am hoping he has a big year this year.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve has become being around people who are not as addicted to the game of football as I am. I devote all my time to getting better at my craft whether it be mentally or physically. Being around people that are not on the same type of time begins to mess with my energy. 

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

When my new coaching staff arrived here 3 seasons ago (my sophomore year), I was redshirted because there were older wideouts in our room. But I could never understand because just the season before I was playing at tight end and running back in our old offense. Nevertheless, the next season my redshirt sophomore year I suffered a Jones fracture in my foot during fall camp. I had to sit out all the way until the Battle of the Belt and my first game back was the most terrible of my life. Seemed like a lot of things couldn’t really go my way but essentially I can say that’s still what drives me today.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

What is special about my school is the love from the community. Oftentimes, I will be at restaurants or stores around campus and people come up and talk to me about football. I always feel the love and support from our fans.

What is your favorite snack food?

My favorite snack food is definitely some Cinnamon pop tarts with a glass of milk.

What is the best part of football?

Besides scoring touchdowns, the best part is the grind leading up to the season. Consistently trying to fine-tune and perfect your craft before going to battle with your brothers is what you rely on in those primetime situations.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

Nowadays, every team in the NFL wants a receiver that is an entertainer; so how would you like the one that is 6’2, runs a 4.4, jumps a 39 inch vertical, and makes every catch open or not?

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

I watch both Stefon Diggs and Julio Jones religiously. As far as my route running, I feel as if I am compared to Stefon. But as far as competing for the ball in the air and blocking I play like Julio.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with Solomon, the wealthiest man in the Bible, just to get a finance lesson. I would have dinner with Jordan Belfort to figure out why he didn’t just take his free pass. Lastly, I would eat with Akira Toriyama, the creator of DragonBall Z, one to thank him for creating Trunks and to also discuss with him the visions he used to have for his storylines.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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