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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Shawn Steele, DB, Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Shawn Steele is one of the best HBCU DBs. After graduating from Arkansas at Pine Bluff, He is now in the transfer portal. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Shawn Steele
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Position: DB
  • College: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Twitter: ShawnS12_
  • Instagram: shawnns12

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 graduated Arkansas Pine Bluff with a degree in Physical Education. I wasn’t able to participate in much else. I was able to help our team clean up the community back when I was a freshman.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would say that I have a good feel for the game and a high football IQ.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m a versatile player that can play any position in the secondary. I’m very confident as a press corner. I’ve learned a lot of techniques over the years. I can play zone, and I’m good at off man coverage.

As a special teams player, I’ve played on kickoffs as the safety, and I’ve blocked from the corner position on punts. I also have experience as a punt returner.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I played against Devante Kincade as a freshman. He was the QB for Grambling State. He was very elusive and made a lot of plays through the air.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
The guys in the secondary do a great job. Solomon Brooks, Paul Reeves and Jalon Thigpen are great teammates. Tyran Ralph is a slot receiver that has the ability to dominate. I loved competing against him, Josh Wilkes and Harry Ballard in practice. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
COVID-19 changed the game last season. We ended up having our season canceled. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was coming off a couple good years, and I was primed for my best season yet. I kept grinding everyday and stayed focused on my goal.

After a few games in the spring, I decided to put my name in the transfer portal. I graduated this year and wanted to try and play for another program in order to showcase how good of a player I am to scouts. I plan on making my decision here soon about my next destination.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. It was actually my first sport, and in high school I actually took a year off of football and only played basketball. I was given the “Mr. Assist” Award from my high school. I knew that I wouldn’t get very far in basketball. I only had one D2 offer. So, I ended up going back to football my senior year of high school. Football was the sport that I knew I had the most potential in. I knew that I had a chance to play in the NFL.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Getting my Bachelors degree is something that I’m most proud of. I’m also proud that I’m still playing ball. I’ve come so far with football, and I can’t wait to see where it will take me.

I will be leaving UAPB with 34 career passes defenses. I was also named to the 2019 All-SWAC Second Team.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My most memorable plays were against Lane College. I ended the game with back to back turnovers.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys. My favorite athlete is Xavien Howard. He’s one of the best DBs in the league. He’s a ball magnet, and I try to study him as much as possible.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Major Nine. What gets me pumped before a game is trash talking the other team while going out pre-game to stretch.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My favorite food is any type of pasta or rotel.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is All About the Benjamins. Mike Epps is one of my favorite actors.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like working out and playing video games like Madden and Call of Duty.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
The reason I play football is that it’s something I love to do, and it’s getting easier as I grow older. What motivates me is my family, friends and knowing that I can actually do something with my opportunity.

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