- Name: Ezekiel Barnett
- Position: LB
- College: Louisiana Tech University
- Height: 6’2
- Weight: 227
- Twitter: @zekebarnett_
- Instagram: @zekebarnett
What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?
I think the keys to success on the football field come down to how hard you prepare and how much you want to be successful. I believe that this game is 90% mental so if you put in the extra time in the film room, extra time meeting with the coaching staff, and if you take practice seriously the game will slow down for you allowing you to make more plays. To go further, how bad you want to be successful determines a lot as well. What is the fire that drives you that pushes you to execute at the highest possible level that you can.
What should we know about Ezekiel Barnett the person?
I am a person that is hardworking and determined. Everything that I have gotten in my life I have had to earn. From trying out for the football team and walking on at Louisiana Tech and earning a scholarship, to earning my Bachelors degree in Biology. I have a chip on my shoulder that makes me believe that I always have to push further along and keep proving doubter wrong but to also keep proving the people that believed in me right. From a kid with no Division-1 offers to earning a full scholarship made me ambitious to always want more. There is a competitive fire that burns in my stomach each and every day.
How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?
God. I constantly pray and talk to God before games, during games, during practice, at home. He is my backbone and with out my Lord and Savior I would be nothing. I also keep good people around me. People that aren’t afraid to hurt my feelings when I think I’m right. People that will tell me the cold hard truth instead of telling me what I want to hear. Those are the people I value to most and the only people that are in my circle.
What sets you apart from other linebackers?
Versatility. Some people may say I’m too this or too that but one thing that sets me apart from most football players in general is my versatility on the football field. I have played snaps at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, Nickel, Free Safety, Cornerback, and also with my hand in the ground Edge Rushing, and playing Defensive tackle. I am also able to hold my own when playing man to man coverage. On top of all that I play the core 4 special teams and I was a leader on my college football team in special teams for 3 years.
If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
I would like to hangout with Sean Taylor and Tyrann Mathieu. Seeing Sean Taylor highlights on YouTube made me a fan from an early age. The man was ferocious and played the game with a competitive edge that I hope to emulate one day. Tyrann Mathieu because he had been one of my favorites since his days at LSU. I like the way he conducts himself and his leadership qualities are second to none.
What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?
I bring a competitive fire. I always want to be the best I can be but also I believe that I can make the people around me better players as well. In anything that I do I want to win nothing else matters. I have to be around the ball at all times and I find my way there more times than not. I am also a leader on the field who motivates the guys around me because if we are one heartbeat and we have to same goal then we will all be very dominant.
What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?
I was born in Benton, Louisiana. It’s a small town in northwest Louisiana and not many people have made it to higher levels playing football. Seeing my brother play football I wanted to be like him so thats when I started playing. I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old. Then playing the NCAA football video game I became a fan of Reggie Bush and I wanted to be like him so I wanted to do everything that he did. When he got drafted to the home team the New Orleans Saints that was the icing on the cake. Also seeing some of the greats highlights on YouTube motivated me to play.
What are you hoping to achieve as a football player going forward?
In the short term, I want to get drafted to a NFL football team and make a 53 man roster. I want to prove to a team once they pick me up that no one will work as hard as me or out compete me and the goal is to bring a Super Bowl to the organization that picks me up. In the long term, when I look back I want to be THE BEST EVER. I want to talk to the youth and motivate them and tell them that if they work hard and believe, they can achieve anything that they want in life.
How are you planning to prepare for the draft?
I plan on training not only physically but mentally. I want to elevate my knowledge for the game during this process. I am a sponge for learning about the game of football. I have daily training sessions and stretching sessions with Coach Hester at Louisiana Tech. As well as a time slotted strictly on recovery. When the time gets closer to Pro Day I plan on going to a facility and training there to sharpen some skills that will help my performance.
What would a team get in a player like you?
A team will get a player that is all about the team. Team is the most important thing and one of the most beautiful things about the game of football. I am willing to put the teams needs first above my personal goals because at the end of the day the most important thing is winning. I am also a person of integrity and high character that is leader on and off the field.
What are your favorite moments from your football life?
Off the field, most recently, I was able to watch one of my high school football games and my high school head coach gave me the privilege to talk to the team before the game. I remember being in their shoes and not really having someone to look up to that was playing D1 FBS football. Being able to talk to the younger kids and being able to motivate the next generation of athletes was very special to me. On the field, playing in the Independence Bowl which is played in Shreveport, Louisiana against the University of Miami was very special to me because all of my family, relatives, and childhood friends came to the game. Winning the game and beating Miami 14-0 and celebrating with my team was an amazing feeling.
What do you love about the game of football?
The thing that I love about football is that it is the ultimate team sport. It’s the greatest sport on this earth. It takes everybody on the team to move as one to achieve the ultimate goal of winning. Football has taught me so many things that I can use for a lifetime. This game has brought some of the greatest people and friends that I wouldn’t trade anything for. To go to battle with my brothers each and everyday is something that I will love forever.