- Name: Joe Zanca
- Position: Defensive line
- College: DePauw University
- Height: 6’0
- Weight: 270
- Twitter: @josephzanca
- Instagram: @jtank80
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?
- I make my name and my money in the trenches with my physical play and constant fight. No matter how big or how skilled my opponent is I have no fear. I bring 3 key qualities to any defense I play for speed, tenacity and violence.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
- Since I could walk I wanted to get on the gridiron I started playing tackle in the 3rd grade.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
- It may be cliche but for me, I just work my ass off. I’ll come in every day ready to work and ready to give 110% of myself. If there is one thing I have zero fear of it is hard work.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
- I’m big on the environment so any cause that would help mitigate pollution particularly in our oceans.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
- Stay in the moment and control what you can control.
Who was your childhood hero?
- My father and Aaron Donald both still are.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
- Liam Pooler our safety, for-sure one guy who got snubbed on some conference accolades this seasoned guy was a dawg.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
- Negative attitudes, positivity is a powerful thing not just in sports but life as well.
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
- Definitely racial discrimination during my time in grade school football and in my freshmen and sophomore of high school. It was a tough time to be part Chinese in a all-white neighborhood and high school, it was my only label and many times used against me. I won’t go into details but it brought me into some dark places. Being ostracized at a young age because of a racial difference took a toll.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
- DePauw is an amazing place. I can’t say enough about the relationships and memories I’ve made there. It marries a top-tier D3 football experience with a top-tier education. Coach Dietz has got the program headed in the best direction it’s been in, in quiet sometime.
What is your favorite snack food?
- Nutella and Peanut butter.
What is the best part of football?
- The life lessons of overcoming adversity.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
- I don’t quit if I can no longer run I will walk, if I can no longer walk, I will crawl towards victory.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
- I don’t like to compare myself to others I try and model myself off others. I certainly have done my best to model myself after the GOAT Aaron Donald.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- John Randle, because he was an undersized defensive monster who made his presence felt. I would love to learn about his story and his mindset going into games.
- Ghenghis Khan, assuming I understand what he’s saying I would love to learn some lessons from the greatest warlord of all time.
- My grandfather, he died before I was born but I’ve always heard remarkable things about him. He served in the pacific during WW2 and earned a bronze star. I’d love to hear the story behind that from him.