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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Joe Zanca, DL, DePauw University

Joe Zanca the solid pass rusher from DePauw University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
Joe Zanca the solid pass rusher from DePauw University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • 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? 

  1. 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. 
  2. Ghenghis Khan, assuming I understand what he’s saying I would love to learn some lessons from the greatest warlord of all time.
  3. 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

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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