1.What has been your biggest challenge in life?
One of the biggest challenges in life that I have had to deal with is being able to not be so hard on myself when I feel as if I can be doing better or should be somewhere that I am not currently at. I give my all and I treat every practice like it’s a game and I do the same for workouts. I am a perfectionist and I want everything that I do to be perfect.
2.What do you hope to achieve as a football player going forward?
Going forward I hope to be able to be blessed enough to play professional football no matter what brand it is in order to tell others that anything is possible as long as you put effort and sacrifice towards the goal. I already have a lot of people’s hopes and dreams on my shoulders and I want to be able to show them all that I did and be able to be an example for the youth who look up to me.
3.What is your mindset when you are on the football field?
When I am on the football field my mindset is that no one can stop me from achieving my goals and that I am the best at my position. I approach being on the football field as preparing to battle against an opponent who is in the way of something that I need in order to survive.
4.What is your favorite stadium that you have played in?
My favorite Stadium that I have played at has to be the Minnesota Vikings stadium and I played there in the All American bowl game my senior season at the University of La Verne. Being in a professional locker room and having the feel of what it will be like when I make it was great and with it being fairly new it was a great experience.
5. If your life was a tv show what would you call it and why?
The name of the show would be called ” All My Life I Had To Fight” and that is due to how I have had to fight for everything that I have wanted from the start. I have always been the underdog and was overlooked and that is why I play football with a chip on my shoulder. I have always had to work harder and sacrifice more in order to get to the point where I am now. I also have had to persevere through very hard moments in my life like my grandmother passing away while I was in school and away from the family to my uncle passing the same year to my father being locked up my whole years in college. Having to balance school, family, and football really made me the person that I am today and I had to fight every day while doing that.
6.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
If I could hang with any football player it would have to be Deion Sanders and that is based on how he approached the game and how he had that superior level of confidence in his game no matter how old he was. He is to this day considered the best defensive player of all time and he made a major impact on generations and being around him would be a blessing.
7. What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout is a tie between leg day and speed and agility work. I love leg days (squats, deadlifts) because of it being so relatable to life when life hits you hard and tries to bring you down you have to get up and push through the adversity just like when working on those leg workouts. I also love speed and agility work because it is one of the biggest indicators of how much a person has been working and perfecting their craft.
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8.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?
One major reason why I wanted to become a football player was my Uncle Bobby. He was the one who talked my mother into letting me playback when I was in the 6th grade and ever since I have been going strong and hard for him.
9.What are your favorite moments from your football life?
One of the first moments in my football life would be when I first ran someone clean over and that was in High School during my senior season during practice. I would take a screen pass and take it 40 yards for a touchdown and before I got into the endzone I would run the safety clean over then walk into the endzone I would have the whole team hyped after the play. Another one would be winning state my senior year of high school and bringing it back to Serra after a three year hideous. One other memory would come from when I went to the University of La Verne and would be a part of helping turn around a losing program to a winner and winning the conference championship my Junior season for the first time in twenty-one years was something very special. A memory that really hit me hard was my senior season when I was picked to play in the All American Bowl Game in Minnesota and I would play with top guys from all over the country D1 to D3. Being able to go out there show my skills soak up the playbook and be picked to start that game and not only perform but perform well-meant alot and showed me that I can do that at any level no matter how big the stage is.
10.What would a team get in a player like you?
When a team buys in to me they will get a player who is not afraid to put in the work and someone who is very passionate about the game. I am willing to do whatever it takes in order to help my team win. I am also a very good leader who doesn’t only lead by example but also can be a vocal leader when called about to lead the troops. I am a football player and one thing that they will get with me is someone who is very coachable and will listen and that is something that is hard to come by and I have that.
11.What do you do for fun?
Some of the things that I do for fun is a workout, hang out with my friends and family, work on my podcast, and work on my 7on7 business.
12.Rank focus,footwork and skill based on what is most important to you as a football player and explain why?
When it comes to ranking focus, footwork, and skill I will have to put focus at one, skill at two, and footwork at three. Focus is number one because if a person does not have the mental side down and can get a hold of the playbook or take in football notes on the fly during a game they will not see success and will have a hard time getting on the field. Skill comes in at number two because you have to have some form of skill in order to have an impact on the team and to get noticed. Some skills are God-given and others are gained from training in the offseason but you must have the skill in order to put the knowledge that you gained on the field. Coming in last is footwork and this is because if a player has great focus and great skill they will be able to make plays and help a team out the footwork can be gained the quickest out of the three there have been many times that I have played with people who did not have the best footwork but they were able to be in the right spot at the right time due to the studying and having the skill
@jrberendzen on Twitter and this is one of my free agent interviews where I ask very deserving free agents questions about the players themselves and about what a team would get in these players. All of these players should get picked up by NFL and CFL teams and get a shot at being a career football player. So I hope you all read this. interview here @jmanson22.