NFL Draft

Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: D.J. Key, DB, Tennessee- Chattanooga

D.J. KeyDraft Diamonds Prospect Interview: D.J. Key, DB, Tennessee- Chattanooga 

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

-A couple of teams were recruiting me out of high school.  There was UT Martin, UT Chattanooga, and Carson Newman.

Where did you choose and why?

-I chose UT Chattanooga because I have visited the campus before attending their basketball camps.  Also, I the guys I met on my official visit treated me like a brother and made me feel welcomed.

What were your goals for your senior year?

-My goals for my senior year were to get fully healthy because of an ankle injury. I also wanted to become more of a leader whether it was vocally or by my actions.  I wanted to win a Socon championship and go to the playoffs.

Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?

-I met with the Oakland Raiders scout at practice during the season, and I also met with Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, and Green Bay Packers at the College All Star Bowl.  The scouts asked me about what kind of a player I am on the field, and what type of a man I am off the field.

At your position, what separates you from the others?

-I think what separates me from others is that a have a nose for finding the ball and making a big play.  I think tackling is my strong suit, and I do the little things that are necessary for success.

Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?

-When breaking down film I look for tendencies that can help me be successful. I watched the type of routes the receivers run based on down and distance and the way running backs shift through the holes based on the offensive blocking schemes. I also watch myself to see what I can do better as player and to benefit my team.

Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?

-It’s hard to name just one player, but I would have to say Cam Newton and the Auburn championship team.

If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?

– I would say my game is similar to Rafael Bush because he attacks the football and consistent.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

– My biggest obstacle was having ankle surgery before my senior season because I did not know if I would be able to finish my last year as a Chattanooga Moc. However, my physical therapy and rehab program was so intense that I only missed one game on the best year Chattanooga has seen in a long time.

What system fits your style of play the best?

– I would say a 4-3 defense because that is what we played at UT Chattanooga.

What is your biggest strength?

-Tackling is my biggest strength. I tend to be everywhere the ball is.

What is your biggest weakness?

-My biggest weakness is my film study.  I need to watch more film of previous practices and games to better my chances of winning on the field.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

-First, I would ask the GM what type of player are you looking for to join your organization.  No matter his response, I can guarantee that I will give all my efforts to be that player you desire and then some to benefit his organization.

Growing up, who was your role model?

-My role model was my mother and grandmother. They are a big part of my life and I would not be where I am today without them.

Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?

-My favorite teams in the NFL were the Titans and the Falcons. The Titans were because they were the hometown team, and the Falcons because my uncle used to involve me with anything that had to do with their organization.

What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?

-The most tragic event that ever happened to me was the death of a very good friend and teammate in high school.  That was very tough for me to handle as a senior but the memories we shared will never be forgotten.

If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?

-I would have dinner with President Barack Obama, Ty Law, and Adrienne Bailon 

With your first paycheck what would you buy?

-With my first paycheck, I would get a nice truck, a suit, and a good dinner.

Damond Talbot

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

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