2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Rayjuon Pringle, WR, Villanova
- Name: Rayjuon Pringle
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 184 lbs.
- Position: WR
- College: Villanova University
- Twitter: Pringlegolive
- Instagram: pringlenasty_19
Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I am a Communications major, and I am also taking Sociology courses. I’ve gone to a lot of events in the Philly area, going to schools and church events. I’ve also gone to several camps and spoken to young players that want to be in my position one day.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
On the field, they know that I am going to push everybody and get the job done. I will do whatever it takes for the team to win. Off the field, I’m humble and try to take care of my teammates, looking out for them and trying to build a winning team.
What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m moved around a lot on offense. I line up on the field side or boundary, hoping to set up one-on-one matchups where I can create separation, be a deep threat and push the ball down the field. The team likes to get the ball in my hands whether on middle, deep or short routes and also taking the ball in the backfield on sweeps. I’m often used as the motion man in the slot which helps us read and manipulate defenses. I have taken a couple of punt returns and hope to have more opportunities to do that this season.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The best player that I played against by far has been Jaquan Brisker from Penn State. He was a big, physical safety who made great tackles in the open field. His covering skills were very good. He was smart and always knew where the ball was going.
I’ve had several good matchups in our conference including Amir Hall from Richmond. We’ve had a lot of great battles, and I’m looking forward to that game this year.
Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Dez Boykin is a good receiver for us. He’s going to shock a lot of people this year.
We have several young RBs that impress me. Jalen Jackson is quick and has good burst and agility. Deewil Barley is a tough, between the tackles type of runner. TD Ayo-Durojaiye is very versatile and runs great routes as a receiver.
Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Going into my senior year of high school, I didn’t have any offers. I’m not sure why because a lot of kids around me were getting noticed and were expected to go to good schools. I was a bit down and had to pick myself up. It was important for me to not worry about anyone else and just put my head down and get to work. I wanted to prove that I deserve to be on the same field as everyone else and earn respect.
As some of the offers started to come in, I connected with Coach Ola Adams who scouted my area. He was looking for a steal of a player and found me. Watching my film, he told me that I reminded him of Eddie Royal. Going for my official visit to Nova, I feel in love, committed and the rest is history.
If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. Believe it or not, I played on a very competitive team in middle school in an Elite Youth Basketball League.
What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of how my game has improved each and every year, putting me in the situation that I’m in today with the NFL within reach. I’ve been named All-Conference 2 years, but I won’t be satisfied until we win a championship and I’m an All-American.
Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
Playing against Richmond this past season, we were tied at 27 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. I had an option route and was either running a corner or post. The LBs were blitzing, and I knew that I had to be quick and get open. As the safety came down, I gave him a little hesitation, running a post pattern. Looking back, I saw eye-to-eye with QB Daniel Smith. I caught a 47-yard game-winning touchdown.
Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
With most of my family from Indiana, I grew up a Colts fan. I model my game after players like Antonio Brown and Eddie Royal who were very dangerous in their prime.
Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Some of my favorite artists include people like Rod Wave, J. Cole, Kirk Franklin and Anthony Brown. Before games, one of my favorite songs to listen to is “The Greatest” by Rod Wave.
What is your favorite comfort food?
My grandma makes the best wings and mac & cheese.
Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite actor is definitely Kevin Hart. Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite movies.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like going to the beach and love traveling. I’m also really good at NBA 2K.
Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play because I love it. I’ve been playing ever since I was little and it brings me joy. I love the art of the game at every position, seeing guys battle it out.
I’m motivated by my family (my mom, dad, sister, brother and cousins). My cousins are positioned as good football recruits, and I’ve enjoyed being a role model for them as well as other kids in my community. I give them hope, knowing that if they work hard that they can get to where they want to be.