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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Cayson Collins, LB, University of North Carolina

  • Cayson Collins
  • University of North Carolina
  • @Caysooo

What is your name?

  • Cayson Collins.

Where did you play College Football?

  • UNC Chapel Hill.

What position do you play?

  • Linebacker.

What is your height/weight?

  • 6’2” 235lbs.

Did you play any other sports growing up? If so, what were they?

  • Yes. Track and basketball.

Who is the toughest player you have competed against in College?

  • Lamar Jackson.

Are you listening to music before a game? If so, what?

  • Yes. Whatever is on my playlist that week. Usually a mix of Kodak, 21 Savage, Migos, Peewee Longway, and Trouble.

Do you have any superstitions before a game? If so, what are they?

  • I buy a bag of skittles the day before the game. On game day, I separate the skittles by color in Gatorade cups, and eat them starting with purple finishing with green with no order in between.

Who is your role model & why?

  • My mother. She embodies hard work and really making a way. She’s shown me time and time again how to get the job done regardless of the circumstances.

While in College, what has been your favorite & least favorite class?

  • My favorite class: Art 101.
  • Least favorite: Geology.

Outside of Football, what has been your favorite experience while in College?

  • Rushing Franklin St.

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL Team & NFL player, & why?

  • I didn’t have a particular favorite team but my favorite players were Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Mainly because of the passion they played with and how they hit people.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who are they? 

  • Ray Lewis-Dwayne Johnson-Zaytoven.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose & why?

  • Malcom X. I think it would be interesting to discuss so of the issues that have plagued our country then and now.

Who is your favorite superhero & why?

  • Superman. When I was younger I felt like I could do anything, like I was invincible, like Superman.

What is your definition of hard work?

  • Anything that challenges me mentally, physically, and requires effort and endurance.

Tell me about the origin of your nicknames, “Queso” & “Cheese.”

  • I never really had a nickname that stuck as a kid, I was always just Cayson. It wasn’t until some of my teammates from high school took the “N” off the end of my name and It became “cayso”. From there cayso was what everyone called me until Shakeel Rashad stared calling me “cayso like the cheese” that “cheese” became a name for me too.

What is the most unexpected lesson you learned while in College?

  • From a number of different situations; how to handle adversity.

What is something you wish you could go back & tell yourself as a High School Freshman?


Why do you wear #23?

  • In high school my best friend wore number 2 and I wore number 3. We really played most of the skilled positions on both sides of the ball. His mother was the team photographer and in all of the pictures of the both of us it was always “2,3” so when I had the chance to pick my number 23 was an easy decision to really tell my story and put on for my brother.

23 is a special number at UNC. Was there any pressure in wearing that number?

  • Not at all. I felt like the number was respected from a basketball standpoint. I really didn’t associate it to Jordan or to basketball during my first three years. My senior year when we made the move from Nike to Jordan it was definitely a big deal to a lot of the people around the program. But my number meant more to me than a brand.

What is the best part of your hometown, Charlotte, NC?

  • Charlotte is really a hub for so many different things from music to art to food and different types of entertainment.

Who do you choose, Jordan or LeBron?

  • LeBron. It’s a hard comparison when there are two different players in two different eras and when you take into consideration how much the game has changed over the years.

Are you a PS4 or Xbox One guy? What games are you playing right now?

  • Xbox One. Right now I have a solid rotation of Madden, UFC, COD, and 2k.

What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete?

  • Being able to be a voice for other student athletes on different panels.

Are you binge watching anything on Netflix or Hulu right now?

  • Law and Order: SVU.

If you had one free hour each day, how would you choose to use it?

  • Producing music.

You’re a Studio Art major, what made you pursue that subject?

  • My love for art and really just creating. I like being able to make things from scratch and bring something to life from an idea in my head.

If you could sack one NFL QB, past or present, who would it be & why?

  • Michael Vick. I think he single handedly changed the position and added a new dynamic for African American quarterbacks. He was someone I enjoyed playing with on Madden so sacking him would be pretty cool.

If you could give NFL scouts three words to describe the type of man they are getting in Cayson Collins, what would they be?

  • Hardworking-Dedicated-Passionate.


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