NFL DraftProspect Interviews

NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Charlie Volker, RB, Princeton University

Charlie Volker is a touchdown machine in the IVY League. The 6000 running back recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.

   •           Name: Charlie Volker

            •           Height: 5’11

            •           Weight: 220

            •           Position: RB

            •           College: Princeton University

            •           Twitter: @CharlieVolker

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

            •  Fair Haven is one of those small towns where all of the kids grow up biking around together (to the beach), hanging out at local food joints, and playing sports together at FH Fields. The people here are nice, hardworking, and competitive 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

            •  I wish I could say Strength and Conditioning is the most important, because getting a good lift is definitely the most gratifying, but this is probably the least important, especially at higher levels of football, where there is less physical discrepancy amongst athletes. That being said, I would say that practice is the most important (which I learned here at Princeton, where our practices are nonstop intensity) and film study is second most important    

What do you worry about, and why?

            •  My biggest worry is that time will run out on me and I won’t be able to do/learn/experience everything that I want to experience in my life. I also worry about losing touch with old friends who deserve to be checked in on every now and then        

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

            •  Freshman year of football in college I failed to get the playbook down. I had the opportunity to play in the first six games of the season, but I was a liability and could not be trusted with my plays. I could have made the excuse that I came from a huddle I formation offense and couldn’t adapt to Princeton’s hurry up game, but I didn’t. Instead I competed that winter in indoor track with a chip on my shoulder, and in my first race broke Princeton’s 60m record. For the remainder of the football offseason I met with Coach Gleason to get better with the playbook, spending hours and hours up in the football offices.           

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

            •  I work hard and I will never hold back. I don’t say a lot but my actions speak louder than words. I might not be the rah-rah guy in the locker room right before the game but I give it everything I have on the field, and if they give me the ball on 3rd and short, I’m going to get that first down for them.         

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

            •  Mark Fossati and Tom Johnson in practice. They gave their bodies to the sport, and were so competitive to run against/block that they made practice fun and worthwhile, and made sure that I was ready for anything that LBs on other teams would throw at me            

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

            •  If I didn’t play football I would consider serving in the military or taking up Rugby. You’ll never catch me in a cubicle, I don’t have the patience for that kind of stuff    

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?

            •  Room first. Anywhere I spend time can’t be too messy or it will start to affect other parts of my life negatively. Then my car. Can’t be looking like a slob in front of other people. And I don’t study in the room, so the desk can stay full of books and cluttered but not messy.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

            •  Family, no question. Family comes first.          

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

            •  That’s a toss up between Ron Swanson and Johnny Bravo. Swanson has his way of life all figured out which is cool but Johnny Bravo was the man          

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

            • Freshman year of college was awful. Football kicked my ass, I wasn’t making too many new friends at school, I got out of touch with friends from home, I missed my dogs, I had awful acne, and a few close relatives and a friend passed away. But I stuck through it, got a house and a job with some of the football guys in my grade in Princeton for the summer, and things got better from there      

What is your most embarrassing moment?

            •  In second grade I peed in the middle of gym class right on the basketball court, in my favorite pair of sweatpants.          

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

            •  Either this years long TD run against Harvard (end of the game), last years super long TD run against Brown (feels good to get to 96 yards of open field), or my 15 yard run against Monmouth this year where I just kept churning my legs and bouncing off defenders.        

What song best describes your work ethic?

            •  Probably the cliche “Work Hard, Play Hard” because I work hard but I have fun doing it. And the play hard isn’t so much partying as much as its a nice well-deserved nap or chipotle burrito.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

            •  Being competitive. If you hate to be beat then you will do whatever it takes to make sure you aren’t beat.       

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

            • Speaking personally, it would be my friend Jack, so I could crack some jokes with him. I’m sure his family would love it too. But if we’re talking about celebrities I would bring back Chris Farley for the same reason, his movies cracked me up.            

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

            • VolkenHaussen       

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

            •  I would say Edelman but I think he finally got the attention and praise he deserved in this SuperBowl. I also think for as much praise as Tyreek Hill gets he is still underrated. He is a FREAK athlete. Go watch derekmhansen’s instagram stuff on him (Chiefs’ speed trainer), Hill just plays at a different level. He makes fast people look…not fast.          

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

            •  Respected. If you’re respected it is probably because you do work worth doing or something merit-worthy. Being respected entails being liked more than vice-versa. People can like you for any number of reasons and that doesn’t mean that you have done anything noteworthy.         

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

            •  Pat Tillman didn’t exactly have his career derailed by off the field issues, but felt compelled to serve after the 9/11 attacks. I thought what he did and the paycheck he turned down to serve his country was very admirable. I also liked him as a person. He was fiery and ambitious and protected others. Read Jon Krakauer’s book Where Men Win Glory, it’s a good one. There was much more to that guy than what was on his surface.           

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

            • I HATE to lose. Ask any of my friends. If they show me a new game or app or something that I don’t know about and beat me in it I will be stuck trying to get better at that thing until I have them beat.       

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

My parents are the obvious answer but at the risk of only mentioning one of them and the other one getting pissed off I will pick neither and choose my high school strength/RB coach Rob Orrok (Rok). He was hired in the summer of 2013, and completely revolutionized our program. He turned me and my teammates into machines. Before he got there our workouts were a joke, and if you go to RFH high school today, you will find a weight room and strength program that rivals that of Division 1 FCS programs. Since he has been there RFH has been to the Central Jersey Group 2 (3 this past year) Final every year, and only lost once. 

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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