NFL DraftProspect Interviews

NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: James Brania-Hopp, WR, Washburn University

James Brania-Hopp of Washburn recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot for this 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Interview!

•    Name: James Brania-Hopp  (JJ)
    •    Height: 5’11 3/4
    •    Weight: 205
    •    Position: WR
    •    College: Washburn University 
    •    Twitter: jjhopp

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
    •    My hometown of Montville, New Jersey is a pretty decently sized town and I graduated with over 300 in my  class but what I love most about it was just the relationships I have made with my friends back home and the melting pot of culture around in the area. You can find a little bit of everything in a short drive away in New Jersey.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
    •    I believe that none of the three are more important than the next. Without film study you can’t prepare for the opponent properly, without strength and conditioning your body wont be able to endure the demands of this sport, and without practice…..well that answer should be simple.

What do you worry about, and why?
    •    There has been a heavy emphasis placed on pro day numbers and having the best representation possible and with coming from a smaller school I feel that I have been at a disadvantage to the peers in my field from larger schools in terms of exposure.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
    •    I let down my teammates in a game this year where I played my worse all year. The next week the coaches decided that they believed that we had better talent on the team elsewhere and put them in front of me to start…I took it pretty hard questioning everything I had done leading up to this point but trusted that the work I had put in in the off-season and leading up to that game would find a way to show out regardless so I mentally prepared and told myself that no matter what everything happening to me was helping me to my goals and ambitions……Needless to say that very game where they put others in front of me at first, I went for 200+ yards receiving and 3 TD’s against our rivals. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
    •    I believe they would say my work ethic and pride for my game. I didn’t always get much respect for the way I did things at first because it was new or different to the rest but once they saw it working I had helped numerous guys on the team up their game and craft in whatever way they asked.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
    •    Everyday in practice I had a great match-up with one of the top corner backs going into the draft as well this year in Corey Ballentine. His game and accolades speak for themselves and I believe we helped each other a lot in practice making sure the other was always on the top of their game in preparation.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 
    •    I would dive full on into the world of e-commerce and social media marketing. As I have already worked in the field a bit the past couple years marketing online for companies but my focus for it has always been limited with the time I dedicate to football.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
    •    Definitely room first, it usually drives me nuts if it’s out of place 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
    •    This is probably a horrible scenario I hope I never face and couldn’t pick unless at the moment.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
    •    Off the top of my head I would love to bring back Static Major from my childhood because he’s on of those superheroes that’s kind of been forgotten in this day and age of super hero movies

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
    •    Just always being overlooked for whatever reason at each school or situation I had gone to. I had always consulted those closest to me and prepared myself for which ways would help me prevail in the end and always followed out the plan with hard work and focus and that’s whats brought me the success I have today.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
    •    There was a game a couple years ago I had dropped two big passes that could have gone 70+ yards nearly back to back ……But I still finished the game with over 100 yards receiving so it wasn’t too bad.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
    •    I couldn’t give you an exact play but the game I had gone over 200 really gave me a lot of confidence and it was kind of sparked by a one-handed catch I had in the end zone where I thought to myself “yea I have arrived today.”

What song best describes your work ethic?
    •    There are too many songs out I relate to in pieces I couldn’t pick just one.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 
    •    A desire to always prove to myself and to others that I am good enough and belong

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
    •    Martin Luther King just so he could see how far the country and world has gone and how influential his words are to this day.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 
    •    Club “Dripp”

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 
    •    Julian Edelman

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
    •    Respected because being liked doesn’t do you any good without respect from peers.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
    •    Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow… In their own ways pushed out for standing by their beliefs for wanting better.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
    •    Hate to lose

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
    •    My mother as she has set the base for my life and been there through everything

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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