NFL DraftProspect Interviews

NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: CJ Thornton, LB, Davenport University

CJ Thornton the tough linebacker form Davenport recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.

•    Name: CJ Thornton

   •    Height: 6’1

   •    Weight:225

   •    Position: Linebacker

   •    College: Davenport University

   •    Twitter: CCThornton_

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

  • I’m from Clinton, Maryland and moved to Haymarket, Virginia when I was 12. It’s an up and coming area, more and more people are moving in due to military and government jobs in neighboring D.C. I love the close nit fill and the melting pot of cultures. There are all different types of ethnicities and backgrounds. 

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

  •    1 Film study, you have to know your game and opponents game. This is definitely a mental game
  • 2 Practice, you need to be able to able what’s done in film study to the field and be able to hone the mental aspect in with the physical
  • 3 Strength and conditioning, without the other two in place you won’t be able to completely know how to put your body in the best position to be successful. It is still very important and can make a huge difference.

What do you worry about, and why?

  • I worry about my family and people important to me in my life. They have a huge impact on me in day to day life and I want to continue to have that in place.   

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

  • One situation is revolves around football, I couldn’t power clean to save my life. I continually underperformed to my expectations and ability. I worked diligently with our strength coach to break down all the aspects of getting better at this clean. I had a goal of 315, failed multiple times but after-progressing day to day I was able to overcome my own personal fears and other nuances to complete this goal.  

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • I think they would say my level of physicality 

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

  • Troy Williams from Utah, played him in JUCO when he attended Santa Monica. He was a really good player and competitor. 

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

  • I’d use my degree in marketing in some capacity. Working for a big sports apparel brand such as Nike or Adidas. Or get into a marketing firm.

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

  • Definitely my room! I spend more time there than anywhere and it’s a safe space!   

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

  • This is obviously a hard question, I’d have to go with one family member. One member loss from my family would weigh on me to hard knowing I did have a chance to save them.  

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

  • Definitely Martin Lawrence. I’m a joker and I always watch his show. 

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

  • My biggest adversity would be having gone from JUCO to D1 and making my dream come true only to not be on the team the year after getting there. I overcame this by just sticking to the ultimate goals I’ve set for myself of getting a degree and playing professionally. Finding a home at Davenport and completing these goals. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • Falling on Ice outside a basketball arena. That hurt me! Haha

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • A forced fumble versus Grand Valley this past season. That help keep us in the game and changed the momentum of the game. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Right now I’d have to say Keep It Goin-Shy Glizzy 

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

  • A Strong Mindset 

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

  • Zavier Stringfellow, a friend and teammate. One of the first people I met when I moved to Virginia. My mother knew him. He always had a great work ethic and someone I looked up to. He was taken way too early for nothing. I’d love to just talk to him and obtain the same level of work ethic he had. 

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

  • I’d keep it plain and simple. “CJ’s”

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

  • Bobby Wagner. They don’t give him the credit he deserves in my opinion. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • Respected. Not everyone is going to like you. You have to earn respect. That’s not easily obtainable. You have to be upstanding and an overall solid individual to gain respect. 

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

  • Josh Gordon, he had a lot of opportunities and unlimited talent. I think he let himself and his past get in the way of that. Which represents a lot of other people misfortunes. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • I hate to lose! 

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

  • Both my parents, their guidance and love has been a constant! They have shown me multiple ways to continually improve my self and push me into directions that will create success for me. They only do so to see me achieve things they couldn’t! I appreciate them so much for that.

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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