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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Roosevelt Calhoun Jr., LB, Western New Mexico University

Roosevelt Calhoun Jr. of Western New Mexico University is a hard hitting linebacker who covers a ton of ground at the linebacker position.

   •    Name: Roosevelt Calhoun Jr
   •    Height: 5’11
   •    Weight: 230
   •    Position: LB
   •    College: Western New Mexico University
   •    Twitter: @Rooseveltc__

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
   •     I was born in San Francisco but grew up in Reno, Nevada. California is where my family resides but all my close friends are in Nevada. I guess you can say I have two hometowns. But I love them both and both of them have great people. San Francisco is more Urban but Reno definitely has much kinder people.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
   •     Practice, Film study, and strength and conditioning. The practice is the most important because if you don’t attend practice and show your skills in the process then you can kiss game time goodbye. Yet, once that’s done and you know you can play, then you can start watching film and preparation. Searching for tendencies to beat the opposing team. And strength and conditioning are last because yes it is important but at the same time watching the film and being smarter then your opponent is a must. A smart football player will be a physically gifted one every time.

What do you worry about, and why?
   •     I worry about failure. All the time, in everything I do, I’m thinking “don’t mess up, you can’t afford it.” I have so many people who believe and depend on me, failure is not an option. I think the idea of failure is why I work so hard. Because my fear of failure is so great.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
   •     Last year I was learning how to cook and I was horrible. I kept either over cooking or undercooking every and didn’t know how to properly season meals. I may have been overreacting at the time, but I thought If I ever got my own house I’d starve. Eventually, I took a certain dish a practiced it every day, asking my mom for help and when I got the hang of that I’d move on. And so forth. Now I’m properly meal prepping and cooking for friends. It brings a small to my face.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
   •     My motor and playmaking ability. I am an every-down linebacker that flies to the football at all times. No matter where the ball is I’m always somewhere around it.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
   •     Austin Corbett. U of Nevada Alumni, 2nd round draft pick, & current 2nd string LG for the Cleveland Browns. An amazing athlete, quick feet, quick hands and powerful. Before transferring from Nevada I had to compete against him often in practice and the guy is a monster.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 
   •     ESPN, sports broadcasting 

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
   •     Room. My beds always the first thing I make when I wake up. I always have to make sure my rooms tidy. 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
   •     I feel like a question as this is impossible to answer. There are too many circumstances that can affect one’s decision. What if it’s my mother or grandparent? Brother or sister? Of course, these family members will be saved first they are the dearest to one’s heart. Yet, what if it’s a 2nd or 3rd cousin you don’t know too much about? Then the lives of the 3 strangers will seem to hold more importance right? It’s basically asking quality over quantity. If it was me I would try to save all four.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
   •     I would be Goku from Dragon Ball Z. The reason is that no matter how tough the opponent or who he goes up against he always finds a way to surpass his own limits and defeat them, even when it seems hopeless.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
   •     The death of my grandma. It seemed like I was in a nightmare I just couldn’t wake up from. I cried day in and day out. As my mom was busy working when I was younger my granny would care for me and my cousins for days at a time. She was a superwoman. Eventually, as months passed my family and friends helped me cope with the loss and my first tattoo was in tribute to her.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
   •     One time I sneezed and farted in a crowded elevator. I swear it seemed like my life was over.

What was the most memorable play of your college career?
   •     So far it was this play on special teams that I made this past season against West Texas a&m. I was the personal protector of our punter. As soon as the ball was snapped there was a blitz off the edge to try and block the kick. I laid out the guy blitzing, sprinted all the way down and laid out the ball carrier. The crowd went crazy and my teammates ran onto the field.

What song best describes your work ethic?
   •     Lil Boosie ft K.Michelle Show the world remix

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 
   •     Smarts. You need to have a great Football IQ and a great understanding of the game. And be able to be mentally tough. Knowing your opponents move before they make it themselves. You’re already physically tough, that’s why you’re at the next level. But what you do with that ability is all up to you. Be strong-minded, be confident, do the right things, be in the right places. Football is 80% mental and 20% physical.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
   •     My grandma. I would do anything to see her shining face again. She’s my passion. She’s the reason I even started watching football and i miss her dearly.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 
   •     “So you think you can dance?”

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 
   •     Le’veon Bell. He is known for his “patient” style of running and has led the league a few seasons in rushing but I don’t buy it. He gets a ridiculous amount of carries compared to any other running back in the league. Of course, he’s going to lead the league if he has almost double the carries of any other back. And he’s slow. No burst or breakaway speed.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
   •     Respected. As I’ve grown-up, becoming a man has tough me so much. People in this life come in go, and so many people only like you when they need you. I couldn’t care less if I’m liked or not. But you will respect me. You will respect my goals, aspirations, and dreams. And if you don’t I will make you. The only people I care who like me is my mom, sister, and girlfriend. Everyone else is just a bonus. I’m here for football I’m not here to be liked. 

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
   •     Reuben Foster. Not in a sympathetic way though. I feel for him because he possessed so much talent and could have done so much more, but he continues to get in off-field issues. And that’s what led to his release right before the Buccaneers game. It just hurts because there a millions that would kill to be in his position, and he can’t simply be a good citizen.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
   •     Both. Everybody loves to win. I wouldn’t step out on that field or did anything I loved if I wasn’t doing it to try and come out on top. Although, losing gives me a sickening feeling. But, losing is sometimes necessary. Usually, it’s never a real loss but a lesson. Losing teaches you about past mistakes and helps build character. Yes, I hate losing but at the same time it happens, I understand it and move on. As an athlete, you got to have that “Next rep” mentality. I’ve been on two 0-10 teams in my life and 1 championship team. I know the best of both worlds. I just try and do my best to give my team the best opportunity to win.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
   •    My mom and sister. Yes, they were very tough on me and didn’t let me do much growing up but I’m thankful for them. They taught me so much and still look out for me to this day. They are better than any father figure and I’d go to the ends of this earth for them. 


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