NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Payten Gilmore, RB, Black Hills State University

Black Hills State University RB Payten Gilmore has the size NFL teams are looking for.
  • Name: Payten Gilmore
  • Height: 6 ft 1 inch
  • Weight: 207 lbs
  • Position: Running Back
  • College: Black Hills State University
  • Twitter: @gilmore_payten

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

•  I grew up in a lot of places so I could give a lot of credit elsewhere, but before I started bouncing around between 3 high schools, I ended up spending my childhood growing up in Shamrock Texas. It can be seen as your typical small town in Texas where football and just doing sports, in general, was all there was other than just working. That’s what it was like for me at least, but the type of football was different, the expectations for how I carried myself on and off the field were different especially at a young age.  I carried the characteristics of working hard, having character, and never giving up throughout my life.  I have seen too many people not try to make it and stay there forever or had an opportunity and didn’t take it.  I had been through some hard times with my family and having football helped me through it all. But Shamrock Texas will always be a place that I remember. A great historic community, full of good hard-working people. I plan on being a role model for the people that need it there because I want them to know that it doesn’t matter where you come from. You can be anything that you want to be.

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

•  Film Study would be at the top of my list because without knowledge of the game everything else is meaningless. When you can understand the enemy and where you need to improve to do the best for your team you can apply that in the weight room and practice.

-Practice would be the next on the list because when you get the knowledge. You can get the fundamentals down and understand WHY you are practicing what you are practicing and then build on top of those things.

-Lastly, Strength and conditioning are huge when it comes to the game but I have seen plenty of guys who can lift and it not translate to the field because they don’t completely understand how and why what they are doing in the weight room is going to translate to the field. But when you have a complete understanding of both you have a complete purpose and can execute the goals that are truly meaningful.

What do you worry about, and why?

•  I worry about not meeting my goals, not making my family proud, and proving myself right/wrong. While I am not afraid to fail and learn I do think into the future about ways my life could go and have some sort of plan for it which in turn makes me worry about what may or may not happen, but I use this “worry” to motivate me to be prepared for the things that may happen. The things I listed are all I really care about. I want to smash my goals, do right by my family, and prove it to myself that I am capable of anything. It would be disappointing to not achieve those. 

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

•  I would say the one thing I failed at was managing school with football. I had a rough freshman year academically and didn’t really know how to manage my time effectively. I ended up passing but just by the skin of my teeth. I continued to persevere and make the deans list my next semester. I just realized I was spending to much time hanging out with friends or doing other things that weren’t putting me in the best position to succeed. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  That my energy resonates with them well. I think they would say that I do a good job of leading by example and giving the guys that spark they need sometimes to get going. I want them to succeed more than myself. So, I do try to push guys and hold them accountable, but I would think they would say that I do everything in the best interest of the team, that I care about them, and want us all to succeed as a team. 

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

•  I mean, the RMAC is one of the best conferences in Division 2. I have played against a lot of great players. Blake Nelson (Colorado Mesa), Brandon Payer (CSU Pueblo), Darius William (CSU Pueblo), and many more. Those are just a few examples of guys who played their hearts out and will continue to be tremendous players for whatever team it is they are playing for. 

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

•  I would really like to keep football in my life even if I couldn’t play because my love for the game is deeper than just playing. Educating our youth and seeing them grow into great young adults is what I care about. If I didn’t play, I would like to be some sort of strength coach, a football coach, or both would be awesome. 

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

• Well knowing myself I would try to keep all of them clean, but if I had to choose, I would keep my desk clean, because you can learn effectively in an environment that messy. So, I guess that also relates to the room because with a dirty room you would also contribute to a messy environment. I want the places I spend the most time to be clean because then I would just feel scattered, to begin with, and not be able to focus on whatever task is at hand.

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

•  I mean I like to help everyone but at the end of the day, blood is thicker than water. If you’re my family in any way shape or form. I stay true to that. I got you.

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

•  I would say that I would be Willie Weathers in the movie Gridiron Gang. Aside from the fact of where he was, and the decisions he made. The message I took away from that movie was that no matter where you are in life you can always put yourself in a different direction if you really want to. Football challenged a young man with a lot of problems, and he overcame that and excelled because he saw what he was capable of. I relate to that because I had to overcome a lot of obstacles in my life, not near the same but the way he handled the things that were in his way was very admirable 

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

•  The biggest adversity in my life would have been moving around so much in high school. I grew up with my mother in Shamrock Texas for the first 13 years of my life and decided it was in my best interest to go live with my father because my mom was in a downward spiral with her abuse of alcohol. My dad opened a lot of doors for me and made it possible for me to be where I am at now. I bounced around from high schools due to his job in the fossil fuels industry. I moved to Granbury Texas going into 8th grade from Shamrock and would stay there for about 4 years. It was where I experienced true, higher level Texas football and was able to become exceptional, but I was still young and had a lot to learn. The following year I would move to Littleton Colorado for 1 year to play at Rock Canyon High School. Moving schools was beginning to get tough, it was hard to make friends and fit in being the new kid and being there only a year made it even harder to build lasting relationships, but some lasted because of football. This is where I met Ryan Hommel, who was a QB for BHSU from 15’-19’, and Vincent Gullia who played Corner for BH as well. These guys went on to play at BHSU after their senior campaigns at Rock Canyon High School. While I was at Rock Canyon, I earned my first offers from Black Hills State University and Adams State University. I ended up moving my senior year back down to Houston Texas where I would attend Klein Oak High School. Again, I moved up in the football ranks, playing in more elite divisions of football but this was the highest of them all. I played for great coaches and got some great experience playing linebacker, but the 3rd game of my Senior season I broke my hand and was out for the rest of the season. I then made my commitment to play at BHSU with my former teammates Ryan and Vincent. Moral of the story is I overcame of the situations I was put into and kept my focus on what was best for me at the time and that was football. I give a lot of credit to Coach Jason Glenn for encouraging me to keep playing and keeping me on the right path when he saw things going elsewhere. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  It would have to be when I tried to lead stretches at practice when I was a freshman. I thought I knew how it went but when I tried to take the reigns and lead the stretches, I completely butchered it. But sometimes you just have to wear clown shoes and move one.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  Obviously, my biggest memory would be when I surpassed the single-game rushing record at BHSU (RMAC Division 2). It wasn’t a huge play that gave me the record but I can remember the play where it happened and I thought to myself “hard work pays off” and all of the people and teammates that supported me and congratulated me after that will always be a memory I hold on to.

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  Till’ I Collapse, by Eminem would have to be one that I think of first. Not very original but it is a song that I have always come across when I am putting in time in the weight room or at practice that helps remind me that I’m going to keep going until I have nothing left. Even when I was a kid playing youth football, my friends and I would listen to a lot of songs pregame to pump us up and that was one of our favorites. I suppose the song helps me remember where I came from and what I’ve been through in a way that propels my work ethic to be what it is.

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

•  I give my all no matter what the situation is. I play the cards I’m dealt with the best of my ability because that is what I have had to do most of my life. 

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

•  My Sister, she was taken away from my family at the age of 32 during the spring semester of my junior year of college by a drunk driver. She was a mother of two, a great wife, sister, and daughter to many. She taught me so many things about life and how to overcome a lot of things I was going through in high school. I miss her quite a lot. 

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

•  YOU, focus on you and what’s best for you. Don’t live up to others’ standards.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  I would say, Kenyan Drake, he makes a lot of big plays, he’s explosive and will be having great seasons to come in my opinion.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would rather be respected. As long as I’m making decisions that are right by my family, and myself I will be completely satisfied by that and could care less what other people think about me or the decisions I’ve made. I want people to know that I do everything I can to be the best I can and that’s it. I will do my job and keep doing it. People will respect my work ethic, and my ability to get the job done no matter the obstacle.

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

•   Shawn Oakman would have to be the one I think about off the top of my head. He had his career derailed by the sexual assault issues but is currently overcoming it and making his way back onto to the NFL radar. A lot of athletes deal with this issue and It’s good to see athletes being able to overcome that and continue with their dreams of playing but it’s sad that they have to be put into that situation in the first place because of someone’s false accusations. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I HATE losing more than anything, but I have lost a lot in my life and the one thing I have always learned from it is that there is room for improvement. And if you worry too much about winning, you’ll never understand how to handle the feeling of losing and how it feels to overcome a loss. I’ll never give up no matter how much I lose because I know my time to win will come if I take care of everything else. While winning is the ultimate goal, you ultimately learn the most from your losses. 

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

• The biggest influence on my life would have to be my two grandmothers. While one isn’t with us here anymore, they were both still huge factors in my success through my life. When things were hard for me, and my siblings my grandmothers were there to hold things together and to keep us in school and in sports. My great grandma Joyce had a stroke before I was born. She couldn’t work or do much at all but through her perseverance, she was able to overcome it. She took stats for Shamrock sports for over 50 years and kept doing it after her stroke. She had to teach herself how to write with her left hand, but she didn’t let it stop her. My other grandma is also very strong and admirable women who have influenced me. She has survived cancer 2-3 times in her life. Undergoing treatment every time. But through her toughness and strength, she kept fighting and is still with us today. She did a lot for my mom when she lost her mom at a very young age and is still here to help give me guidance where I need it.

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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