NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: James Bauer, OLB, Colorado School of Mines

James Bauer the athletic OLB from Colorado School of Mines recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: James Bauer
  • Height: 6’ 2”
  • Weight: 231
  • Position: OLB
  • College: Colorado School of Mines
  • Twitter: @JimmyBauer18

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

• I went to middle school and high school in Friendswood, which is a small town in the Southeast suburbs of Houston. What I love about Friendswood is the relationships I built there, for me home has always been where my loved ones are and with my family and close friends remaining there, Friendswood will always have a spot in my heart.

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

• For me practice must come first, followed by film study and then strength and conditioning. I found this hard to answer because all three are so essential, but practice comes first to me because that’s where I get to work on my craft and experiment on new techniques. Film study beat out strength and conditioning because knowing more than your opponent will always give you the advantage no matter the size and strength. Finally, strength and conditioning are so essential because there is no limit to the time you can spend on your body and it what you are going to work with every day.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about realizing I’m not making the most of the best days of my life. Going into my final season at Mines I’m doing everything I can to soak in playing the sport that I love with my best friends. I’m very blessed to be in the situation I’m in playing football and earning my master’s degree at mines. So, what makes me worry is that I don’t realize I’m in the good ol days, and before I know it, they will be gone.

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

• An example of when I failed at something came in my second year of college when I was in Physics 2 and did not understand the material. I failed three consecutive tests after long hours of studying and didn’t understand what was going wrong. The way I overcame this is by taking a different approach at the final. I searched out help from a teacher’s assistant and she gave me a new process that helped me understand the material. We ended up spending 20 hours together with countless hours on my own and I ended up passing the course with a good grade on the final and extra credit opportunities. This taught me that the answer isn’t always working through it on my own and that seeking out help could be the best route.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• I asked a few teammates and most of them came to the same conclusion. They said passion, at first, I was confused but then I realized how much emotion I’ve invested into this game and into my team. It felt good knowing my efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

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

• The best player I’ve played in college is probably Austin Ekeler. I played him my freshman year and instantly noticed his higher level of play. I didn’t realize how high his level was until I see him now going into his 3rd year in the NFL. Seeing the success that he had in the collegiate level gave me motivation to be equally as dominate and chase the opportunity at playing in the NFL.

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

• I would use my undergraduate degree in geophysics. I would like to work in the seismic industry either as a surveyor or working with the development of seismic surveying instruments.

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

• I would clean my car. I chose that because it’s the thing that others would see the most and my car is a representation of me and want it to put out the image that I care about my things.

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

• Unfortunately for the society, I would save my family member. I’ve always had the mindset that no matter what your accomplishments are if your family isn’t there to share it with you then it’s meaningless. With that, I would keep me loved ones close.

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

• This one is easy. I would be Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow. I chose him because for one he’s a superhero, but for two his character is so loved by the people around him because of the sacrifices he makes. He always put in tough situations but comes out of it with his team at his side because they trust that what he did was right. All the while he continues to discover more about himself through his trials helping to evolve his character into a better person.

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

• One of the toughest things in life was moving away from my parents. They were always my support system and helped me overcome any adversities I faced. When I moved to Colorado, I had to learn to be more self-reliant and take more ownership of my mistakes and shortcomings which has been very important to the developing of the person I am today.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• In middle school, I auditioned for the talent show as a singer. I quickly realized I had no talent and that was confirmed when the people running the talent show asked if I had anything else I could perform.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• The first thing that comes to mind is a strip-sack I had as a sophomore. It was the first quarter and we were playing an opponent that on paper we should beat. After three drives we were down 21-7 and they were close to scoring again. I came off the edge, got to the QB and caused the fumble, and afterward went to my sideline saying that’s it, no more. After that play, they didn’t score again, and we won the game by a large margin. I like to believe I changed that game by creating the spark that we needed to wake up and play Mines level football.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• I always liked the song Now or Never by Kendrick Lamar, it’s always helped me realize that you never know what will make you a success story or a failure. With that, I will always try to be at my best knowing ill never regret going 100%, because I’ll never get the same opportunity twice. No matter how the chips fall, I want to be happy with my efforts and that means taking advantage of them now.

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

• Consistency is key to my life. Never giving up on a problem or knowing that putting in the effort daily can make something great. I recently read a book called “Grit” and it says the only way to achieve the final goal is to do something that brings you closer to that goal every single day. I truly believe with enough time I can accomplish anything and that’s because I will attack that task consistently until I get to the finish line.

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

• I would probably say, Mohammed Ali. I would like to sit and listen to him explain how he had the courage to be the man he was and to try to understand his mind because he saw the world in a way other didn’t and I would like to try to learn from that.

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

• JB’s Funky Town. There would be no specific genre of music because I like all music, but always there will be a song playing that people can get down to.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• I would have to say Whitney Mercilus. JJ Watt is regarded as one of the most dominant defensive players ever, but by his side has been Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus has been a successful pass rusher and physical player his whole career and gives JJ Watt the opportunity to get into favorable matchups. Often, you’ll see Mercilus do the dirty work to clear JJ to make the plays in the backfield. Every Batman needs a robin and the robin is almost as important.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• If I had to choose, I would rather be respected. I never wanted to lose who I am for a laugh or approval and part of being respected is being yourself. I believe I am the way that I am, for a reason and every time I compromise that for approval I’m losing the ability to be the best me.

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

• I would say, Pat Tillman. He believed that his country was worth fighting for after it was attacked on 9-11 and unfortunately lost his life defending his home.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I Love to win. I believe no matter what love will always be stronger than hate. I never want the reason for the things that I do to be because of hate that I feel.

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

• My dad has been my biggest influencer. He instilled in me that no matter the problem, hard work, and effort is the answer. With everything that happens in life, you can always try to get others to fix your problems or blame your problems on others, but my dad taught me that the truest way to solve your problems is to look internally and work on yourself.

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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