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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Joe Fitzpatrick, RB, University of Maine

  • Name:  Joe Fitzpatrick
  • Height:  5’11”
  • Weight:  230lbs
  • Position:  Running Back
  • College:  University of Maine
  • Twitter:  @Joefitz27

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

• I grew up by the Portland area in Southern Maine and what I loved most about growing up here was the wholesome people I met.  I also loved the small local business and restaurants I grew up going to all the time throughout my childhood and teenage years.  

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

• Practice, film study, strength and conditioning.  I chose this order because I truly believe you practice how you play and if you take practice reps off and don’t bother to correct mistakes from the past week during practice it will correlate to gameday.  I put film study next because you are able to improve yourself by watching what you do wrong. You are also able to study your opponent by picking up tendencies and techniques that each player has on either offense or defense.  I put strength and conditioning last because you can bench 400lbs or squat 600lbs but if you play with bad technique or do not have a high football “IQ” you can easily be picked apart. But also it should be a given that if you are serious about playing at the highest level you train like it.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about my family and other people who have been so influential in my life.  I want to make sure I am always able to help these people with anything, anytime they need it.  I work hard to put myself in the position to be able to do that one day.

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

• I remember when I was a freshman in high school I failed an exam for my Biology class.  I remember feeling embarrassed and being disappointed in myself and my lack of preparation.  However, I was able to learn from this experience early in my high school career and was able to learn the proper way to study and prepare for academics/challenges at a young age.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates say that my best quality is my physicality when running the football as well as being a true well-rounded running back.  I pride myself on being able to go into any game situation against any opponent and know exactly what to do and be able to execute any assignment whether its getting the ball and making the right read/hitting the hole, picking up any blitzer, beating a defender to the flat for a check down or running down field to cut off a DB and help our receivers run in space.  I have also been told by teammates that my physicality as a running back is a major attribute in my playstyle. Being a bigger, physical RB, I feel confident lowering my shoulder and running through any type of contact and setting the tone for the rest of the game.

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

• On offense it would be Kareem Hunt.  On defense it would be Obi Melifonwu. 

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

• If I didn’t play football I would pursue a career as a Sports Physical Therapist. 

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

• I would clean my room first because I feel much more relaxed and able to focus when that space is clean.  I would then clean my desk for the same reason as my room and would choose to clean my car last.

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

• There is nothing more important to me in this entire world than my family.  I would do anything for my family and would never be able to not save them in any situation especially for someone I have no attachment to.

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

• If I could be any character from any movie I would be Rambo because he can never be taken out and is the last person you would want to betray.

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

• One of the biggest adversities I faced in life was suffering an injury my senior year of high school before committing to the University of Maine.  I chose to spend my entire summer before college rehabbing and retraining my muscles to correct the issues I was having without surgery. After months of work, I was able to report to UMO without any pain and ended up playing my true freshmen year.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• Forgetting to prepare a presentation that I was suppose to present for my class and trying to make it up as I went along but was clearly not prepared.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• The most memorable play of my college career would be hurdling over a defender on the way to a twenty yard touchdown run against our schools biggest rival (UNH) to help our team win back the Brice-Cowell Musket trophy in 2018. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• “Lose Yourself” – Eminem

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

• I believe that an elite understanding of the game is one of the most important traits you can have at the next level because in the NFL everyone is strong and fast, but you can use understanding of scheme and your opponent to stay a step ahead of them.

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

• I would bring back Muhammad Ali because I grew up boxing and always loved watching old clips of Ali fighting.  I remember trying to mimic his style while in the ring and always wished I would have the opportunity to meet him.

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

• I would name my club “The Ranch”

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• James Conner

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected because no matter what you do, not everyone is going to like you so it is always best to have strong character.

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

• Shawn Oakman because I remember when he was playing at Baylor and was having a very solid career but was framed for a charge that he was later ruled innocent of.  However, once his name was brought to court any shot at either the NFL or CFL was taken away even though he never committed the crime he was being charged for.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I hate to lose more than anything.

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

•The biggest influences in my life have been my family and my coaches.  My parents and siblings have all pushed me to become the person I am today and have always been my biggest fans ever since I was in Pop Warner football.  I grew up boxing as well as playing football and I think that my boxing coach helped train me physically and mentally at a young age to compete against the best opponents I could find.  I also have been influenced greatly by my strength and conditioning trainer who I have worked with since middle school, all the way through my college career to help elevate my abilities on the field.


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