NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Derek Parnell, DB, Western Oregon University

Derek Parnell the sneaky quick nickel corner from Western Oregon University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Derek Parnell
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 190
  • Position: CB/Nickel
  • College: Western Oregon University
  • Twitter: @derek_jp

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

• I’m from Beaverton, Oregon and I love the people/community the most. They really push you to be the best version of yourself and everyone wants to see each other succeed.

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

• 1.) I’d put practice first because playing the game is the only way to really see improvement and fine tune your game. 

2.) strength and conditioning comes next because this aspect of the game will make you stronger, faster and more explosive which will then up your game to a new level. 

3.) Film study is where you can see tendencies and break down your opponent. You can even correct yourself and see how you made mistakes. Watching film can help you make game changing plays so it is a crucial part to the game. It’s one of my favorite things to do. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• My fathers health because he has cancer and not fulfilling my potential. I believe I was put on this earth to impact people in a positive way and I want to do that the best I can. 

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

• I failed at becoming a first team all-conference selection last football season and that was one of my goals that year. I reacted by immediately getting to work. I remember seeing the all conference selections and working out right after. This past off-season I did everything in my power to get ready to have the best season of my career and that’s exactly what happened. I had one of the best seasons for a corner in the nation and I was a first team all conference selection this year and hopefully even more awards are coming. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My work ethic 

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

• Paul Revis, he was on the same team as me but he has been the hardest guy to cover in my college career. 

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

• If I couldn’t play I’d coach. I love this game too much to choose a career outside of it. 

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

• I’d clean my room first because my personal space has to be clean. 

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

• I’d try to save them all and let myself go but if I had to choose it would be my family member because I don’t think I could live with myself knowing I could’ve done something to save someone so close to me. 

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

• I’d be Coach Boone from Remember the Titans. His leadership is amazing. 

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

The biggest adversity I’ve had to deal with emotionally was finding out my dad has cancer. It took a toll on me but it’s made my dad and I stronger. He’s fighting a great fight and I wanna do everything I can to help him. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I got crossed over in a high school basketball practice so bad I fell on my back and to this day my high school friends won’t let me live it down.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My game winning tackle against Humboldt st my sophomore year. It came right after I got a huge pass break up on their 6’7 receiver on a fade route. They tried my side again with a hide corner concept and I made the QB throw the hitch and I came up and tackled the wideout right before the goal line to win the game. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• If I cant – 50 Cent

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

• My work ethic. I refused to be out worked in all aspects of this game. Whether it be in weights, practice, or film. 

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

• My grandmother because she left before I could learn from her. 

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

• I wouldn’t open a dance club but if I had to I’d call it The Boom, Boom Room just because I like the movie Life. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Kenny Moore

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected because I don’t care to be liked. 

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

• Ernie Davis. I feel for him most because he was a star in the making and would have been apart of probably the greatest backfield in football history if he didn’t have leukemia. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I love to win.

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

• My mother has been the biggest influence in my life because she instilled this work ethic in me. I’ve watched her give her all to my siblings and I and that has motivated me my whole life. She’s one of a kind. 

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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