NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Caleb Kinlaw, RB, University of South Carolina

Gamecock running back Caleb Kinlaw recently sat down with Damond Talbot of NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Caleb Kinlaw
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 208
  • Position: Running Back
  • College: University of South Carolina
  • Twitter: Boogie_32

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

•  I’m from a small town called Goose Creek in South Carolina. It’s in the Charleston area so what I love most is our culture; Gullah Geechee.

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

  1. Film Study
  2. Practice
  3. Strength and Conditioning

I’ve been around plenty of athletes who weren’t athletic but knew tendencies, reads and what to do at all times. They’ve lasted longer than some of the best athletes I’ve been around.

What do you worry about, and why?

• I wouldn’t say I necessarily worry about anything, because I’m always in prayer. I would say I focus a lot on my health. My health has set me back a lot and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that you can’t drive a car without an engine. Mental and physical health are things I focus on a lot. My RB coach always told me 90% of this game is from the neck up.

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

• I would say I failed every year I wasn’t the starting RB. I had several different reactions initially because I felt like I wasn’t up to par. To overcome it, I had to remind myself  to control what I can control and pray about the rest.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Perseverance. No one around me could ever call me a quitter or say I gave up.

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

•  I haven’t had much game time at RB, so I’d say my former teammate Skai Moore. He might be considered a 1 percenter who can turn it on and off whenever. His instincts are some of the best I’ve seen. In practice/live situations, he’d make a play whenever he wanted to or he could put it on cruise control.

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

• Real Estate Developer

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

• Room. The room is the largest space of the 3 and you spend the most time there. You don’t have to study at a desk.

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

• Family member. I’d feel bad for choosing 1 over 3, but family is above everything.

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

• Luke Cage. He’s indestructible and has a good character. He also had to overcome a lot of adversity in the show.

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

• I think tearing my ACL prior my 5th season was the biggest adversity I faced. What made it the worst was the timing. It was a time where I had felt like I was supposed to be finally turning a corner and I felt the healthiest I had been in a long time. For it to happen at that time, it was a major blow to my confidence. To recover from that after all my other injuries was the most frustrating mentally. On top of that, many people questioned why I would even keep playing. I felt and still feel like I have a lot to prove and a lot of playing left. I was able to overcome it simply with prayer and perseverance. The only guarantee in giving up is that you no longer have a chance and I wasn’t willing to live with that.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• In our training room, our hot and cold tub were separated from the room with wall length glass and the door was seamlessly in the glass between pillars. I got out of the hot tub and wasn’t paying attention and walked into the glass thinking it was the door.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  Recovering an onside kick against Georgia. It was the first play I made that really made an impact for my team.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Dedication – Nipsey Hussle

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

• Adaptability. The ability to adapt to any situation thrown at you will help you last long in anything because things rarely go as planned. Being prepared for that and being a

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

• Nipsey Hussle. I’d like to talk to him to gain wisdom from how he thinks. I have an admiration for his ability to come from the bottom and excel at the top without compromising who he is. He was able to self educate and climb the ranks of life while always elevating the people around him and building in his own community. His philanthropic efforts and entrepreneurship is something I’d strive to emulate.

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

• Paradise

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

• Desmond King. I remember when he was at Iowa and I was at Wisconsin, he always played with this high motor and wasn’t big at all.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. I think you hold a higher value and respect holds more weight than being likable. If people like you but don’t respect you, I think it means you’re a good person but hold no true value.

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

• Antonio Brown. He’s argubly the best receiver yet shorter and smaller than the other candidates. I think in this era, people get a kick out of berating and joking on social media. He’s a guy who came from nothing beat all the odds and is asked to be humble. I think he’s struggling with the possibility of going back to being Antonio instead of AB. I’m sure has a lot of “yes men” in his circle who don’t hold him accountable for his actions. His persona is becoming bigger than the person.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• Hate to lose. It lasts until you win again. Winning only last for a couple of days.

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

• My parents. They had my brother and sister while in they were in high school/college  and broke, but always took care of them. They’ve been married and together despite them both being born out of wedlock and having a split relationships with their parents. We always had our necessities and never had to worry about them doing anything illegal or puttin is in any hard. They made more sacrifices than I could name so we could have all they didn’t. Never made excuses or quit and that’s where I get those qualities from.

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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