NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Rod Sylvestre, DB, Mississippi Valley State University

Rod Sylvestre the physcial DB from Mississippi Valley State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Rod Sylvestre
  • Height: 6ft
  • Weight: 200 lb
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • College: Mississippi Valley State University, UCF, and FIU
  • Twitter: @_g_rod_21

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

I have spent most of my years in South Florida in a city called Margate, which is part of Broward County (The Best County). It’s relative location to everything that is important and fun is what I love about it the most.

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

1. Film Study: 

It’s highly important because it helps with taking mental reps before you get on the field so you can play fast and react plays, versus overthinking on the field. It also helps with processing different offensive plays, formations, and tendencies quicker on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, it helps the defensive player pick up on QB’s, Wr’s, RB’s, and TE’s tendencies. (Ex. If the offensive player’s alignment gives away their route, run, or play, if the QB tries to bait you with his eyes or not).

2. Strength & Conditioning:

Your body is your asset, business and armor, so you must make sure it’s in its best shape possible to perform at an elite level.


How you perform in practice is how you will perform in the game. It’s important to treat it like a game and build good habits. Practice is supposed to be challenging so the game can be a breeze and fun.

·       What do you worry about, and why?

Not living up to my God-given potential. This is because God has gifted me with plenty of gifts and I desire to be a good steward of them

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

In middle school I failed at making the basketball team in both 6th and 7th grade. The summer before 8th grade I trained for countless of hours on my craft and studied the game of basketball deeper. As a result, I made the 8th grade basketball team roster and led my team to playoffs as the starting point guard.

·       What do your teammates say is your best quality?

The passion I played with, my instincts and how physical I play.

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

Antony Miller (Chicago Bears- Wr)

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

To continue to build my photography and film company Ascension Production 

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

Room because its always nice coming back to a made bed and clean room.

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

As difficult of a decision that would be I would choose the three strangers. This is this because I know where my family is going after this life, but not the strangers. Plus, it’s three souls vs. one soul.

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

I would choose to be Batman because he is and man of noble character, has integrity, fight for what he believes in, cares about the human life, and is sacrificial.

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

My parents are immigrants from Haiti, I am the first generation of Sylvestre’s to be born in the United States. My parents came to the United States to provide a better life for their children, and our children’s children. 

First and foremost, if achieving goals were easy, everyone would do it quickly and without difficulty. Even if your vision is clear and you can articulate a detailed destiny, there are always obstacles in the path. Obstacles are the story of my life. Growing up in a low income family meant that my parents were always working blue-collar jobs, and had limited time with their children. Many times I had to figure out difficult homework problems on my own, help my younger brother with his, and prepare food on my own. There are many occasions where I had to improvise because I was under privileged. Sometimes there was no electricity or running water in my house. The only option was to survive, and persevere on the little I had. I have overcome external, internal, and habitual obstacles thanks to my savior Jesus.

·       What is your most embarrassing moment?

My cargo shorts ripped while I was bowling with my friends.

·       What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

Getting an interception on a critical 3rd  in the fourth quarter against Lamar University on ESPN.

·       What song best describes your work ethic?

Last Breath- By Future

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

A tremendous work ethic is key to my progression. Albert Einstein says, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Certainly I have learned the value of hard work by working hard. What separates the unsuccessful and the successful is an outstanding work ethic. When I became an honor student it was when I said no to mediocrity, and yes to prosperity. The passion to be excellent at whatever task lies before me was in me.  A basic principle in the bible I learned was a man reaps what he sows. This was evident in my life as I became Company Commander of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), captain of my high school football team, and received all “A’s” in my first semester of college. Indeed, without a sound work ethic none of this is possible.

Furthermore, I do not chase my dreams, I catch them. Doing whatever it takes to make my dream become a reality is my mentality. If must put in extra time, lose sleep, shed blood, beg for help, I will if want to accomplish my goals and dreams. Sacrifice is one of the main keys to achieving goals and dreams. When a hurdle is put in front of me, I will figure out how to overcome it to get to my dreams.

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

George Washington Carver he is the was one the most influential black scientist and inventor ever, we would be able to team up and invent something monumental.

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


·       Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

Nick Chubb is a BEAST!

·       Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

Respected because I don’t live for people’s approval only God’s approval. If you live for their acceptance you’ll die from theire rejection.

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

None of them the because rules are there for a reason.

·       Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

I love winning! I went undefeated my senior year of high school, went undefeated at UCF and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl, also Won the Bahamas Bowl at FIU. Winning is addicting and fun!

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

Honestly my savior Jesus. He has radically changed and shaped my life inside and out. Without Jesus my life would be a giant mess.

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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