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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jo-El Shaw, RB, Kent State

Jo-El Shaw the physical running back from Kent State recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.

• Name: Jo-El Shaw
• Height: 6’1
• Weight: 220
• Position: RB
• College: Lackawanna Junior College/Kent
• Twitter: @HesLikeDat_33

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

I’m originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina and the best thing about North Carolina is the food. Honestly, it seems like everyone and anyone can cook. I moved to Pittsburgh in the 8th grade, and the best thing Pittsburgh has is football as a culture, you can learn some football in this city I swear. 

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

Strength and conditioning, film study then practice. In order to be successful through a course of a game, you must be in the best shape. All of the knowledge from film studies mean nothing if you’re fatigued. In my eyes, nothing matters if you’re fatigued. People make too many unnecessary mistakes tired and are more susceptible to being injured. Also if you show fatigue on the field with me, I’m going to want to exploit you because I know I have you reeling.Film study is key, you’re playing against the best of the best, you have to try and find their weaknesses to use as a weapon against them.As well as practice which is very important , With all of the knowledge you get from that film room, you have to practice carrying it out on the field and put all your actions in place. 

What do you worry about, and why?

I worry about being a failure because not a lot of people in my life are that successful, so I want to be one of the few to pave the way for my neighborhood.

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

I didn’t make it to Syracuse because of grades so I went to juco not only did I get division 1 offers I also made it on the deans list so I was very happy all of my work was showing not only on the field but in the classroom. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My energy and charisma. I never back down, have never been scared of acting in the moment. There’s no moment that is never too big for me to do my job.  

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

Tough question honestly. I have two that I have to mention but they’re on the same team, DK Metcalf and AJ Brown. Those guys aren’t regular receivers, man, they’re linebackers and defensive ends, running routes on lil boys. 

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

I think I would be a professional dancer, dance is life. I made my own dance group called the L3thalSt3ppas. If I couldn’t play football, I’d love to travel across the world dancing to different music with my brothers. 

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

Definitely desk. You can get paid while having a dirty room, you can still get paid with a dirty car, but you’re getting fired if you’re being unprofessional with a dirty desk. 

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

Although the decision would be hard to make, I would have to pick the three strangers because three lives are more valuable than one. 

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

Will Smith from Fresh Prince, he’s the funniest guy on earth. 

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

My biggest adversity came from being dismissed from the team. I became so close with the freshmen and sophomores. A lot of them looked up to me as their big brother, so I felt like I let them down my family and everyone who’s been on this journey with me. At first it was a really hard pill to swallow, and I didn’t even know if I was going to play football ever again . I went home and spoke to my high school and junior college coaches on what to do next. Going back to my roots, I had to get my mind and body right before even thinking about football. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Losing the wagon wheel to Akron in the manner that we did, we fumbled the snap on the pat. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

Scoring the go-ahead touchdown against Bowling Green. It was one-on-one situation . Are you going to stop me from getting to where I need to, and that was a fat no!!

What song best describes your work ethic ?

“Never Scared” by Bone Crusher. I’m never scared to work and never scared to perform. 

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

My work ethic and personality. It is hard to not see me because I’m energetic. I don’t mind to practice and I love to get better. 

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

Kobe Bryant. I was hoping  to make a name for myself one day so I could see Kobe in- person. I’m very sad that I’m never going to see my idol but I’m going to keep working and getting better because that’s what he would want from me. 

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

You Can’t Wootang Better Than Me because my dance club would be rocking. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?

Harrison Smith. Even though he’s considered one of the best in the game, he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Watching him play you can tell that he never goes into a game empty-handed, he has plenty of tricks and loves to play mind games with the QBs. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

Respected. I was spending so much effort trying to be liked at Kent State that I was losing myself trying to fit-in and be one of the guys. Needless to say, I will never do that again. I want to go about my days like a pro. I don’t care who doesn’t likes me anymore I have a job to do but you will have to respect me because of the work I put in. I’m never backing down so I want respect 

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

Colin Kaepernick. He just wanted to show the world what he stands for. That goes over peoples’ heads. He tried to get his beliefs noticed and you can’t hate the guy for that. I just don’t think a lot of people understand what really goes on and Kap does. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

I hate to lose, losing can turn you into so many things you’re not because losing sucks. That’s why I talk trash to make myself back it up because I hate losing. 

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

My mother. She’s been in some pretty tight and hard times but she came out tougher and she never complains. She’s a professional with her occupation, which hits me hard because my mom didn’t have to work how she did. She did because she had kids to support. I kind of forgot that at Kent, and when I came back home it was ever so clear that I cannot allow her to keep working for long. My mom was upset with me this fall, but instead of us dwelling, we came together to find out how we are going to move forward. I love her for that and I’m going to make sure I do what’s needed so she can live the rest of her life in peace.


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