NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jajuan Blankenship, DT, Southern Illinois University

Jajuan Blankenship SIU
Southern Illinois University defensive tackle Jajuan Blankenship recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Jajuan Samuel Blankenship 
  • Height: 6’0
  • Weight: 288lbs
  • Position: DT
  • College: Southern Illinois University 
  • Twitter: @jajuanblank12

What is the best restaurant in your hometown city? 

• JC’s, they have pretty good Birddogs

When breaking down your film what will stick out? 

• The first thing will be relentless effort and playing through the whistle every single play. Next would be quickness and hand usage against OL. Lastly, I would say the strength and use of leverage. 

If you won the lotto, what is the first thing you would do with the money? 

• Invest in different stocks and buy some real estate 

What has been your biggest failure? 

• I end up leaving high school with 0 full scholarship offers 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Hardworking and encouraging 

Who is the hardest working teammate on your team?

• I would say the whole team, everyone works hard and works out with a chip on their shoulders 

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

•Yes, I have had a few, Juan, Juju, and JB

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

What is your degree in, if you do not make it as a football player, what is your dream job? 

• I have an Associates of General Studies and a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Studies, with a minor in coaching. I would say my dream job is being a college or NFL coach of some sort, whether that is as a position coach or strength coach.  

What is your coolest life moment? 

• Taking part in the Netflix show “Last Chance U” was a pretty cool experience, and I end up being on the cover for the show which was cool for family and friends to see 

What song would you sing at Karaoke night? 

• Can You stand the Rain- New Edition

If you could pick any actor to play you in a movie, who are you picking? 

• Denzel Washington 

Who is your favorite football team?

• Carolina Panthers 

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

• “Proceed at your own risk, animals ahead“

What is your biggest fear? 

• Going through life, and not being able to have an impact on someone else 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Cam Newton 

Take us through game day, How do you prepare? 

• I start with a shower before we leave the hotel to start loosening up, and then watch more film in the hotel, as well as listen to music. Once we get to the stadium I change and go to the field to warm up. Once I get back in the locker room I put on all my equipment and sit in my locker with headphones on and a towel over my face with my eyes closed. I do this until it’s time to hit the field, after that, I take a knee, say a prayer, and then I am ready to go. 

Do you have any hobbies? 

• I would say working out, playing NBA 2K , and playing with my dog 

If you had to compare yourself to someone in the NFL, who would that be? 

• Grady Jarrett

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

• My father, he’s always tried to point me in the right direction and instilled many traits in me that will stick with me forever. 

What motivates you to work hard?

• I’ve been overlooked and counted out a lot over the years, I just want to take my story and let it inspire and motivate the kids growing up after me, to see that if you work hard & believe you can accomplish anything you want. There is no such thing as “too small”, and by me making it I can be an example of that for them.

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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