Tough, strong, nasty, determined, violent, prepared. When watching the game tape on Mississippi State, defensive back Shawn Preston, these are some of the words that come to mind, when trying to describe his play. Blessed with the “hit anything that moves” gene, Preston, has quietly made a name for himself amongst the SEC, elite. Even as a Safety, Preston plays the game like a middle linebacker, always coming downhill, and looking for contact. But it doesn’t stop there. See, Preston isn’t just a kid looking to hit, he is also a leader on the back end. As well as a guy who offenses struggle to outsmart, as he always seems to be in the right place. I had the honor of sitting down with the hard-hitting prospect, and got to pick his brain on life in the SEC? who he is in the locker room? and outside of football? Also, what it took to tackle his teammate, all-American RB Kylin Hill?
Starting off he touched on his time in the SEC, what it takes to play there? and his locker room presence?
“You need to be tough, you have to be. You gotta be ready, because really, no matter how good you are, all the guys you see are going to be good as well. You will hardly run into a guy who doesn’t belong playing in the SEC. The best of the best is what you could say is. Really, you have to be a dog. You have to be ready to be in a fistfight, man. You know when you playing these guys they are coming to knock you out, so you gotta come ready to fight. As far as who I am in the locker room? I am the same guy as I am on the field, except for the hitting. I just mean I feel like I lead. I know when to follow, and we had some good leaders on this team, so I need to keep that tradition alive. So in the locker room, I am a leader and I lead by example. I love football, so we talking football, and we focused. Same as the field, we are focused.”
Moving forward he touched on who he was outside of football?
“I am a family guy. I really am, I love my people. my father raised me to be that way. You know we are a football family, so it all fits. outside of football is more football really. I don’t mean to sound boring. I mean I do things’ I have fun with my friends, and I hang out. nothing wild and crazy, but I have fun. But if I am being honest my mind is on football. How to get better every day. I won’t win every single day, and that’s my focus.”
A quick scouting report on the defensive back. He is versatile, as he can play in the box as a linebacker as well as play in the slot, and cover a WR. He can be on an island or play either safety. I asked the young star where he felt the most comfortable on the back end?
“Really I am going to play anywhere they need me. I can always get better at everything I do. I feel like we all can as players, but I know I can play inside, outside, in the box. I don’t care, as long as I am on the field. I really like watching safeties that can move around, and make contact. I like to blow up a play. I like to make contact and take away a player. never to hurt anyone, but to make them disappear, in that sense, they aren’t helping the offense. So like I said I can play anywhere, and I will play where they want me to be. So I know what you asking, but I don’t care. as long as I get on the field.”
Talking with Preston, he had me feeling like I could run through a wall. So I could only imagine how he makes his teammates feel. With the skill set, he has, along with the perfect mentality, and mindset to be successful at the highest level. Preston will be on someone’s roster very soon. Watch the tape and decide for yourself. Walking away, I asked Preston to give me a quote on his teammate Kylin Hill? Told him I was working on a profile on the star runner, and I wanted to know how you defend a player like him? Preston simply replied to me by saying “Pray”.
It is easy to fall for his potential on the tape, but it is twice as easy to love the kid after talking with him. Where ever he ends up, I guarantee he will make an impression.