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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Payton Turner, DE, University of Houston

Payton Turner, DE, University of Houston
Payton Turner the EDGE rusher from the University of Houston is one of the best pass rushers in the entire NFL Draft. Check out this exclusive interview with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Payton Turner
  • Position: DL
  • College: University of Houston 
  • Height: 6’6″
  • Weight: 270 lbs 
  • Twitter: @pt_turner98

1.What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

I think the keys to success are preparation and hard work. Whether it’s preparing and working on stuff in the off-season in your game or preparing for your next opponent and one on one matchup. There’s really no substitute for either of those 2 things.

2.Rank focus,footwork and skill based on what is most important to you as a football player and explain why?

I would rank skill first of the three followed by focus and footwork, respectively. I say skill first because there are plenty of guys that have the focus and footwork that can play defensive end but if you don’t have the skill to play that position then it’s all for nothing. There’s probably DB’s that have better footwork and maybe even focus than a lot of defensive ends but they don’t have the skill. Then focus to be able to apply your skill followed by footwork. 

3.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

Ever since I was a kid watching NFL Sundays I’ve loved football but I really fell in love with it once I started playing it midway through middle school.

4.What is your mindset when you are on the football field?

My mindset on the football field is to just be violent and beat the man in front of me.

5.What are your favorite moments from your football life?

Two of my favorite moments in football was freshman year of high-school when I played QB, I threw a last second 60 yards(through the air) TD to one of my good friends to tie the game. Another moment would be my true freshman year, it was the second play of my career and I tipped a ball at the line of scrimmage then tipped it a second time to myself to catch it for the interception.

6.If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

I’d want to hang with JJ Watt, I grew up watching him and admiring him and the way he played especially with me growing up in Houston 

7.What is your favorite workout?

Favorite workouts gotta be beach workouts! I think those are self explanatory. Other than that though, it would definitely be leg day.

8.What has been your biggest challenge in life?

Biggest challenge in my life would be tearing my ACL senior year of high school, a lot of schools and coaches stopped talking to me for football and basketball and it was a really tough time in my life, lucky for me UH stayed true and believed in me. 

9.What do you hope to accomplish if you make it into the NFL?

I hope to compete for defensive player of the year, be a multiple time pro bowler, and win at least one super bowl!

10.What would a team get in a player like you?

They would get a pass rusher that can effect the QB from multiple alignments, a player that loves physicality, and a hard worker.

11.What role do you hope to have if you make it into the NFL?

I plan to become a reliable starter upon my entrance into the NFL.

12.What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I feel that I bring a lot of energy to the football field, every rep I’m out there I try to make a conscious effort to sell out for my team and go hard.


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