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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Thomas Schaffer, DL, Stanford

Thomas Schaffer the massive defensive lineman from Stanford University sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Thomas Schaffer
  • Position: Defensive Line
  • College: Stanford
  • Height: 6’7
  • Weight: 302
  • Twitter: @Thschaffer

Right now, people are not talking about you the way I feel they should. Do you feel you are an underdog?

  • I feel like an underdog which isn’t necessarily anything new to me. I have always been the youngest on any team I have played in Austria, wether it was the national team or playing in the men’s league at 15. I have been training and playing with a Chip on my shoulder no matter the situation. The underdog mentality is something that keeps driving me.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

  • I am tough. Any adversity that I have faced in life, I attacked and found a way to overcome on and off the field. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

  • A cause that is close to my heart is environmental protection and awareness for many of the harmful things we as the human race are doing to the environment. This sentiment is coming from growing up in the beautiful countryside of Austria and learning to appreciate the things God has blessed us with. 

Who was your childhood hero? 

  • In hindsight, I have to say my parents. In their own ways they have influenced me in many different ways ranging from hard work to appreciating the little things. I have very fond memories of my childhood and all the lessons they have taught me. 

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school? 

  • Thunder Keck. He was my roommate in College and is my brother from another. He is an absolute freak athlete and for someone who barely played his 4th year of football, he is doing incredible things. I can’t wait to see the things the future holds for him.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

  • Hypocrisy or entitlement. These two come from the same root. In football specifically, preaching about being better or telling teammates they aren’t doing enough while not holding yourself to the highest standard. In reverse, as the teammate that is being coached or corrected being too entitled to take the coaching and question the player or coach who is trying to help them. 

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

  • The day and years after my father passed away were some of the toughest of my life and I still work on living with it. As I previously said, he was influential in my life and I was very young and unprepared for that to happen. This event has taught me to live in the moment and always cherish what you have right now and not take health or anything for granted.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

  • The unique thing about Stanford is pair of academic excellence and with playing the highest level of College Football. The challenge arises when you seek both the best academics while also doing well on the field. There are ways to take the easy way out, quit the team or just take easy classes, but I wasn’t satisfied with either of those options so I decided to do a double major on top of playing football. After getting two degrees from Stanford, I wasn’t satisfied and applied for a Masters which I will be finishing in less than 9 weeks, making it my 3rd degree at one of the best universities in the world. 

What is your favorite snack food?

  • A bowl of berries, I love fruits. 

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say? 

  • I am exactly what I advertise myself to be: a smart, tough, and physical football player. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be? 

  • Deforest Buckner. He is someone I have watched for many years and related myself to. He is long an athletic for his size with very similar attributes to me. If given the chance, I can be like him in the NFL. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

  • Leonardo Davinci, Jordan Peterson, Vince Lombardi
  • Leonardo Davinci one of the greatest minds and artists in human history and I would love to pick his brain about the world. In a similar manner is Jordan Peterson interesting to me, I have just read two of his books and he is an intriguing character to me. Vince Lombardi was an easy choice. My locker at Stanford would be full of Lombardi quotes on what it takes to be a winner. He is not only a great football coach but also his speeches and quotes can be applied to many things throughout life. The combo of the three would be bring three genius in separate disciplines together and the exchange would be priceless.


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