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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: Jamal Pettigrew, TE, McNeese State

Jamal Pettigrew has been a reliable target at McNeese State as their tight-end since transferring over from LSU. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Jamal Pettigrew
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 245 lbs.
  • Position: TE
  • College: McNeese State University
  • Twitter: jamal80p
  • Instagram: jamalp80

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My experience as a student has been cool. I began at LSU,and being from New Orleans I knew a lot of people that went there. I graduated there with a degree in Sports Administration. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Criminal Justice which I plan to finish Spring of 2022.

As far as other organizations, I mainly stuck with football and my classes. Although, we did summer camps with kids, and also helped out with the floods in Baton Rouge and with hurricane relief in the area.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My best quality would be my leadership. I would also say that I’m very personable and well-liked among my peers.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I see myself as a playmaker although I’m willing to do anything for the team. If the coaches want me to primarily be a blocker, I’m fine with it although I can be a great receiver when asked to. Most of my special teams experience happened during my days at LSU.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
While I was at LSU, I faced some of the best talent in all of college football. I faced Grant Delpit every day in practice, and he was a very special talent.

Here at McNeese State, the guy that really shows up on film in our secondary is Andre Sam. He makes a lot of great plays.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
CeeJay Powell is a dynamic playmaker on our team. He’s feisty, makes tough catches and blocks when on the perimeter. He’s also a great returner.

I also have to shout out my QB, Cody Orgeron. He’s a chip off the old block and a tough dude that you can follow.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
The comeback from my injury is one of the biggest struggles I had to overcome. Summer of 2018, we were practicing and while I was running corner routes, my left knee went out tearing my ACL.

I ended up having surgery immediately and going through several months of rehab. By the end of the season, I had recovered well enough to play in our bowl game, but I decided to sit out and focus on the following season.

Being injured taught me a lot and changed me as a person. I was highly recruited and felt very confident as a freshman. The injury helped me grow and come to terms with my situation. Sometimes there are hard things that you have to go through in life, and you just have to grind through it. I grew closer to God in that time. I had the hunger and desire to be on the field again which made our Championship season that much sweeter.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Golf. My dad introduced it to me when I was young, and I really enjoy it. It’s the type of sport where you have to stay calm, understand the situation and not panic. I feel like that translates to football a lot in game time situations.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of graduating from LSU and being close to having 2 degrees. My biggest achievement is obviously winning the 2019 National Championship. I don’t think anything can beat that.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My first college catch in Tiger Stadium was very special. It was our homecoming in 2017 against Troy. It was a first and 10, and we ran a naked bootleg. I was wide open and broke about 3-4 tackles running for about 17 yards. I was on cloud nine and hungry for more.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete is Lebron James. Being from New Orleans, I’ve been a diehard Saints fan my whole life. I was a big fan of Jimmy Graham. Although, I see myself as a versatile player and like to model my game after George Kittle who is a dominant blocker and an elite route runner.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Young Thug is my favorite music artist. One of my favorite songs to listen to before a game is called “No Friends in the Industry” by Drake.

What is your favorite comfort food?
One of my favorite foods is fried catfish. Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux is a great place for food.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is called Focus. Snowfall is my favorite TV Show. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like listening to music and playing video games in my spare time. One of the hobbies that I’ve picked up is taking pictures and videos.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I started to play football for the love of the game. Yet, with setbacks in my career it made me much more hungry to achieve my goal of becoming a NFL player. I’d also like to create generational wealth for my family.


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