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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jalen McKenzie, OL, University of Southern California

Jalen McKenzie is one of the top rated offensive lineman from University of Southern California, who recently sat down with Justin Berendzen of NFL Draft Diamonds.
Jalen McKenzie is one of the top rated offensive lineman from University of Southern California, who recently sat down with Justin Berendzen of NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Jalen McKenzie
  • Position: OL
  • College: University of Southern California
  • Height: 6’6″
  • Weight: 310 lbs
  • Twitter: @pcBjaypeez_
  • Instagram: @jay_peez70

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My favorite moments from my football life include beating Texas, Utah at the Coliseum. And the crosstown rivalry during COVID on Amon Ra’s last second touchdown. In high school beating our crosstown rival in the North Coast Section Championship to go to our school’s first state championship.

What sets you apart from other offensive linemen?

I think what sets me apart is my quickness off the ball and after the snap and my ability to contort and use my length and size to my advantage in any blocking scheme kind of like a heavyweight boxer going in and out of techniques. That’s how I approach the game.

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

I would say as a team the keys to success are finding your teams heartbeat and then building trust through everybody’s accountability to do their job on the field.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

You have a lucky opportunity as a football player to have about 3 to 4 hours of your day where you can focus on your craft and let loose on a football field or in a weight room. Sometimes the outside world’s pain or challenges can reflect in your work but you can control that to channel yourself and your emotions into your craft, kind of like a artist or craftsman.

What should we know about Jalen McKenzie the person?

We should know he’s a God fearing man that appreciates the pits and valleys of life and the lessons the game of football has to offer.Jalen McKenzie the person is a person who is dedicated to his responsibilities and demands the absolute best of himself at all times. Jalen McKenzie the person loves helping out in any way he can in the community on his campus through student organizations etc..

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

I like to bring that dog energy in my opinion on the football field all it comes down to is who gonna be a dog and who isn’t each and every play.

How are you planning to prepare for the draft?

I plan on going through training process, playing in the NFLPA bowl and leaning on my agent Rodney Edwards through the process.

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

Growing up in a football family and just playing ball with my older cousins and everything. I played all sports growing up around the year every season so As a kid I just wanted to play and be a baller to make my older cousins and family proud.

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

Reggie White, he was my father’s college roomate and my spiritual Godfather so I would love to pick his brain ask him about funny stories.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would get a team player and leader that knows how to conduct themselves as a pro on and off the field. A smart player who plays within his technique with ferocity.

What are you looking forward to as a football player going forward?

I am looking forward to competing at the highest level and elevating my game to new heights I’ve never been to before.

What do you love about the game of football?

I love the ability to compete and the ability to test your will and it’s the closest thing to fighting without putting on gloves.

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