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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ali Shockley, S, Hampton

Ali Shockley is a nasty hitter at safety on Hampton University's defense. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams. Photo credit goes to Jess Dawn at SaFire Studios
Ali Shockley is a nasty hitter at safety on Hampton University’s defense. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams. Photo credit goes to Jess Dawn at SaFire Studios
  • Name: Ali Shockley
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 196 lbs.
  • Position: S
  • College: Hampton University
  • Twitter: Ali_shockley24
  • Instagram: 3kshock

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?
I began my college journey at North Greenville University where I spent a year before going to Ellsworth Community College. I was then recruited to play at Hampton University where I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies this past May. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates say my best quality is my competitiveness. It doesn’t matter who the competition is or what the score is, I never question my chances of winning or helping my team win.

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 leader, someone who does things right even when no one else is watching. I also have the ability to change my leadership style to push my teammates to go further and play at higher levels. I think the scheme we are running now fits my skill set, allowing me to be effective in both the run and pass game as a safety. I have played in different defensive schemes and don’t mind having to learn different defenses because that kind of stuff interests me.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Jadakis Bonds. I battle him everyday in practice and watch him perform in games. He has real speed and quickness for his size. He also has the ability to convert on 3rd downs and has great hands to match his frame. He reminds me of when I watch Deondre Hopkins. 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
One teammate that impresses me is Romon Copeland. Going up against him everyday in practice has helped me be able to guard smaller shifty slot receivers and be more patient with bigger WRs and TEs.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I went to a Junior College in Iowa when things are rarely given. You have to really put the work in for people to notice. During my time there, I had to practice and perform in below freezing temperatures sometimes which was far away from what I was used to. After a long recruitment process and going through coaching changes in Juco, Hampton reached out. I began to build a relationship bigger than football with coach Prunty. I knew that was the place I wanted to finish out my collegiate career.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
If I didn’t play football, I would’ve either played baseball or basketball. I was good at both sports in high school. I just fell in love with football the first time I got to actually play which was when I was 6.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of graduating from college. That has always been a goal of mine. Yet, I’m also proud of the way I continue to grow in my faith as well. One of my biggest achievements in football was being First Team JUCO All-American.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
One of my most memorable plays came when we were playing Gardner Webb. Based on the formation and personnel I could tell a screen was coming. So, pre-snap, I aligned to make the play and soon I saw the RB try to slide out the backfield. I came up and made a big hit to force a key 3rd down stop that helped us win that game.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete is Ja Morant. I used to play basketball, and that’s who I see myself playing like. My other favorite athlete is Lebron James. The moves he has made off the court has inspired me to do the same one day. I don’t model my game after any particular football player. I look at what I do best and try to implement what I see from different guys like Budda Baker, Tyrann Mathieu, Kenny Moore, and many others into my own game.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite artist is No Cap. Before a game, I make sure I listen to No Cap’s song “Very Special”. I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do on the field after I listen to my pre-game playlist.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My comfort food is pizza with pineapples and sausage.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite TV show is Snowfall, and my favorite actor is Damson Idris.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I paint and play video games like Call of Duty or Madden.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play football because it was my first love. As soon as I could play football, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. My biggest motivation is getting everything I can from this game to make life after football stress free and become a role model for younger athletes in my community.


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