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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tavarian McCullum, S, Alcorn State University

Tavarian McCullum the standout safety from Alcorn State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name:Tavarian McCullum
  • Position: Safety
  • College: Alcorn State University
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 210
  • Twitter: Manndvpe
  • Instagram: @Manndvpe

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?

I’m long, physical, and fast. I have the ability to make plays on any special teams.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

I would say around the age of 13-14, I actually started playing football when I got in seventh grade. I played baseball most of my life. When I made it to middle school, the coaches saw me throw a baseball for the first time and they noticed something in me. I started playing football and I fell in love with it.

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

I’m very passionate about life, and everything that I do. I hate to lose. I’m a firm believer of “if the team works, the dream will work”. I’ve been a part of a championship team before and it took sacrifice from each one of us until the job was done.

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

I’m going to give back to all the schools in the area. There were plenty of times we didn’t have enough books for the whole classroom. The football facility didn’t have the proper weights. I would love to go around making sure everybody has all needs met to be successful.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received was to “keep going” no matter how many times you get knocked down the strongest will always prevail.

Who was your childhood hero?

My childhood hero was Elizabeth Fairley. My grandma, she made many sacrifices early in my life because she knew I was different from what I was growing up around and had potential to make it out.

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

Safety Kobe Towns has a big future ahead of him. One of the best athletes I’ve ever been around.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is someone giving up or in. “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” is a quote I’ve lived by my whole life.

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

I faced adversity in many different ways. One of the toughest times I’ve ever had to go through was my 11th grade year in high school. I tore my hamstring running track and it caused me to miss half of spring training. I had to be mentally strong throughout the rehab process. I didn’t have offers at the time and coaches were looking forward to seeing me during spring ball. It was tough going into my senior year with 0 offers but I had a plan and I went and made it happen.

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

Alcorn State University is the best HBCU in the land. My grandparents attended ASU and everytime we would come to a game I would visualize myself playing in front of thousands of people hearing the best bands there are.

What is your favorite snack food?

My favorite snack is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

What is the best part of football?

The best part of football is all that it comes with. Going to war with your brothers is one of the best feelings ever. All the long nights from studying and training together, it builds friendships that will never end. You learn to not only work for yourself but for the people around you.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

I’m long, fast, physical, and I love making plays at either DB position.

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

I would say Isaiah Simmons. I’m long, fast, and I love to make plays in the box.

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

Deion Sanders, Jay-Z, and the one and only Harrison Smith. These three people are my biggest influences in life. I look up to these guys for many different reasons. They live with purpose, everyday they are pouring some type of knowledge into our generation.


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