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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Peyton Plunkett, LB, Quincy University

Peyton Plunkett, LB, Quincy University
Peyton Plunkett the hard-hitting linebacker of Quincy University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.

1. What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2024 NFL Draft?

– My abilities to move sideline to sideline, create turnovers, shed blockers, and stick the ball carrier are all attributes a scout is looking for at the NFL level. However, what puts me over the top is the way I can find the ball and the effort I give to go after the ball and create plays for the defense.

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

– I started playing football at a pretty young age, in 5th grade to be exact. I feel I really became interested in the sport going into my freshman year of high school, and decided to put my all into the sport.

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

– I feel that my dedication and work ethic are what NFL teams are looking for. During my childhood, and today even, working with my dad on our farm has definitely taught me about hard work and that something isn’t finished unless it is done the right way. I lead through my work ethic and teammates respect and follow me because they know I understand what it takes to work in a way that is not comparable to other people. I believe that, for anyone, work ethic will bring success, and I would bring that to an NFL organization. 

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

– I would donate towards cancer research. Some of my closest family members have passed from cancer. My grandpa passed from pancreatic cancer. My aunt, who is Skylar Thompson’s mom, quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, passed from breast cancer. I believe both of us understand the hurt that comes with losing someone close to us from cancer, so donating towards cancer research and towards helping families would be my number 1 choice.

5. What is the best advice you have ever received?

– It wasn’t necessarily advice, however I was shown a poem from a teammate called “The Man in the Glass” by Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr., a great read for anyone. In short, we can only be at ease with ourselves if we can look in the mirror each day and accept what we see, and I think this is very true in football and in life. I feel very competitive and hard-working individuals compete with their selves, always pushing to reach what is satisfactory. Therefore, can that person look in the mirror and be pleased with the effort, dedication, etc. put into that day. If not, they have more work to do.

6. Who was your childhood hero?

– I would have to say my childhood hero was my dad. When I was a kid, and still today, he worked/works 3 manually-tasking jobs between loading boxes for UPS, farming, and pouring concrete. For me, I think it takes a lot to wake up every morning and understand he has all of this on his plate along with being a father, and I’ve always respected how he continues to work that hard every day and provide for his family.

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

– I would have to say it is Joseph Webb. He plays safety for us here at Quincy. He is 5’10”, which may feel short and why I view him as underrated. However, he is a dynamic, explosive player who knows our playbook like he wrote it himself. Not just that, but his leadership qualities he possesses are close to none to where I’ve taken advice to put in my portfolio. Joe Webb is definitely on the rise.

8. What is your biggest pet peeve?

– My biggest pet peeve would have to be when people overly chew their gum in public. It’s very distracting, nor the time or place to do it!

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

– About 2 years ago, my grandfather passed away. He was the biggest fan for me and my siblings and cousins. He made sure to follow all of us in sports and academics, providing needed advice along the way. To make it harder, I was quarantined when he was in the hospital and passed. So I just sat by myself thinking about what I could have said it done differently. But I soon understood what grandpa would have wanted for me, to not sit and sulk but go out and succeed. I try to succeed each day knowing that’s what he would have wanted and that he’s watching me do so.

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

– I think a lot of schools try to sell the word “Family” to get recruits to commit or players to believe in a process. But what makes Quincy special is we’re really about it. And because of this, I think relationships created throughout the football program are very strong. We are more than just teammates at Quincy, and everyone understands and believes in this. I have not had a day where I wake up and say I’m not excited to play for Quincy. I’m a Hawk, through and through!

11. What is your favorite snack food?

– Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, the originals!

12. What is the best part about football?

– For me, it’s the relationship building aspect that comes along with it. I think, in football especially, that strong relationships are created. I feel guys that have the same mindsets, trying to achieve the same goal and them coming together is special. Trying to create that mindset in players that may lack it can create a special relationship between teammates as well out of respect for each other. In football, you play for each other out of love, and that puts the sport about all others.

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

– If you are in need of a player who is able to lead and create unity on a defense, make plays in big situations, and fly around with 110% effort, look towards Peyton Plunkett. 

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

– I would have to say Darius Leonard. Him and I are both longer linebackers, and use that length to shed blocks and wrap up and make plays. Where I really see the comparison is our ability to create turnovers. Last season, I led Division II football in Forced Fumbles and Forced Fumbles per Game. You constantly see him trying to create plays by punching at the ball. We both want our offenses back on the field, we understand turnovers in big situations draws a line between good and great players. 

15. If you could have dinner with 3 people dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

  1. Ray Lewis: He was the most dominate linebacker of his time. How he was able to lead his teammates and men in general was a special talent, and I would like to sit down and ask what I can do to grab teammates attention like he was able to do. 
  2. Nick Saban: I’d love to sit down and pick his brain about his mindset toward the sport of football and how he implements that into his players. I have a lot of respect for Coach Saban, what he has created, and his outlook on creating better men. He has put one of the biggest impacts onto college football. 
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio: I’m a big movie guy, and Leo is one of my favorites. He brings his all to every role, which is what I believe separates him into the greats. I’d like to sit down and hear his approach and mindset when taking on roles. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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