On Tuesday February 23rd, 2016 I got a chance to interview senior defensive end Branden Jackson from Texas Tech. Through the help of Glen Wallace, Peterson Sports PR, we get a chance to show the fans of the NFL Draft and football in general a better insight of Branden Jackson. He took time to talk with me during his busy training schedule to discuss his preparation for the upcoming NFL Combine in Indianapolis and being a 2016 NFL Draft prospect at his position.
Question: What is the best part about being a NFL Draft prospect?
Branden: “Best thing is just the feeling of being wanted. Interesting time of being wanted and to have a lot of teams interested in you.”
Question: Why do you like playing the game of football?
Branden: “Football is way to escape reality off the field. I play football for myself. You go thru life a lot of times and you have to worry about your brother and mother and things like that, but on the football field it’s just your teammates and you at the end of the day. It is just a relief from life you could say.”
Question: Which player in the NFL (past or present) at your position would you like to be compared to in 5 years?
Branden: “J.J. Watt. Just look at his resume and look how far he has come from being a player at a small school then transferring to Wisconsin and the faith he had in himself switching positions and now he is doing it at the highest level better than anyone else.”
Question: Coming in as a rookie, depending on who draft’s you there is a possibility you could be waiting behind and established veteran. What would you do in the meantime until you get your chance as a starter?
Branden: “Just Grind. The thing i have always done is just grind my way thru everything. Been in positions where there has been players better than me and players that have been well established. I just continue to grind, knit pick, and bug the hell out of the player in front of me. Try to learn their knowledge and understand what it is that got them into their position. Then pursue and let them know i am coming for what they have.”
Question: What part of your game would you like to improve on between now and the NFL Draft?
Branden: “My upper body strength and my consistent motor. The biggest thing is i want to be strong enough to play with those guys and having the energy to do it every down.”
Question: Is there any particular drill you look forward too at the combine?
Branden: “Yes. I am looking forward to the 5-10-5 drill. Little bit of a longer drill, but one i think i will be able to do really well.”
Question: Where did you train and by who to get prepared for the NFL Combine?
Branden: “I trained at Parisi Speed School by Nate Blazevich.”
Question: What made you choose Texas Tech to fulfill your academic and athletic opportunities?
Branden: “Close to home. They were known for their offense. I wanted to be part of a trend that flipped that from the offensive side to the defensive side.”
Question: What do you believe to be your strengths?
Branden: “I believe my biggest strengths is my versatility. I have played a lot of positions in my college career. I feel it has prepared me and made me really valuable.”
Question: Pretend I am a GM for a NFL team. Sell me on why I should draft Branden Jackson to my team.
Branden: “I would draft Branden Jackson to your team because everything he has conquered and everything he has over come right now he is the man everyone said he would not be. Will out grind anyone in front of him. He is a patient guy who does not expect anything to be handed to him and works for everything he wants.”
Question: What may be the one thing that separates you from other draft prospects at your position?
Branden: “I think that my mindset separates me from others. A lot have unrealistic expectations. I am just a realist. I love the game of football and I understand everyone is not going to be the first round pick. I play the game for the possibility. I feel like my mindset separates me from others.”
Question: What will you miss the most about the Texas Tech campus and college life?
Branden: “I will miss runniung out of the tunnel with my teammates. Nothing like running out with the matador in front of you and the crowd standing up cheering. It is a felling i will miss the most.”
Branden has very good character, loyal, and has strong faith in GOD. He makes selfless acts. He is the type of player that will sacrifice his on individual talents if it means to help the team. He is the best kept secret at the combine. He should be a great teammate on and off the field. Is very passionate about the game of football and takes the time to learn to get the job done the right way. Branden arrived at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday February 25th, but his field drills will not start until Sunday the 28th. James Peterson, Glen Wallace, Dave Thompson, and The Entire Peterson Sports Family are extremely proud of him.