Preparing For The Future with South Carolina Linebacker Damario Jeffery

Damario Jeffery 2

By PFC Blogger Chris Brown (cbreezy2411)

As part of the rookie’s blogs here at ProFootballCentral we continue to talk with potential NFL hopefuls. Today we had a chance to catch up with South Carolina Linebacker Damario Jeffery.

CB: Good afternoon Damario, how’s everything going? Thanks for joining us again here at ProFootballCentral.  We just wanted to touch base with you and see how everything was going with you since our last talk.

DJ: Everything is going well down here just working out like crazy and trying to prepare for the future.

CB: How have the workouts been going?

DJ: Workouts have been going good recently we started doing more on the field work, also we have been picking up the tempo and doing more weight work.  On Monday’s we do a lot of exercises on the upper body, we end up doing a lot of chest work as well.  We have been working on my muscle conditioning and building up the stamina to push through the adversity when I begin to get tired.  On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s we work on doing mock combine drills.  Trying to better myself each day on improving from the last, whether it is my 40 yard dash or my bench press.  I’ve been working on a lot of pass rushing drills, bag drills and improving the technique of my footing and placement.   I plan to do more ball work next week, such as batting down passes and catching interceptions. Typically I workout five days a week, but I also do band work on my own every Saturday.  I do this to stay self motivated on the weekends, by doing band work I can concentrate and focus on bettering myself.

CB: How do you balance school and football training?

DJ: Well I only have three credits left until I graduate so I feel I do a really good job at balancing them.  Currently I’m taking two of those credits right now.  I wanted to be able to set myself up where I could really focus on better myself on the football field.  Being able to have the flexibility to go to class and then go workout.  Having both classes and practice allows to me to multitask and show I can handle two things at once.  South Carolina has great scheduling for students that allows us to work out good schedules.  Personally, I prefer to do class in the morning so I can get them all done.  I like to throw in there a few tutoring sessions as well; this helps me stay focused in my classes.

CB: I understand you have a family of your own as well, how do you balance family life?

DJ: I balance it because I have a great family and support system. I was raised by a lot of great women.  I want my daughter to be able to have a great life. I try to have them come to games as much as possible so that I can see them.  I try to see my daughter as much as I can; I don’t like to be away from her for very long.  It’s a hard thing to do, prepare for football, attend classes and raise a daughter.  During football season I try to dissect football as much as I can because I know it can lead to a better life for my family.  My family has been a great support and I don’t know where I would be without them.

CB: What do you feel you do best as a linebacker?

DJ: I feel my on field playmaking abilities are a great attribute but there is something that I really enjoy doing that is film study.  I love to study the game, I love to try and figure out what the offense is going to do against us.  I study film and stats; I feel it gives me an advantage against opposing teams.  I like to know what teams like to do in certain situations and where they like to runs their plays.  Not only do I study opposing offenses but I go and study other linebackers to compare myself to them.  Maybe I can pick up on something that can help my game as well.  Pretty much I like to try to have as much advantage over an opponent as possible even before stepping on the field.

CB: Has there been any type of excitement of NFL Draft that is coming up?

DJ: My outlook on things is that my ideal draft position that I’m hoping for is from Round 1-4.  I want to get drafted to say I got drafted but I want to be in an ideal situation that fits me as well.  I want to play in a place where it fits my abilities because then I can excel the best.  If I do go undrafted I’ll have a chip on my shoulder to make it.  I would want to prove to those teams that passed up on me that maybe they should have taken some time to speak with me earlier and see what they missed out on.

CB: Where are you planning on making a splash, what makes you stand out?

DJ: I want to showcase my coverage abilities.  I believe with the way that I do film study it prepares me cover receivers best during certain situations.  Knowing what plays could be called before hand gives me the advantage to beat them to the spot.   I want to show I can flip my hips and run with receivers as well.  I don’t want people to feel that I’m one dimensional in the coverage aspect; I want to show I can catch up with them and make the tackles.  I want to be more than a two down linebacker as well.  I would like to be on the field for all three downs and showcase that I can handle the pressure. I’m a smart player out there; I’m what they call a “workaholic”. I give 100% on every play and I feel that I can benefit any team that chooses to take a chance on me.

CB: Alright, well that’s the time we had for today. I want to thank you Damario for taking the time to speak with us today.  I wish you the best in the next few weeks of your workouts and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

DJ: That sounds good Chris, thank you as well.

For all those interested, be sure to check and follow Damario on twitter, his handle is @BIGDIRTDAWG.  Please be sure to check back for more interviews with Damario as well as more NFL hopefuls on ProFootballCentral.