The NFL Draft is right around the corner and players all over the country are getting ready to prove why they should be picked up by a team. Today, Joe Gaiter interviews Akron’s Albert Presley about his accomplishments.
Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to you?
Albert Presley: Football to me is everything. It’s like breathing or eating for me, I really have a legitimate love for the game. I have been playing since i was 4 years old and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. This game has taken me places that I never would have seen if not for the game. Not only that, but because of football I was given the opportunity to attend college and to gain my associates and my bachelor’s degree, making me the first in the family to attend and graduate from college.
Joe Gaiter: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far as a player?
Albert Presley: I have accomplished many different things as a player, but if I had to pick one thing I would have to say being named all-conference and winning a national bowl game while attending Dean College. I know it’s not a SEC championship or a Rose bowl, but we made history. We were the first team to go all the way and actually come home with the hardware, so I was felt blessed and honored to be a part in that.
Joe Gaiter: What are your biggest strengths on the field?
Albert Presley: I would have to say my explosiveness and my quickness. Playing defensive end throughout all of my college years I was considered undersized. For a while I relied on my speed and quickness to get things done. Playing here at the University of Akron under coach Stroud and coach Amato, they taught me not to be one dimensional. That is when I learned to use my power and explosiveness and didn’t have to only rely on speed. I am grateful to have been coached by such knowledgeable guys as it really helped me elevate my game.
Joe Gaiter: What were your stats from the last year?
Albert Presley: I feel I had a decent year as a senior, but I was not satisfied and felt I could have done much better. I finished with 6.5 sacks, 8 tackles for a loss and a total of around 55 tackles.
Joe Gaiter: Why should any NFL team give you a chance?
Albert Presley: I believe NFL teams should give me a chance because I have a lot that I can bring to a team. Teams would be getting a hardworking, open minded athlete that is ready and eager to learn. Teams would be getting a versatile player that can not only harass a passer, but also drop back into coverage and cover slots, tight ends and running backs. I also am willing to do all of the things many people over look or don’t want to do. I want to and plan on being involved in every aspect of the special team segments.
Joe Gaiter: How will you elevate your game to the next level?
Albert Presley: By focusing on all of the little things. I believe focusing on the little things and mastering my techniques will allow me to get better day by day. Many people fail to understand the importance of the small things and perfecting their skills and simply rely on speed. Speed is good, but doing the little things right and mastering skills is a way to elevate your game. Being fortunate to be able to play under coach Chuck Amato, he always stressed taking things one day at a time and getting better and better in some way every day. That’s exactly what I plan to do.
Joe Gaiter: Who is your favorite player in the NFL and why?
Albert Presley: My favorite player as of now is Lamarr Woodley. He comes from the same place that I grew up and I’ve always looked up to him as a player and a role model. He knows about the rough streets of Saginaw, Michigan and how things are out there. But regardless of all of the crime and the trouble he was surrounded by, he remained focused and found a way to rise above everything and make a pretty situation out of nothing. There aren’t many people who have made it out of that place, and not only did he make it out, he always gives back, and I respect him for that and admire the things he does.
Joe Gaiter: What have you learned about yourself in your college football career?
Albert Presley: During my college career, I learned that I was capable of things beyond my belief. I have always been confident in my athleticism and my game, but Coach Todd Stroud helped me reach heights that I never would have guessed id reach. There was times I thought that I was doing all that I can but he always expected more, demanded more, so I tried harder and pushed harder and before I knew it I was understanding more and getting better. Playing here at Akron has taught me that with hard work, dedication, a relentless tenacity to get better and faith in god, there is no limit to the things I can accomplish.
Joe Gaiter: Describe how you play your position on the field?
Albert Presley: Playing defensive end in my opinion is the most exciting position there is. I try to keep the offensive tackles on their toes and keep them thinking. I switch things up by going inside, going outside and doing speed to power and bull rushes so that they can’t anticipate what I’ll do next. I try to be physical and I use my hands every step of the way. One thing coach Stroud would always stress is getting my hands on them first, gaining leverage and shooting out of my hips like a cannon.
Joe Gaiter: What will you miss most about Akron?
Albert Presley: I will miss the people and the relationships I built while I was here. From the coaches and players to the strength staff and the sports trainers. It’s one big close tight knit family here at Akron and I will miss it most. I currently live in Atlanta so being up here for the past two years these people have become like my second family.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how will you use it?
Albert Presley: My major here at Akron was Sports Management. I chose this because I one day want to be a coach. Throughout my career, I have been blessed to have been coached by some great people. People who I can look at as role models and people who I could always talk to on a level higher than football. People who I consider friends and even family. I would like to be that person in other people’s lives and give back to my community through something I love.
Joe Gaiter: Final Words?
Albert Presley: I just want to thank you for taking the time to listen and interview me, I would like to thank my mom and my grandparents for believing and never giving up on me. I want to thank all of my coaches here at Akron as well as at Dean College and I want to thank god because without him nothing I have done and will do is possible.
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