As we move along with our ‘Prospect Spotlight’ series, we meet another defender from Faulkner University who started their career at Alabama State. In our first interview of the year, we were lucky enough to talk with Ja’Quez Bowser, and now I was blessed with the opportunity to talk with his teammate, Nate Black.
In talking with Black, you can tell he’s someone who is passionate about the game and will do everything in his power to make it to the next level. You have to admire that 6’4” frame he carries at the safety position, along with his football IQ.
Check out this Nate Black interview as he talks about his expected 40 time, role at the next level, journey to this point, and more.
Q: Tell me about your recruiting process. What ultimately led you to Alabama State?
A: Believe it or not I had no offers coming out of high school. I rep the “walk on life” man. Alabama State University was the closest D1 college to me, so I went there but I did play my first year. Shout out to coach Reggie Barlow; he seen me making plays in intramural football (flag football) and brought me on the team. And the rest is history.
Q: What was the main factor in your decision to transfer to Faulkner University?
A: Well rules in the NAIA and NCAA are different. Ultimately I ran out of eligibility for the NCAA and had to find an alternative route to finish out my dream. Thank God for Faulkner University and their coaching staff. They gave me a walk-on tryout and accepted me as one of their own.
Q: What would you say was the most difficult aspect of the change? Did it take you long to adjust?
A: Honestly there was nothing difficult about the change at all. From day one I felt like I fit right in. I was just excited to be able to suit up again.
Q: What has been the most memorable part of your football career?
A: The bond and relationships I got to build with the fellas are the most memorable moments of my football career. Making funny videos in the locker room, the bus rides, the joking and roasting sessions, and game days will last way longer than any particular play I’ve made.
Q: At 6’4’’/200, you’re probably best suited at safety. Can you talk about how you were utilized at Faulkner and what your main assignments were?
A: They utilized me in several different ways. The main positions I’ve played were the free and strong safety. You couldn’t just learn one position because if there was a motion across the field or our coach decided to put you at the other safety, you had to know the assignment or you couldn’t play. I also have experience at linebacker/nickel depending on the formation.
Q: What do you prefer: standing back in coverage and making plays on the ball, or sitting in the box and making plays against the run?
A: I like the free safety position a little bit more than the strong safety simply because, you get a little bit more freedom to read and use your instincts. You have the ability to make plays in coverage but if you read your keys right, you can still come up for the run and make some pretty nice hits.
Q: At your height, a good 40 time can really do wonders for your draft stock. What do you expect to record in this event?
A: Based on the speed I already have and the training I’m doing now, I expect to be in the high 4.4 low 4.5 range.
Q: What player would you say you model your game after the most?
A: I would say I model my game after “The Hawk” Dashon Goldson. I’ve been watching him his whole NFL career and I believe we have similar playing styles. He’s a very instinctive and smart player who loves to hit and I would consider myself to be the same way.
Q: Sell yourself to an NFL GM: why should they take a chance on you?
A: Repping the walk on life most of my career, I already feel like I have a lot to prove, meaning I’ll work like a dog. I have a chip on my shoulder, a blue collar work ethic. No matter the situation or the assignment you will get my best effort! I’m a smart, fast, and instinctual player, but I pride myself most on being flexible, multi faceted, and three dimensional. Don’t put me in a box, I’m very versatile. I love special teams and have played all 4 teams my whole college career. I’m coachable and love to learn more about the game. I’m a football player, if you don’t like me at one spot try me at another. I believe you will find a position where I will help contribute to a team win!
Q: Any pregame rituals?
A: For me prayer and walking the field is the only pre game ritual.