Jaguars S, Antwon Blake Interview
Antwon Blake played college football for the University of Texas-El Paso. He was known for playing the gunner role special teams. He also was one of the top defensive backs to come out of UTEP in years. During his collegiate career, he totaled about 137 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, and also had one interception. He entered the 2012 NFL Draft, but went undrafted, and then, he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This interview was conducted before the 2012 NFL offseason.
Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Blake : I usually connect with my fans through the various social networks like Twitter and Instagram. You can reach me @ZillaVBlake.
Strauss : How did you start playing football?
Blake : I started playing football when I was around seven years old with children in the neighborhood. It was for fun, but I instantly fell in love with the sport.
Strauss : What was a situation of adversity that you faced growing up?
Blake : Two adverse situations that I can recall right off the back: One, I was raised by a young mother and, Two, the passing of my grandmother early on in my life. I feel like it has made me a better person in the sense that I know my beginnings. I also want to honor my grandmother while making her proud in the process.
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Blake : It was a very successful one. My school was a very new school, but we won many games throughout the years I was there. We made it to the playoffs every year, and “In Texas, football is king.”
Strauss : What was your recruiting experience like?
Blake : My recruiting experience was a very unusual one. When it came to the whole process, I really didn’t know much about how to handle things. My journey was quiet simple; I went to one football camp which was actually at UTEPs. They offered me a scholarship, and that is where I ultimately decided to go.
Strauss : What was the transition like to UTEP?
Blake : My transition to UTEP was a big culture shock. Coming from a predominantly African-American area in Houston, then moving to El Paso which is predominantly hispanic. It definitely took some getting used to, to say the least.
Strauss : What was your time like at UTEP?
Blake : My time at UTEP was somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. In a sense, full of ups and downs. But overall, I enjoyed my time there.
Strauss : What was the best part about UTEP?
Blake : I would say the best part of UTEP was all the positive things that I got to experience. I got a higher education, met some life-long friends, and it helped me transition from a young teenager into a grown man.
Strauss : What was your favorite game of your collegiate career?
Blake : My favorite game of my collegiate career would have to be my first home game as a true freshman. In the Sun Bowl versus the Texas Longhorns. The game was completely sold out and the atmosphere was beyond electrifying.
Strauss : What was your senior season like?
Blake : My senior year, was much like my entire time at UTEP, full of positive and negative times. Ending with a chance to be bowl-eligible for the second year in a row. However, it was taken from our grasp in the last game, putting our team below .500 on the season.
Strauss : What was the training like after your last season at UTEP?
Blake : Training after my last season at UTEP was great. The best part was being around all the other players and competing everyday. The most exciting part was being able to feel like I was getting the best out of my workouts, and consistently improving in every aspect of my game.
Strauss : What was your Pro Day like?
Blake : My Pro Day went very well. Some of my numbers were some of the best across the country. However, my Pro Day wasn’t packed full of scouts like at some other schools, but I did appreciate those who showed up to see me very much.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
Blake : Thinking back on my draft day experience, I simply sum it up by saying that it was NERVE-RACKING! Many teams were calling me and telling me to stay by the phone and how much they were trying to get me. Only to go undrafted, it hurt a tad, but I knew that GOD had a plan for me.
Strauss : What was it like to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Blake : Signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars was a dream come true. Being born in Jacksonville and spending half of my life there really made me excited to be returning home to play for my favorite team growing up.
Strauss : What do you bring to the Jaguars organization?
Blake : I think I am a hard-working, honest, respectable player who really loves the game of football, and I want to become the best.
Strauss : If you had to compare your game to another player in the NFL, who would you choose and why?
Blake : If I had to compare my game to any other players in the NFL, I would choose both Bob Sanders and Cortland Finnegan. They’re considered to be shorter players, but both of them are also physical who like to compete with anyone, like me.
Strauss : What do you think is the best part about your game?
Blake : I think the best part of my game is my football IQ that goes along with my athletic ability.
Strauss : Where can you improve your game?
Blake : I feel I can improve every aspect of my game, one way or another. I feel like as long as I’m living I should. I can strive to get better to become the best.
Strauss : If you had describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Blake : If I had to… I would say I am butter pecan because it has a very powerful taste, but is still very smooth.
Strauss : For someone who wants to play in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
Blake : I would like to tell them to stay focused on their goals, and to never let anything discourage them, no matter how tough the road gets.
Strauss : Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Blake : Thanks for spending your time to ask me these questions, I really appreciated it!