CJ Shavers: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: CJ Shavers
School: Southeastern Oklahoma State
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
Going into this 2021 season, I set specific goals that I wanted my team and I to accomplish. As for team goals, we set out to be the 2021 GAC Conference Champs (11-0), clinch a playoff berth, and become the 2021 National D2 Champions. As for Individual goals, I set out to be a First Team All-Conference RB, have a 1,000 Yard Rushing Season, and become an All-Region RB / All-American RB. The goals that we did accomplish as a team was going from (1-10) to (9-3) in 2021 which is considered the 4th biggest turn around in D2 history, beating 2 top ranked 25 teams, and becoming the Live United Texarkana Bowl Champs. Lastly, the individual goals that I achieved goes as follows: 1054 All-Purpose Yards, 2nd Team All-GAC RB, 2nd Team All-OSN RB, Live United Bowl Champion.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I was blessed with another year to not only get bigger, faster, and stronger, but I was able to study the game more while also making the right connections to place me in position to have a successful year.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches would say that I lead by example. They also would say that I work hard at everything I do, which pushes those around me to strive for excellence. My teammates would say that my passion for success is like no other and that I’m passionate about helping others succeed as well.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When I study film, I tend to break down specific defensive fronts and key tendencies that stick out from my opponent’s which can give me an advantage when it’s game time. In a 3 down front, I read the nose guard and backside backer depending on which way the play is going. In a 4 down front, I look at the play side defensive tackle and play side outside backer. Reading these specific keys can help me make a faster decision when the ball is in my hands. I also study how well my opponent tackles, pursuits to the ball, and how they breakdown when the runner makes a juke move.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
My knowledge of the game and work ethic are unmatched. At the RB position, I have the ability to turn 3 yards into 10 by making the first man miss and getting up the field. In regards to the RB position, I not only can make the right reads to run the ball well, but I can pose as a weapon in the passing game also. This season I finished with 1054 All-purpose yards with 192 of those yards coming from catches out the backfield.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I plan on connecting with a professional trainer who can prepare me for a potential pro-day and who can have a specific plan that will help me get to and excel at the next level.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
The ability to lead by example, be reliable, give 100% effort at all times, be a versatile player, bring positive energy, and to ultimately pose as a threat to any defensive player are the main traits that I can bring to a team on and off the field.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
I thank God for bringing me this far in my football career. In D2, you have to learn how to play football at 100% while working a full-time/part-time job to keep money in your pocket as well as give it your all in the classroom. D2 football players have to learn how to manage life early and if they get the opportunity to play professional, best believe they’ll be a diamond in the rough. If I’m given the opportunity to play professionally, all the hard work and long hours that I’ve clocked in will motivate me to continue to excel at the elite level because there’s no way I’m looking back!