Name: Derek Parnell
School: Western Oregon
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
My goals for this season were to win the conference championship, make the playoffs, become a 1st team all-conference selection, become a 1st team all-region selection and become a 1st team All-American. My team and I won our conference championship and that was the first championship in our program’s history, so that was special. We fell short of making the playoffs though letting a few games slip away. I did become a 1st team all-conference selection and I am waiting on the all-region and all-American awards to come out now.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
They would say I am very competitive and hard working. I love this game and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
When I watch film to improve my game I look at my fundamentals first. Am I low in my back pedal, do I get out of my breaks quickly, are my eyes in the right spot, did I execute the defense well, those are the types of things I review for myself. But more importantly I study the other team. I study tendencies like the lineman’s stances and if they have a run stance and a pass stance. I look at how the quarterback makes checks and the receivers splits. I go over play calling tendencies as well and concepts the opponent likes to run. I break down matchups as well and see what guy they like to go to and when.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
What separates me is my work ethic. I won’t be out worked by anyone in any phase of the game. My knowledge of the game also separates me from other prospects. I am a very smart player and very instinctive. I made some plays this year where I followed my instincts and ended up right where the ball was to make a play.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
My training starts in January up in Portland and I’ll be training with a small group of prospects. We’ll work on our physical abilities and combine testing while also fine tuning our football skills with drills and film review.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I have the ability to guard anyone you put in front of me. I’ve been able to guard the tall 6’7″ receivers and the smaller quicker slots. I am a real shutdown corner who will shadow the opponents best guy like I did this year for Western Oregon. I am a leader a as well. I lead more by example than by words. I like to build people up so we can all be successful together as one unit.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
To any team that is interested in me and wants to give me an opportunity to be apart of their organization, you will like what you get from me. I’m the type of guy who loves to put in the work necessary to be successful and even then I’ll put in more work on top of that. I am a team player and I will do my job to help the team be successful.