Name: Gerald Hearns
School: Florida Atlantic
Q: What goals did you accomplish heading into your final collegiate season?
Entering 2018-2019 Football season at FAU, my focus on the season was production. Understanding that football is a production business, I worked my way onto the field by being a student to the game more, watching more film, getting on the drawing board more, then perfecting my craft onto the field. I also had goals of showing production on the field by playing on more special teams and becoming a special teams captain.
Q: What would your coaches say about the type of player you are?
The type of player my coaches would say I am, is vibrant, self driven, pro minded, handling myself like a pro on and off the field, hard working, accountable, and disciplined.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
I primarily focus on small details that leads to making big plays such as my footwork, having square shoulders and running with tempo then accelerating through contact. When it comes to pass protection, I like to be very savvy, helping my offensive lineman by chip blocking defenders even if I don’t have a threat to block, giving the QB more time in the pocket to make a completion. I also focus on sweep reading backers and watching safety rotation and body language of defenders.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
There are a few things that separate me from other guys at the Running Back position. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that even though another running back may be quicker or even faster than me to an extent, I play with an aggression where you can count on me in pass protection. There aren’t many running backs that like to pass protection. Backing that up, I have transformed from high school throughout college by running Receiver routes out of the backfield and I have also ran running back routes out of the backfield with swift hands, great eye concentration and have gotten more savvy in my game than just being a power runner. Playing on special teams has given me a competitive edge, knowing that special teams is how you make a name for yourself. My character and work ethic to outwork others sets me to be different than many other running backs as I’ve worked my way from 13th on the depth chart to #3 at FAU under Motor and Kerrith Whyte and showed production. Many guys feel that because they play that one position that they are entitled to start and feel that they are better than others. Having a pro mindset and showing coaches by my action why I deserve to be on a roster shows why I am different than many other backs.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
During this off-season, I have been training at XPE Sports in Boca Raton, under Tony Villani and Bill Welle. I also do yoga 3 times a week and other proactive activities to prepare for pro day to work towards an opportunity 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 strengths I will bring to a team at the next level is the pro mindset I have, the leadership skills I will bring to the table and also the effectiveness I have on people around me. I treat others with respect. I command respect rather than demanding it. A coach would be able to hold me accountable and not worry about off the field issues because I have a standard for myself as I own my own business and heavily involved in the communities. With there being so many positive things I do on and off the field, a coach will be pleased with how I carry myself and treat the staff and supporting members of a team that surrounds my environment. A coach will be pleased with my work ethic gathering guys to watch extra film, being one of those players allowing my actions to speak for itself rather than how much I can talk on them field, doing extra in the weight room or the field, by showing that no matter who is faster than me, stronger than me, bigger than me or even quicker, I have a mindset that they won’t outwork me, and if a person can’t outwork our team for 4 quarters, this will help the team win games.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
A professional football scout should consider Gerald Hearns because he is a man of integrity, a self driven leader, shows gratitude, tenacity, resilience, and has a work ethic and positive spirit about everything he do no matter how challenging the circumstances are. He understands that football is a production business and that this don’t last for a long time, but grind like every moment is his last.