Name: Jalen James
School: Benedictine College
Q: In your final collegiate season, what goals did you accomplish this fall or set for this upcoming spring?
Goals that I set for this past fall and accomplished were: leading my team to being one of the top 3 rush defenses in the country, again, surpassing 300 career tackles and making more momentum- changing plays than the previous three seasons in college.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
Hard-working, blue collar player. A quiet maniac, really to explode when it’s game time. Very passionate about the game and have genuine love for teammates. Hard not to love.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
It all depends on the upcoming opponent. I definitely lock in on film to pick up lineman tendencies, especially since I will be battling them in the trenches every single play. Then, I look at the offense’s overall scheme and tap in their best player tendencies. Lastly, I’m looking at opponent’s big time plays, so that I can evaluate what happened during the play that lead to it being a big play. In most cases, it’s defenses not having 11 players running to the ball.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
My intelligence, versatility and genuine love for football. I’ve played a lot of football, ranging from state championship games and ESPN playoff games to a national championship. I’ve not only been apart of a lot of success, but have been the central point to much of the success. That comes from war-like off-seasons, study the game and film year round, and having the upmost confidence in my craft. I work myself to be able to play different positions, whether it’s inside linebacker, outside linebacker or hybrid linebacker/safety. Then, loving the sport of football when take you a long way. I try not to look at football as just a job because it’s not; it’s a competitive sport that millions of people play. You have to love waking up and being around football if you want to be GREAT at it, especially at the highest level there is in the NFL.
Q: What is your plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities, especially with the virus limiting pro days/training facilities/etc?
I will be training with both Micheal Ivey-Rose in Kansas City and Joshua Downing in Atchison during my quest to professional athletics. Micheal specializes in combine movements and training, as I prep for a pro day in March if COVID subsides. Joshua is my strength instructor, pushing me to be as lean and powerful as I can. It’s going to be an exhausting process, but I’m ready to take on all these obstacles.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
On-field strengths that I bring are: pure leadership when it’s right. I’m not a fake motivator or someone who tries to force themself to be a vocal leader. I lead be action. Nevertheless, I know when someone needs a little motivation in their ear or when the team needs someone to pick them up. I’m just great at reading people based of gestures and energy. Every true leader has that ability. I’m going to go on frontline for my teammates at anytime. Off-field strengths that I bring are: motivation. I feel that many can look in on my life and feed off that to motivate them. Being a married man, correctional officer and very caring individual, I wish I could tell you how many people let me know how much hope I give them. Being around someone that’s locked in, completely, will make you question how hard you’re actually working on your passions.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL/CFL or any other professional leagues?
I’ll be ready to play come NFL Draft/Summer Camp. Whoever pulls the trigger on me first, you won’t regret it. Will be even more amazed when you see me play in-person. Let’s work.