Name: Ej Labaze
School: Adams State University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
In the beginning of the year, I want to make history as the first ASU football team to have a positive season in years. While also doing it with a mostly minority coaching staff. I wanted to become a team captain and lead a group of individuals closer to success on and off the field. I wanted to be a force on the field and in the classrooms. I became a captain for my team and did the best I possibly could in achieving every goal. Definitely left my mark on the school.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I got to get bigger, faster, stronger which is always a plus. However, the biggest advantage I took was getting smarter, on and off the field. The extra year allowed me to break more film down on myself. Allowed me to minimize the weakness and gray areas in my game completely. I got to understand the game of football better, so I could play faster. It also allowed me to get ahead of my grades and really make it a focus point, as I made the spring 2020 Vice President list for academics.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
Hungry, accountable, smart/disciplined. I will learn any position to help my team win. I am accountable, I will always be where I’m supposed to be on and off the field. Also I am disciplined in all fashions of life! You would never catch me getting bad penalties, as well as make bad decisions in life.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When studying myself, I also look at my get off, especially later in the practice or game. Everyone can get off the ball to start but can they do it consistently? So I always look to see if I have that same get off from the start. Am I running to the ball, big man running to the ball is signs of a hungry player so I make it a priority to work on. I always look at my hands during the course of a game or practice. Active hands are a focus for me. When studying other opponents, How do you get off? Is there a nasty when they play? are the positions blockers, or are they trying to get you out of the way? Do they have the same tendencies on all three downs? What are they like later in the game?
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
Versatility, I can have played all positions on the defensive Lineman from stand up nine to zero tech, effectively. My smarts, I can diagnose a play quicker than most. I can also pick up on a playbook quicker than most. I came from the JUCO struggle, I am naturally hungrier than the next man.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I plan on training with several different people. I plan on training with two different trainers for combine and position training, and a third trainer for mental quickness and play recognition.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
My versatility will help any team save money and roster spaces, as I can learn and play a lot of different positions. Dating back to JUCO I have learned positions on all three phases of the game. My willingness to do good in any community I’m in is something that I bring off the field, I will naturally make the place I’m currently at, a better place than when I found it. I am a high character guy that looks to evaluate everyone around.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
My name is Ej Labaze. I am a top athlete in all areas of football, off and on the field. I am a team captain as well as one of the most versatile Defensive lineman in D2 football. As I have played stand up Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, as well as every position from the 9tech to the 0tech and have done it at a productive rate. My motor won’t be stopped. God willing. Off the field I have done things that most people haven’t my age. I’m willing to go the extra mile every day to do things for your organization to achieve a greater goal.
Verified Pro day measurements:
9.5 hand size
77 wing span
10 yard split 1.75