Draft Zone Spotlight: Daniel Youssif, TE, University of West Georgia
Now days when you look at tight ends you will usually see a person that can catch very well or a person that can block very well. You don’t really get to see a Shannon Sharpe type of tight end anymore who can do both. Well while skimming through some film, I noticed a tight end named Daniel Youssif of UWG who does a very good job at both. He has decent hands and is a great down the field blocker. If you look at the UWG website you will see that they were a heavy run based offense, but this tight end was very good. He caught some key balls and was a huge help to boosting their running back on huge runs. This kid could get a few good looks because he is not afraid to do whatever is asked of him by NFL personnel. Check out Daniel Youssif and let me know what you think?
How many teams were recruiting you coming out of high school and how did you make your decision?
The entire MAC conference, as well as others, I decided to stay close to home and stay loyal with my 1st Division 1A offer, Eastern Michigan, before eventually transferring to UWG
Has it always been your dream to be an NFL football player?
Yes. As a kid growing up, it was all I ever thought of.
Who was your favorite NFL team growing up, and did you have a player you rooted for?
I was born and raised in Detroit, so naturally I’m a Lions fan. Barry Sanders was a childhood hero.
At your position, how do you break down film, please inform our readers what you look for when breaking down film?
In my last couple years at UWG, I learned a lot about the correct way to watch film. I pay special attention to the techniques played by the d-line, as well as coverage tendencies. I also envision myself taking the correct footwork on each individual clip.
What is the best accolade/award you have ever received from playing football?
Earning D1 scholarships out of high school was pretty special, but also being named 1st All-Region, and being on the ballot for All-American this year.
Now that your college football eligibility is up what’s your next move?
Stay ready for any opportunity to show what I can do, prepare for the NFL Regional Combines, and get that degree!
When did you really feel you had a good chance of making your dream come true?
Probably midway through my college career. We have a run-heavy offense at UWG, and even though my stats weren’t indicative to what I could do, I knew my skill set was improving at a high rate.
What is your favorite food?
Do you have any pre game rituals?
I listen to loud music, and if the opportunity presents itself, sneak in the weight room and get a few bicep curls in.
What would you tell NFL teams that are weary of taking a late round flyer on you?
Don’t be. I am willing to step out and do whatever it takes to be a success.
Have you been invited to any all star games?
I played in the D2 VS NAIA Bowl in Myrtle Beach, and I was recently invited to the BSN ShowCase.
If you could compare your play to someone in the NFL, who would it be?
My best trait would have to be my versatility. I have lined up in so many positions so I would probably compare myself to people who do the same. Aaron Hernandez, D. Pitta, or a younger Chris Cooley.
What is the most tragic event in your life that has happened and how did you bounce back?
My father’s tragic passing when I was 16. I was blessed to have the backing of my community to help me get through. I also had a father like figure in my trainer, Jim Browne. He helped me become a better athlete, and taught me about life.
Who has had your back through the good and the bad as you’ve moved on balancing life as a student athlete?
Without a doubt my mother. She has helped, and supported me in every way possible. Without her, this wouldn’t even be an option. Next would be the rest of my family, they all have been so supportive, and have been there through the high’s and low’s.
What’s your plan if you go undrafted?
Get in even better shape, work harder, graduate. I was told at a young age that if a door of opportunity doesn’t open, kick it down.
Everyone asks this question but I’m curious to know what will you buy first with your first NFL pay check?
Some friends I know who played in the NFL told me it’s important and tradition to buy a suit. However, something special for my mother would take priority.
Finish this sentence for me, Come July 2013 ……..
I will be in the greatest shape of my life, striving for greatness, and doing whatever God has arranged for me to do.
I would like to thank Daniel for the interview. If you would like to follow Daniel on twitter you can do so @DJYoussif. Good Luck in the process big man.