When you look at these Spotlight’s I try to bring the best of the best from all levels. That is why I focused on a very small school kid today, named Tony Tatum. Don’t think for a second because he is from a D-3 school in Gallaudet that he cannot compete. Tatum is probably one of the most prolific defenders at the D-3 level, and could have easily played at the FCS or even FBS level. Tatum is a kid that has great size at 6’2 and 205 and can flat out run and hit. This kid is a gamer who has a basketball background. Expect his young man to shine on his pro day, and at the BSN Showcase in Akron, Ohio. This kid could be on a team in the NFL in the very near future. Check out Tony Tatum and his wonderful interview.
How many teams were recruiting you coming out of high school and how did you make your decision?
Well during that time I had a few southern teams who wanted to recruit me, but I never made a decision about that because I wasn’t into football at that time. I wanted to go to college and play basketball instead of football.
Has it always been your dream to be an NFL football player?
No, I always dreamed of becoming an NBA player; but now my dream is to get on a NFL roster team and win a Super Bowl ring.
Who was your favorite NFL team growing up, and did you have a player you rooted for?
I never had a favorite team, because I was born in Arkansas and raised in Alabama. But growing up I started liking the Green Bay Packers, because my older looked up to them. Charles Woodson is my brother’s favorite player, so he became my favorite player. Now I see why.
At your position, how do you break down film, please inform our readers what you look for when breaking down film?
First, I looked at the receiver’s size and height and what their stats are. I watched their speed and how they come off the line and how physical they are. Then I looked at all of their routes and how they run them. Lastly, I watch how the offense run their plays and what they will do in different downs.
What is the best accolade/award you have ever received from playing football?
My best award I received was making the D3 All-American First Team.
Now that your college football eligibility is up what’s your next move?
Well, now I have an agent and personal trainer. I’m really working on my conditioning and my 40 yard dash. I have a BSN Showcase Game March 8-10 in Ohio.
When did you really feel you had a good chance of making your dream come true?
After seeing my improvement in the weight room in the summer of 2012, I knew I could play in the NFL.
What is your favorite food?
Before I started eating healthy it was hamburger, favorite fast food place McDonalds, but now I don’t that anymore.
Do you have any pre game rituals?
Well I say a prayer says GOD said “I was created to excel not fail that is my divine potential”. So I remind GOD what he said in his word.
What would you tell NFL teams that are weary of taking a late round flyer on you?
Don’t hesitate because I played at a smaller school or because you heard I have a hearing deficiency. I have all the tools to succeed at the next level and I combine them with a drive to succeed that few others share.
Have you been invited to any all star games?
Yes two, D3 Senior Classic and FCS Senior Scout Bowl
If you could compare your play to someone in the NFL, who would it be?
I’m not for sure because I just re-joined the football world two years ago.
What is the most tragic event in your life that has happened and how did you bounce back?
I have faced many difficulties in my life, but through my faith, family and self-belief I have been able to overcome all challenges. So, I can’t really view anything that has happened to me as a “tragedy”.
Who has had your back through the good and the bad as you’ve moved on balancing life as a student athlete?
First GOD, has always taking care of me throughout my life no matter what I do. But on earth my mother and sister have always been there for me and provided me things I needed in life. Also there were other people who were a part of my life in at some point in time. They were very supportive and gave me great advice. I appreciated every last one of them.
What’s your plan if you go undrafted?
My plan is to find a team right away that would be a good fit for me. I want to go to a team that needs a player with my size as a cornerback (weight 205 and height 6’2). I’m confident in my agents taking care of that, because they have been working really hard to get me noticed. But, if football isn’t an option I would put my degree to use and run a recreation center for kids. I want to help teach them the value of hard work and teamwork.
Everyone asks this question but I’m curious to know what will you buy first with your first NFL pay check?
First take that 10 percent of my salary and pay my tithes and offering to my church. After watching the documentary “Broke” on 30 for 30, I don’t want to buy anything from my first contract. I just want to pay off my small student loan. I won’t buy anything until I got my few years in the league and I’m settled. Then I will go buy me a car and a house.
Finish this sentence for me, Come July 2013 I will be_________________?
In camp; fulfilling my dream.
I would like to thank Tony for a wonderful interview and wish you the best of luck chasing your dreams.