The interview (Part III)
Question 10: I can only guess at the challenges you face in trying to get that door to open for you for an NFL career. Do you have anyone in your life who you lean on to get that boost of optimism and inspiration? If so, who?
It is a very challenging and hard road to get an opportunity into the NFL. Though I just embrace it and continue growing so when the chance arises it’s taken advantage of. I do lean on some people, mainly my fiancé who has been through most of my college career and always pushed and motivated me to be the best. Always helping me in whatever I needed. Whether it was going out to the field and being my “snapper” to off the field being my motivation. Also, my parents and brother are very supportive and optimistic and just continue pushing me toward my dream.
Question 11: Do you have any NFL players who remain in contact with you as mentors, or perhaps casual contacts? If so, who?
Yeah, there are a few players who I remain in contact with. The main one is NY Giants punter Jamie Gillan. I see him as a mentor, and he has always been super helpful throughout this whole process, and with just anything else. Like certain workouts, technique work, etc. casual contacts I would say are Cole Turner who plays for Washington, is one of my old teammates here at Nevada, and one of my good friends as well. Also, Romeo Doubs is another one of my former teammates.
Question 12: Do you have a football coach who has been a solid role model?
Coach Thomas Sheffield always pushed me to be the best I can be, and beyond that. The one who helped me get to where I am now with football as a whole.
Question 13: Do you have any good stories about your football experiences so far?
I have all sorts of stories about my football experiences. Though one of my main ones was when I was put on scholarship at the University of Nevada which really changed my life. And as of recently going through this whole draft process and all the unknown that comes through it has been an experience in itself.
Getting the opportunity to have a private workout for the Rams pre-draft. Then being called back to come out to their facilities and have the opportunity to be around the whole team and not really knowing what to expect but just being thrown right in and doing what I do best. Was just super excited and the anticipation the night before was immense. When it came time to train, getting to go up against the best in the world was truly a dream come true. Just super grateful for the opportunity. Now just waiting to see what’s next.
Question 14: So how have you been fed so far when trying out? fast food? Diner fare? Or fine dining?
They took really good care of me and I was able to do all the dining with the team at the Rams facility.
To date, the LA Rams have not signed Julian Diaz to a contract. But ultimately, one NFL team will take a chance on the young man. Doors have not been held open for him up to this point. He has not been part of any red-carpet welcoming. He has gotten this far with sheer grit and determination, and I, for one, believe that will be enough to carry him to the next level.
I would like for Diaz to make the LA Rams roster. Not out of spite of any of the players currently on the roster, but more about knowing how tough it can be for doors to open sometimes. Championship teams depend on championship-minded players. Julian Diaz fits that description. Now, it’s only a matter of time before he fits on an NFL roster.
I would like to personally thank Julian Diaz. Not just for agreeing to conduct this interview, but for pursuing his dream of playing for an NFL team. I have no crystal ball, and as much as I’d like to, I cannot predict the future. But learning his story has reminded me just how much work there is to do for any young man to even make the 90-man roster.