Recently, I had to chance for an exclusive interview with local NFL quarterback prospect Blake Frohnapfel, who played the past two seasons at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst).
- Firstly, what's the best & worst thing about being a NFL draft prospect?
Blake: The best part of being an NFL prospect is knowing that I still have the opportunity to play the game I love. Nothing is certain at this point, but knowing that I could have the opportunity to keep playing the game I have been playing for 16 years is great to hear. With that, the worst part is the uncertainty. There is so much speculation during this time of year its difficult to gauge what is real and what is not. The idea that I could be living in a different city in about two months, but not knowing where that is, is definitely strange.
- You played originally at Marshall & transferred to UMass after you received your undergraduate degree. What made you choose UMass?
Blake: I was looking for schools that had highly rated MBA programs and had QB depth issues on the team. There was a small list of schools that fit this profile and of course UMass was one of them. I sent my highlight tape to Coach Whipple at the time, and before I knew it, I was in Amherst on a visit. It was a quick process, only about a week or so, but it ended up being a fantastic fit for me.
- You played at schools that were both "smaller" schools than others in college football. Does that put any extra pressure on you to do better when working out for other teams/participating in your Pro Day?
Blake: I don't feel any added pressure at all. I was only offered a scholarship by 1 FBS school to play QB coming out of HS (Marshall). I chose Marshall for a variety of reasons, but also to prove that I could do it. At this point, I feel like I am playing with house money. There is the same opportunity to prove myself at this point. People try to make it more than it is, all you are trying to do during pro day is run fast, jump high, and throw to guys who aren't being covered by anyone.
- Obviously, a lot of talk this draft season so far has been about the top quarterbacks in the draft like Jared Goff & Carson Wentz. What do you feel would separate you from the rest of the quarterback prospects in this draft?
Blake: Playing at two different schools allowed me to learn about two different offensive schemes. It only helped raise my awareness of the game. I feel that I am a very intelligent prospect, and I know when I am being interviewed by teams and asked to diagram plays, recognize coverages, etc, its an area I will excel.
- If there was one player that you feel you model your game after the best, who would it be & why?
Blake: Many quarterbacks try to emulate Tom Brady's game and that is for good reason. He is so fundamentally sound and does so many things well. Although our styles of play may not be the same, when it comes to passing, he does so many things well. I have heard comparisons to Joe Flacco and Blake Bortles and I can see why based on style of play.
- What do you think is your biggest weakness in your game & that would need the most work in order for you to be a better quarterback?
Blake: For quarterbacks there is always work to be done on mechanics. Whether it is trying to fix a flaw or to develop more consistency in my mechanics, there is always something to be done. This leads to better overall footwork which in turn leads to better accuracy which is the goal of quarterbacks, to be as accurate as possible.
- Who was the best defensive player you ever had a chance to play against in college?
Blake: This year we played against Notre Dame and Jaylon Smith was quite the player. He is just a fantastic athlete who plays with such a high motor as well. When I was at Marshall, I played against Jamie Collins two times, and it was obvious the type of player that he was and was going to be.
- If you could describe your style of plan in one word, what would it be?
Blake: My play described in one word would be "precise." I would use this word because it describes the way I prepare for the game and the way I play the game.
It was a privilege to talk to Blake. He is a very intelligent and highly motivated person who is dedicated to being the best quarterback he can be. Be on the look out for Massachusetts' pro day on March 24th, where Blake will be auditioning for NFL teams then.