My 1st Pro Day.
Yesterday, I covered my first ever Pro Day, and boy was I excited. Even though I spent hours preparing, I still faced several obstacles.
I spent countless hours doing my research on the players. I haven’t really been keeping up with former FAU players so I had to pick up where I left off from the end of the season.
I wrote down my questions since Monday, and Tuesday I wrote down specific questions for specific players. I went through months of tweets to find out how the road to the NFL was going for the players. Quez was shocked when I read one of his tweets from a month ago😏.
That night I couldn’t sleep, but the good news is Sharrod Neasman said he slept like a baby. After about 3.5 hours of sleep, I started getting ready. Making sure my hair and makeup was close to perfect. I bought a dress that Saturday before- I was ready. I already had the equipment at my house, and my friend Gigi came and picked me up. Traffic sucked that day. It usually it takes 30 minutes to get to campus, but for Pro day it took one hour. Gigi joked, “man is everyone heading to pro day”.
We arrived on campus at 9:20 AM, and we took out the camera ready to finally cover pro day. Guess what? The camera decided to have a battery input malfunction. So here I am supposed to cover one of the biggest events of my young FAU Sports Director career, and I’m already one hour late and unprepared. I made a phone call and here I am on my way to get another camera, not a 4K great quality camera but a decent working JVC. Already my video quality is not what I expected. So we have the camera rolling and we are using our IPhones to post on social media. The sun was baking us, but it felt great being with my girls working the career path we all so desire to do professionally.
It felt so good seeing those guys out there working to impress about 33 scouts for 25 NFL teams and one Canadian team. I kept cheering and clapping, all while trying to post on social media. My girls and I were trying to figure out how reporters shoot, post on social media and build a report. So the workouts are over, and it’s time for the interviews. Finally, the hours of researching come down to this. I planned on interviewing all of the 11 FAU players, plus the receiver Moritz Boehringe who is from Germany. Right when I thought I was done with my research, I found out he too will be at FAU’s pro day, that was less 30 min of sleep.
I ended up only interviewing five players, all from FAU. My first interview was with Jaquez Johnson. I noticed he slimmed down, and he noticed I didn’t see his outfit. He said you miss me coming in. Quez enjoys looking good for business. I don’t know what happened, but next thing I knew my phone said my pro day notes is deleted. Yes, all of my questions. I thought I was going to die. Meanwhile, we are having audio issues. Quez said out loud come on Owl TV😂😂. I told Quez be quiet, just wait you know I am learning. Last season, Quez had helped me with setting the camera on the tripod when I was interviewing him at practice😂. So we fix the audio issue, but I have no questions. I had no time to panic, and Quez just wanted to get this interview over with so we can talk about fashion. Good thing I spent a lot of time preparing for this moment. I asked Quez my first question, how do you think you did out there today? He said a B+, I responded why not an A. I wanted to hear how he thought he could have improved. The sad part, my camerawoman didn’t record that part😑. Quez’s agent thought we worked for ESPN or NBC. Remember guys, always dress for the job you want😏. After Quez, I interviewed Trevon Coley and Kenneth Stephens. Great guys. Kenneth did the “hey what’s up.” My girls were looking like man; Daphnie everyone knows you. Kenneth said yeah, she be at every scene. You already know! I’m everyone’s cheerleader.
I saw Sharrod Neasman, and while speaking to him I could see his passion for his engineering degree. A degree an advisor said he couldn’t obtain while playing football. See the advisor did not know him. The advisor wasn’t there when he was working 40 hours at FedEx to save money to pay for college. The advisor wasn’t there when Sharrod tried out on at FAU as a walk-on. The advisor wasn’t there when he was on the field learning how to play defense when he came to FAU as a receiver. So that advisor had no clue about his determination and work ethic. I know Neasman who was named captain of the team, loves the game of football, but he really enjoyed telling me about mechanical engineering. Neasman’s interview is one of my favorite interviews to date. Hard work really does pay off. He is a prime example.
Then there was Cre’von LeBlanc. I already knew that I wanted him to be featured in episode three of ‘Overtime’. The show ‘Overtime’ showcases the entertainment side of the sports industry. The side that goes beyond the game, and we get to know the man or woman. See I saw on social media that Cre’von got personalized cleats for the day he prepared his whole life for, Pro Day. It was his time to shine and boy did he shine. He told his story through his footwear. I really wanted to focus on his shoes. He wasn’t even expected it.
My kind of reporting is being the player’s reporter. I knew I came to cover Pro Day which I did, but I also wanted to give the viewers more. They found out what they were majoring in, and where they work. I want the viewers to feel like they are at the event. I try to build and showcase a 360 report. I like my viewers to get to know the players. I always try to add the end of the interview when the interviewee and I are just chatting about anything- whether it’s about fashion or breakfast. The players get tired of people just coming to talk to them only about football. They have other interests and hobbies that they love to discuss as well. If you listen closely to my interviews, you will see when I ask a non-football question their voice changes. They are more excited and passionate and their answers are in more detail. The funny thing is, I didn’t know how I should have covered Pro Day. In editing the videos, I even put the wrong year for Pro Day. Nothing went right yesterday, but I did enjoy the process.
Check out the latest episode of Overtime.