Player Profile: Derico French Interview Piece
By: Michael Aaron Chase Jr.
- Name, Age, Place of Birth:
- Derico French, 29 years old, was born in Washington D.C. and it was early on he began to develop an interest in football.
- When did your interest in football begin? :
- “I first gained interest in football through watching games in the early 90’s. Looking at players like Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, and Barry Sanders.” So it is clear at an early he began to find a love for football through watching some of the greats perform at a high level. Certainly gives you motivation to want to achieve the same dream in the end.
- When did you start playing football and at how old? What was your first position, and when did you fully start playing wide receiver? :
- “I first began playing the game of football on the playgrounds of D.C. and Maryland. It was then around age 9 that boys and girls club coaches started seeing my potential to play organized football.” Also stating “The first position I played in organized football was running back.” Then when asked when he first began playing wide receiver exclusively he said,” I began playing wide receiver at the age of 20.” So he started playing and showed talent at a very young age and thus got his career going quickly. Now he has clearly grown more as an athlete and a person over time.
- Where did you play high school football? What was your fondest memory and achievement? :
- “I attended High Point High School.” Which is located in Beltsville, Maryland, they are known as the ‘High Point Eagles.’ French then described his fondest memory of playing high school football. Stating, “My fondest memory from playing in high school was the excitement the night before a game.” As far as his greatest achievement,” my greatest achievement during high school was overcoming two-a-days.” So French seems to remember the lead up to and playing of the games very fondly. Though to keep it in perspective he also remembers the struggles of practices and such which only helped him become a better player to prepare for those games.
- What about you college career? Also any influences that have been key in your football career? Biggest Lesson you have learned from football?
- “I did not attend college.” Then when asked on career influences,” never really had influential figures in my football career so far.” So Derico French is certainly impressive because of his self-made success and hard work he put into his career, despite limited help at times. Also when I asked about any lessons he learned he stated,” Patience point blank.” So that is definitely one key lesson he has learned which is key in all sports and even in life. Without patience tasks cannot get done correctly and become rushed and poorly done. So him learning patience as a receiver is certainly key for a multitude of reasons. From waiting on his opportunities to make plays on the field. As well as in studying how to beat his opponent every week in terms of preparation. Then finally now it is just him being patient and awaiting the penultimate call for his next tryout opportunity with a pro team somewhere.
- What are the challenges of playing wide receiver in football? What are your greatest skills as a receiver, and who is or are the players you compare your game to?
- “For me the most challenging part of playing wide receiver is trying to be a perfectionist. Effective wide receivers read coverages and schemes.” Continuing, “It is about getting free releases off the line in order to get into your route. As well as being on the same page as your QB and co receivers.” French then went into even more specifics saying, “Having great hand eye coordination to snatch the ball out of the air. Great hips and quick feet gives the allusion of a route. Breakaway speed help you separate from defenders, and being able to cut on one foot to accelerate out of a cut. Even having strong fingers gives receivers the ability to catch or grab the defender.” Overall French knows a lot about his craft and continues to work hard at it each day. Plus with him having the mindset of being a perfectionist firmly engrained a coach certainly does not and would not have to worry about his work ethic or drive as an athlete for sure. Then when asked about his greatest skill he said,” one of my greatest skills as a receiver is my precise route running.” Thus with that skill it certainly makes him an intriguing and possibly reliable target for a quarterback. With him being able to be trusted to always run a strong and crisp route each play. As far as player comparisons based off of his self-evaluation he chose quite a crop of receivers. French said, “I compare to Antonio Brown, Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith, and Julian Edelman. These comparisons line up with what he considers his strengths as a receiver are. Because all of those players are great route runners and know how to get open. Now whether he reaches there level remains to be seen, but again great idols to look up to and model your game after.
Finally when the interview concluded I asked French about pursuing ultimately a pro career. Asking if he was trying to pursue one obviously, but also if he had a dream team or place he would love to play for or in. French described, “Yes I want to go pro. Though I am really just looking for an opportunity to showcase my skills. And I am just accepting of whichever team gives me the opportunity to do this.” Thus Derico French clearly just wants a chance to play and will certainly work hard to do so. This is why he participated in the most recent Beyond Sports Network National/Regional Scouting combine to put more tape of himself out. Thus waiting for that next call hoping he gets a chance. Though with his work ethic, skills, determination, and much more I learned he had from this interview I performed with him an opportunity is nearly on the horizon.