Virginia’s all-time leader in career receptions recently took the time to answer a few questions from me ahead of the NFL Draft. During his career at Virginia, Olamide Zaccheaus became a fan favorite. Racking up 250 receptions, 3304 total yards and 24 total TDs during his four years at UVA, Zaccheaus is a dynamic receiver who has flown under the radar during the draft process. Below is my Q&A with the talented receiver prospect.
Q: You have some running back in your background, how do you think your time at RB has helped you make the transition to WR?
OZ: It has helped me a lot with the ball in my hands specifically yards after the catch. I do not try to waste time getting up the field which is how it was when I was playing running back.
Q: At Virginia, you played all over the offensive formation, where do you best see yourself best fitting at the next level?
OZ: Most teams see me as a slot and doing some type of returning so that is what I see myself doing the most especially early on in my career.
Q: Playing receiver is as much about technical nuance as a route runner and in your releases as it is physical talent. What would you say your favorite routes and releases are?
OZ: I love double moves because most of the times you can add your own little swag or style to the route. As far as releases there are a lot of them that work for me but my favorite one is probably a 1-2 release. It is quick, simple but you can add your own finesse.
Q: During a game week, what typically goes into your preparation away from the meeting room and practice field?
OZ: A lot of treatment and preventative rehab. Extra catches from a QB or from a jugs machine at least 150-200 catches a day. Also, we would watch the film as a group on our opponent just to help us slow the game down. I think preparation helps build confidence an unlocks a different type of play style on the field. It also helps me reduce bad anxiety.
Q: Are there any receivers in the NFL, past or present, that you like to watch on and think your game is comparable to?
OZ: I like Ty Hilton and Tyreek Hill a lot. They both aren’t the biggest guys but they’re explosive and make game changing plays for their respective teams.
Q: Has there been anything specifically you have been working to improve on this off season in the run up to the draft?
OZ: This past couple of years I was not really involved in the return game for various reasons. So just getting back in the swing of catching punts and kicks have been a major emphasis this offseason because that is my ticket into making a team.
Q: Do you feel you are being overlooked in this process? If so, how does that motivate you?
OZ: Of course but those things are out of my control (all star games/combine). It really is not something I am too worried about because there are players every year that do not get any of those things and are still on a team come September. I just try to focus on becoming a better player everyday which will help make a squad.
Q: What are your goals when you reach the NFL and what would you want fans to know about you as a player and as a person?
OZ: Win a Superbowl. It is just something that most football players dream about when they are younger and try to emulate in different ways whether it be in Madden or in your backyard as a child so that is for sure something that is on my bucket list. As far as for the fans, I am just the type of guy who will work hard to improving myself and getting the best out of my teammates. I’ll do whatever I can in my power to help whatever organization I end up being on to win.
Everyone here at NFL Draft Geek would like to thank Olamide for taking the time to answer our questions. We know you’re going to ball out when you get your shot.