Draft Zone Spotlight: James Ackel, FS, Adams State
James Ackel has been training with Jeff Garcia, Rod Smith and Leonard Russell and has been more impressive than many players they have trained. This kid is a true Diamond in the Rough. He is a playmaker when around the ball, and is not afraid to put his hat on someone. I love this kids tenacity and he could easily be a person that enters a camp and never leaves. Keep an eye on this division 2 standout. He isn’t just an “in the box” type safety. James is also productive. He started 44 out of 44 games at Adams State and compiled 350 tackles, 12 INTs, 12 FFs, 35 passes defended, & 10 TDs during his career.
How many teams were recruiting you coming out of high school and how did you make your decision?
-A few teams were recruiting me out of high school. San Diego State was primarily interested in me at first. They had a coaching change and lost interest in me. A few D1AA’s and D’2s were offering me after that. My best friend in high school also got offered from Adams State so I decided to go with him to remain teammates.
Who was your favorite NFL team growing up, and did you have a player you rooted for?
The Minnesota Vikings have always been my team. I always rooted for Robert Griffith(FS). He is the reason I chose 24.
At your position, how do you break down film, please inform our readers what you look for when breaking down film?
I break down film individually and collectively. I watch 1 on 1′s to perfect my footwork. I watch film on my opposition to look at tendencies based off of formations and put not only our coverage, but our whole defensive scheme against it to find weakness and areas where the ball may exist in the running game.
Do you consider yourself a quiet leader or an outspoken role model?
I like to lead by example. I feel I am outspoken when my opinion is needed.
If you could take one day back and erase it from your past what day would you erase?
I would like to sit here and say that everything from my past has made me who I am today, which it has, but I would like to take back the days my birth mother went to jail, the day my brother past away, and the day my step mother had a brain stem stroke.
Do you have any hobbies, if so tell the world what it is?
Who was the toughest player you have ever played against?
It would probably have to be Vontaze Burfict
What is the best accolade/award you have ever received from playing football?
I would have to say Conference Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.
If it was your last meal, what would you eat?
Steak and mashed potatoes
Before the game, what song might I hear on your ipod?
Ambition by Wale
Do you have any pre game rituals?
Nope not really
If you could pick out your biggest weakness what would it be?
I am too passionate.
Have you talked to any NFL scouts throughout this process, and what feedback are you getting?
Yes, The Rams, Chiefs, Packers, Titans. Free Agent Prospect
If you could compare your play to someone in the NFL, who would it be?
Bernard Pollard, Adrian Wilson, Troy Polamalu
What is the most tragic event in your life that has happened and how did you bounce back?
As mentioned before my birth mother went to jail, the day my brother past away, and the day my step mother had a brain stem stroke. I just kept moving forward. I feel like that’s all you can do.
Everyone asks this question but I’m curious to know what will you buy first with your first NFL pay check?
It depends how much it is, but I am going to try and get the 100,000 grand I need to help give my step mother the treatment she deserves.
If you could meet one person, dead or alive who would it be and why?
I would meet Sean Taylor because he was my favorite player before he passed away. He was who I tried to play like.