I had the pleasure of speaking with Julius Chestnut, a running back from Sacred Heart University. Chestnut averaged 6 yards per carry and led the FCS in rushing at 171 yards per game.
How have you been preparing for the draft?
I’ve been working out here with my trainer in Maryland or I’m back in Connecticut training there. Doing things with my strength and conditioning coach there. I’ve had 4 local pro days so I’ve been back and forth from Maryland and Connecticut, so I’ve been training there.
What’s something you feel you still need to work on?
Learning offenses, different from college where it was signals, now I have to learn more of a huddle play style.
Looking at your numbers, it seems as if you’re more of a pure runner than a pass catcher, was that due to scheme or your ability?
I think that the best part of my game is my pass-catching ability. My numbers are low just because that’s not the way our offense was run. We didn’t pass the ball to the running backs a lot so that’s the reason my numbers might be low in that category, but if you watch the tape I don’t drop any passes and have had a few one-handed grabs, catching the ball is something I really take pride in. But I am still getting better at it.
What was the most valuable thing you learned during your time at Sacred Heart?
The game honestly. I’ve learned so much about the game of football, it’s incredible. If it’s reading defenses, learning offenses, having more of a novice standpoint of the game I think is what I learned the most from being at Sacred Heart. There were some geniuses up there and I give all credit to them because they know what they’re doing, they’ve won 3 championships in the last 4 years, so they’ve got football knowledge and I try to emulate what they teach me and take it from there.
What’s your game day ritual?
We usually play around 12 or 1 so I wake up take a shower, head over to the facilities, we have mandatory breakfast most of the time with the team, then we have an hour or so. My parents are usually there so I see them for a quick 30 mins to just talk to them before the game. Then I just lock-in, there’s nothing much to it. My favorite pre-game meal would probably be oatmeal, I have to have it before I play in a game. I just sit there listen to music and chill with the guys, and I usually call or text my grandmother before the game to say a prayer for me and things like that.
What are 3 words your teammates would use to describe you?
Tough, Caring, Hard-Working.
What game of yours should we watch to see what kind of player you are with your best film?
Against, Duquesne in the 2020/2021 Spring season.
Why should someone draft you over someone who has played at a higher level?
You can say the body of work that I’ve put in, but then they’ll say the level of competition. At the same time, I play running back, if I can make someone miss I can make someone miss, that’s the thing I think I’m best at. With the film that I’ve put up it’s hard to deny that I am who I am. I try not to be so cocky but at the same time that’s just the way it is, there’s not a lot of people better than me. If I had played all 11 games this season I would have higher draft stock than I have right now, just because I didn’t play.
Is there an NFL player you model your game after?
Chris Carson and Alvin Kamara.
Build a perfect runningback
I asked Julius to build the perfect runningback based on a couple of key categories and he said: Vision- Adrian Peterson, Strength- Derrick Henry, Hands- Alvin Kamara, Speed- Raheem Mostert.
Who motivates you?
My family man, the support system I have in my family is incredible. They’ve been there for me my whole life and my family has been through so much to get me here. Me being here and given the opportunity I have, I just got to make the best of it just to show them that they didn’t do what they did for no reason.