2016 NFL Draft: Interview with UMass Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel


Our own Derrik Klassen got the opportunity to interview Blake Frohnapfel, the UMass quarterback battling for the top-10 at his position in the 2016 NFL Draft. Frohnapfel will be attending the East-West Shrine Game next week.

  1. What has the draft process and process leading to the Shrine Game been like?

“Well, I started by signing an agent. The draft process is stressful, but signing an agent is a big release. Mine has helped me with getting to the Shrine Game and things like that, and it all almost feels like recruiting did.

Being able to go to the Shrine Game is a great opportunity. It’s going to be a big challenge with a lot of other talented guys, but it is going to be fun. I used to watch the game because I’ve always been a big football fan, so to participate in the game now is great.”

  1. You started your career at Marshall and have spent the past two years at UMass. What was the transfer like?

“The transfer process is weird, especially for a quarterback. I was still trying to find my way around campus, but at the same time, I was expected to be a leader. Marshall also ran a spread, read-option style attack when I was there. When I got to UMass and the system was more of a pro-style system, it was a transition, but I feel it helped my football knowledge and adaptability to the game. It was good to have had experience in both styles of offense.”

  1. What do you feel may be an underrated or underappreciated tool about your game?

“A lot of people knock my completion percentage, but don’t really pay attention to how our offense works as opposed to others. Teams everywhere are going to a lot of quick bubble screens and stuff, whereas we like to go down the field and those throws, by nature, are tougher to complete. We don’t really throw the easier, shorter routes like a lot of teams do. So, I think my accuracy is an underrated trait because the completion percentage is a little skewed.”

  1. What is the most important trait for a quarterback to have, or the most important aspect to running the position?

“Confidence is the big thing. You have to believe you are the best player on the field. And it applies to more than just football. You want the guy who is going to back you up in a fight if you need him, you want a guy with fire. That is what you want at quarterback. In a physical sense, you need to be accurate. If you can’t get the ball where you want it to go, you’re going to have a hard time being a quarterback- simple.”

  1. Your teammate, Tajae Sharpe, has also been getting some NFL buzz. What was it like working with him and having him on your team?

“It certainly helped to have someone like him on the team. It actually became difficult throwing to him near the end because teams were catching on about him being good and started to throw double teams and stuff at him. He has all the physical tools you want out of a receiver, but he is also smart. He has great football IQ. He adjusts to plays and does things that can’t be taught.”

  1. What is a fun fact or tid bit that most draft fans might not know about you?

“Hmm. A lot of quarterbacks are working in training facilities a lot and all that, but I’m focusing on two master’s degrees. I don’t know how much of a fun fact that it, but it isn’t a football bit. Oh, my brother, Eric, spent time with the San Diego Chargers. There’s a little bit of football trivia for you.”

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