Overview: Jarrod Cann is a senior who played safety for Central Connecticut State. In 2017, he was one of the players selected to the All-ECAC FCS Football team. He was also one of the players selected to the All-Northeast Conference and was selected to the All-New England squad. He had the 3rd most tackles on the team with 75 tackles. He leads the team in interceptions with 4 interceptions. He has a good football I.Q. who has good speed and knows how to track the football well.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod, during which time he told me more about his background, his personality and his overall love for football.
C: For the people who do not know your story, how did you wind up choosing Central Connecticut State?
JC: As a high school football player, I fell under the radar as a college prospect because I was not given the opportunity to have significant playing time until my senior of high school. My friend’s father, who was an alumni, attended a game where he was able to witness my talent as a football player. He was so impressed with my abilities that he was determined to push me to further my athletic career beyond high school football. His determination led me to Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) where I played as a running back for their football team. Although this was a wonderful opportunity, I ultimately ended up missing out on the college recruiting cycle; by the time I became D1 eligible from FUMA, it was a bit too late. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend a D2 or D3 school since they could not provide me with the financial resources I needed to attend college since a majority of those colleges did not offer full athletic scholarships. I settled down at Nassau Community College in Long Island, NY and focused on building upon my athletic abilities and GPA. The coach at Nassau Community College decided I would be best suited for a position as a safety. After excelling at that community college, I realized that I was ready to take on the academic and athletic challenge of D1 school. Central Connecticut University was the school that gave me the chance to showcase my football talent.
C: How do you plan on making yourself stand out and noticed by NFL scouts?
JC: I am the type of athlete that is confident that I will be an asset to a team and I will strive for nothing less than a yes. I will not accept no for an answer. I am a strong team player who works hard and give 100% to any and everything I involve myself with. I will continue to push beyond expectations through proper training, both physically and mentally. I hold myself to a high standard and believe that I can meet the standard that is set by the NFL. I am someone who holds themselves to a high professional, physical, mental and intrapersonal standard. I believe that, if given the chance, the NFL will be somewhere I can excel as a player, teammate, and role model. My last name is Cann and I plan to continue to hold that last name in high regard as a successful potential NFL prospect.
C: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
JC: I truly believe that identification and accepting of your strengths and weaknesses is what allows a person to become the best version of themselves, both personally and professionally. From my character on and off the field. I would consider my weaknesses as areas of awareness for myself. If I know my weaknesses, I am able to make adjustments on the field to ensure my weakness do not impact my ability as a player. One weakness would be my height. I stand at about 5’10. Since I am shorter than some in this position, it could impact my effectiveness to defend larger inside receivers. However, that weakness does not deter me from working harder in other areas to ameliorate that deficiency. I truly feel as though my strengths outweigh my weaknesses, I am someone who is self-motivating. I am not a guy the coach will have to watch during off season training to ensure he is consistently training nor would he have to worry about me showing up late to team functions. I am extremely coachable prospect who is willing to grow and be molded into the best athlete possible. I believe that constructive criticism is essential to the growth and development of both rookie and seasoned players. I am confident in my physical abilities. I possess the speed, agility, and instinctive drive necessary to be a successful player on the field.
C: What separates you from the other players at your position?
JC: What separates me from others is I’m probably stronger than most safety’s in college and how I conduct myself I’d say. Physically most safeties don’t bench 225lbs. 28 reps like I can, and I also translate that on the field. Also after my mom passed it put a different kind of fire in my stomach that I didn’t think can be matched unless you’ve had the same kind of loss as I. I’m determined to live a life she would be proud to see her son living looking down at me.
C: Which current or former NFL player do you think you resemble and why?
JC: I probably resemble Earl Thomas best because of our stature and size. I like contact just as much him. I also can go make a big play on the ball quickly. I relate to him because some think I’m shy. But that’s not the case at all I just watch what I say and say what is need to be said at the right times. I love hero movies and KUNG FU clips just like him.
C: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever faced in your college career?
JC: The toughest player I have ever played against would definitely have to be one the starting running backs who played for Sacred Heart High School. Although he still had some room for improvement with his talents, he ran behind his pads. No matter how hard I would hit him he kept coming back. I truly admire that about him as a player and it was something that I took away from playing against him. No matter how hard you are hit, you get up and keep going.
C: When did you first fall in love with playing football?
JC: My passion for football started after my first home opener against Decastle in High School. I scored my first touchdown on a screen pass we called Raptor and I remember the crowd screaming and cheering. I broke a couple tackles and saw the end zone ahead and just looked forward and ran as fast I could. I then realized that my calling was on the football field. I enjoyed playing football in the beginning. I didn’t fall in love with it until I started playing at Nassau and I met Coach Burroughs. He was my DB coach who took me under his wing after I was switched offense to defense permanently. He treated me more like his own son and I realized there was more to it than just football.
C: What is the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you in your college career?
JC: “I love you, we are family” -Coach Ross
When my coach said those words to me, I realized that football is more than just a game. Those words inspired me to work and play even harder than I already was. As a team you are only as strong as your weakest link, therefore, I needed to continue to not only push myself but push my teammates. We are a team and we are family. When one wins, we all win. When one loses, we all lose.
C: How do you prepare for game day? Do you have any game day rituals?
JC: I pride myself upon my punctuality. I will show up to the field 2 hours before we a required to be there in order to sit at my locker and pray. I try to throw on some calm gospel tunes and then think about what I want to say to my team before we go out or come up with a chant to get the team going. Then I’ll go out and just throw the ball around it get warmed up. Before we have to get dressed for pregame. Before the game I try to not get to amped up, so I’m focused.
C: What should people reading this interview know about you?
JC: My mother was lifted up on Oct. 23, 2017. I try to show everyone the same love she showed me for years. And I’m determined to make her proud in all that I do.
Locker Room Update would like to thank Jarrod Cann for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his journey as a professional football player.
You can check out his highlights here.
Christa is a syndicated New York Jets beat writer and acts as the primary talent scout for Locker Room Update, where she interviews college football players from around the nation. You can follow her author page on Facebook here for the latest updates.