September 18, 2020

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Diamond In The Rough: Xa’Vion Mandigo

Xa’Vion Mandigo is a starting corner at Captain Shreve High School. Currently listed at 6’2’ 180 lbs, Xa’Vion has very good size for his position. He runs about a 4.5 second 40-yard dash, but in game he has solid closing speed and takes great pursuit angles to make up for not being the fastest player on the field. Due to this being his first official year starting, the tape on Xa’Vion is very limited currently; but in the brief amount I was able to see him, I noticed that he was able to read and react very quickly, has solid footwork and technique, is a sure tackler, and plays well in coverage. This young man reminds me of Richard Sherman as far as his style of play, which is something any young defensive back should take as a compliment.

How long have you been playing football?

I have been playing since I was 8 years old, started peewee ball when I was in like the 4th grade.

So, based on your Hudl tape I could pretty much estimate what your 40 time was and with you being a taller corner you kind of remind me of Richard Sherman. What do you think about that?

I agree, there’s a lot of people who have told me that.

How come you don’t have a lot of film uploaded on Hudl yet?

The only reason is because me and my teammate Jeremy (the other starting corner) have had seniors in front of us and that limited how much we could play. But when I did get on the field for varsity, I was making plays.

What do you think your biggest accomplishment is so far?

Being able to make my mom proud. There have been a lot of times when I played and she wasn’t able to watch because she had to work, so when she was able to come and I heard her say she was proud I felt like that was a big accomplishment.

How was last season?

Last season was good, I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked, but we won a district championship. But this year we are going to go further.  It was a good year though. It gave me time to sit back and learn from my teammates.

I mentioned my comparison, but who do you try to model your game after?

Jeff Okudah, that boy is a dog.

Is he also your favorite player?

Yes sir.

What do you think you need to improve on most?

I probably need to work on my zone coverage, and I need to get faster. I also would like to gain more weight.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to go to the gym and workout; I like to do drills. I try to stay consistent, so I stay ready for football season.

How often do watch film?

I watch it every day.  I watch enough film to know what the receiver is going to do before they do it.

Do you or have you played any other sports?

I do track and field.

How have things been since the shutdown?

Its been so hard. You could not really be with you team or hang out with your friends. We really are just now starting to practice together again. It was tough trying to stay ready for football.

What do you love most about playing football?

I love being able to release some anger on the field. I love being able to show off my talents to other players and coaches. I just love playing the game.

How do you get yourself ready for a game?

I listen to some Young Boy, I watch film and I watch some motivation videos before the game.

How would you describe yourself as a player and teammate?

I would describe myself as very humble, I don’t talk a lot of trash. My teammates know I’m a very vocal leader who loves being a good teammate.

What motivates you to play?

I want to play so I can get my mom out of the situation she is in. I want to be able to go to college to make her proud. I really want to get us out of Shreveport.

Last thing, what are some goals for this year?

I’m aiming for 5 interceptions and 50 tackles. Hopefully I keep getting looks.

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