Meet 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Ulonzo Gilliam Jr, RB, UC Davis

Ulonzo Gilliam Jr the running back from UC Davis recently sat down with Evan Willsmore from NFL Draft Diamonds

  • Name: Ulonzo Gilliam, Jr.
  • Position: Running Back
  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • School: University of California, Davis
  • Level: Division I FCS – Big Sky Conference
  • Twitter: ukg_34
  • Instagram: ulonzogilliamjr

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

Major: Human Development

Minor: Psychology

Started doing biochemistry but switched after my second year. Now I am trying to pursue a career in physical therapy or athletic training. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

I think my leadership – I lead by example and I push people around me to be better. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

Currently I am a team captain and have been so for two years. As a running back I am occasionally moved out to the slot. Being able to catch the ball out of the backfield is an extra skill I take pride in. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington – he has always given our team a tough time 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Devon King and Jaylin White – those are guys on defense and they can make players

Looking forward to what Chaz Davis can do on offense 

What makes you different from others at your position? 

One of my best attributes is my vision and my footwork – I can read holes in the defense very well and see cutback lanes quickly. My main goal is to always escape through that hole. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

In high school I was supposed to be the next guy up my junior year. I got pretty banged up and it culminated in a broken leg by the fourth game, which was a very unfortunate situation. It put me in a bad headspace for a while since I couldn’t play. I just knew I had to work harder for my senior year. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

Baseball or basketball – even if I’m on the shorter end. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is being able to go to college on scholarship. It helps my family out a lot. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

In 2018 against Eastern Washington in the playoffs, on a fourth and two we run a power to the right side and I had a 40-yard touchdown run. That was the first touchdown of the game and really set the tempo for our offense. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My favorite player is either Barry Sanders or Walter Payton. I try to model my game after LaDainian Tomlinson even though I’m a Raiders fan. 

What gets you “pumped up” before a game?

I’m a very spiritual person – before every game I say my prayers and have the holy spirit working through me. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

I like to play CoD Warzone. I also play basketball at the rec center near campus. 

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?

I started playing soccer when I was young, but my cousins were playing football at the time and seeing them pursue that sport made me want to switch gears.

My dad is my major source of motivation because he teaches me to handle almost everything in life. 

What do you want NFL teams to know about you? 

I want teams to know I can still produce despite being a little less than 200 pounds. I am incredibly versatile and beat linebackers one-on-one. The tape should really speak for itself. 

Other notes on Ulonzo Gilliam Jr:

I wasn’t a very highly recruited player coming out of high school – my only offer was from UC Davis. Had walk-on opportunities at Fresno State and San Jose State, but Davis was more committed to me because they were giving me money. This will be my sixth year here.

18 y/o writer and scout – just trying to give players an opportunity and the recognition they deserve. Fan of all things football.

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