The Colts prospect interviews are rolling along as we approach the NFL Draft. Today’s player interview is Virginia Wide Receiver Olamide Zaccheaus. The Colts could use a player with his versatility and playmaking ability on offense.
The interview will be towards the bottom of the page. Zaccheaus interviewed exclusively with Stampede Blue to talk about his Team Captaincy in 2018, the keys to making big plays, and what the Colts would be getting if they draft him.
5’8” 190 pounds
N/A (No Combine Invite)
250 catches for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns. 79 rushes for 551 yards and 2 touchdowns. 35 kick returns for 686 yards. Over 4,000 all purpose yards in his career.
Fit with the Colts:
Zaccheaus may not seem like a great fit, on paper, but he has all the traits you want out of a bottom-of-the-depth-chart contributor. He is a versatile chess piece on offense who can win in the slot or on gadget-like plays. He is also a very solid special teamer who could immediately improve a team’s return game. The Colts could add him late or as an UDFA to compete with Chester Rogers for his role on the team. Put Zaccheaus in the slot role that Rogers occupied last year, that gives quick touches and allows him to return punts, and he could be a late-round gem for a team.
Elusiveness after the catch and ability to turn small gains into big ones sums up Zaccheaus’ game well. He’s excellent at turning nothing into something.
Virginia WR Olamide Zaccheaus is a legit beast. Smooth route runner, explosive after the catch, solid contested catch guy, and works out of various alignments. This dude is gonna be a damn good NFL player. #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/DRzcsGxPrk— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 10, 2019
Zaccheaus fights back to the quarterback well, too. This makes him an excellent safety valve as a slot option for a QB.
Bryce Perkins to Olamide Zaccheaus. Uhm, hello. pic.twitter.com/9koUJsCFJb— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) September 25, 2018
Zaccheaus is a player who performs well on the big stage and finds openings in the defense. That is the type of player you want in the slot.
ZH: You were on AAU Junior Olympics track when you were younger. How was that experience for you?
OZ: So I did that up until my 8th grade year, in high school I stopped running track, but I did mostly the short distance runs like the 100, the 200, and the 4 x 400. Those were my main events. I did that growing up mostly to stay in shape for football.
ZH: You were named as a team captain in 2018. How did it feel to receive that honor?
OZ: It was honestly one of my goals. I went into last year and I just felt like it was my time to step up in that room. I just wanted to work and wanted people to see how to go about doing things the right way and I just wanted to be a leader for the squad. I feel like I did what I needed to do for our team to be successful.
ZH: You leave UVA as the All Time Leader in Receptions. How does it feel to have accomplished that?
OZ: I’m just really grateful, to be honest. I think about some of the playmakers that came through this school, and for me to be on top in that category is so special. I’m just grateful for everybody who has helped me get to where I’m at. To be able to do the things I can do now and putting together a year like last year, I’m just truly grateful.
ZH: You racked up over 4,000 all purpose yards at UVA as a running back, wide receiver, and return man. Where is your best fit in the NFL?
OZ: I definitely think in that slot and as a returner of some sort whether it be punt returner or kick returner. Especially early on, though, I think that will be my main role.
ZH: You are very shifty and have an ability to make people miss. Is that a natural talent or something that you work on?
OZ: I think most of it is genetics. There’s also drills and different things that you can do to help your footwork. I feel like that is the most important part of making people miss, unless you are a bigger-bodied guy. There are things, though, that I’ve done to help my footwork and be able to move my feet better, but overall I just thank my mom and my dad for giving me these genes (laughs).
ZH: Your releases off of the line are great. What is the key to winning off the line as a receiver?
OZ: Especially if they are in hard press, you have to move them off of their spot. Make them move laterally so you can open them up and move the other way. You have to make your moves believable by turning your shoulders or turning your hips one way and redirecting the defender. Those are all things you can work on, too. You don’t have to be the quickest guy, but you have to be a salesman on your releases. I feel like that is something I have worked on a lot over the years, and something that I will continue to improve on at the next level.
ZH: You also come back to passes very well on curls and outs and other routes. How important is it for receivers to come back to the ball when running routes?
OZ: It’s huge, especially at the next level. You are going to have even better corners and linebackers who are faster, so just being able to comeback to the quarterback and make sure he’s comfortable throwing to you is huge. You have to come back to the ball, because those players are driving on the ball as well, especially in man coverage, so it all comes down to really helping the quarterback and helping the team. Turnovers happen when you sit and wait for the ball if the DB’s are driving on it, so that is something you have to work on, though. You have to naturally have that trust in your hands fighting back to the ball but overall it is just something I was did and I just want my quarterback to feel comfortable.
ZH: You practiced against guys like Bryce Hall, Juan Thornhill, and Quin Blanding in college. What was it like going against high level DB’s in practice?
OZ: Oh it was great. I was talking about this during our bowl game prep this past winter. We go against these guys every day, for the most part, and that should build confidence not only for myself, but for other receivers on the team. Going against the best at practice, you should have confidence going to the games. It was just great for us, and especially throughout the years having guys like Tim (Harris), and even my first year going against Maurice Canady, who is on the Ravens, along with those guys you mentioned. Facing those great DB’s was really great for my game, and they would let you know if you are slacking. They like to chirp a little bit. They are different in the way they go about doing that (laughs), but it was always friendly competition, and it was great for us as a receiving core and for us as a team.
ZH: Who in the NFL do you compare yourself to most/model your game after?
OZ: I like T.Y Hilton a lot. I like watching receivers who are similar to my body type. I watch players like Hilton, Antonio Brown, even Ryan Switzer who is a bit younger but somebody that I have watched throughout the years. There is a lot to learn from every person. Every person likes to do things different ways and in order to be the best, you have to learn from the best. I try to pick pieces from player’s games who have similar body types to me, and I try to incorporate things into my game.
ZH: What is my team getting if they spend a draft pick on Olamide Zaccheaus?
OZ: I’m a type of guy who is all in for the team. Not only on the field but off of the field. For the most part, I do things the right way. I really pride myself in doing that. I work really hard. One thing my coach in college— Coach Mendenhall— always said the best players are consistent, durable, and productive. Those three things I’ve always been, for the most part, so I feel like those three things really separate me from others in this draft class.