Joe Achour has made his name known around the Spring Football circuit. Three trips to The Spring League and a quick stop in the CIF before COVID-19 hit make Achour a veteran of sorts. Achour’s most recent stint in The Spring League began when he was added to the Conquerors roster back on October 27th. I recently caught up with the 6’3” 295 pound Defensive Tackle to talk all things Football:
Q: How old were you when you started playing football and what drew you to the sport?
Achour: “I was 15 years old when I started playing organized football. My Coach from High-school actually persuaded me to play because I was one of the biggest guys in my class and I was very physical and had lots of energy. What really drew me to the sport was how it was full contact; and it was a team experience. I had always wanted to be apart of a big family and that was my chance.”
Q: Tell us about your time at Shenandoah College and the experience of being a College Athlete?
Achour: “Shenandoah University was a very humbling experience. I actually transferred to Shenandoah from Missouri Western for personal family reasons. I was also committed D1 before that but due to grades wasn’t able to stay at that school. The experience of being a college athlete was a challenge and it’s not meant for everyone. I’ve learned and grown from it as an athlete and a man off the field. It taught me persistence, time management, and prioritizing. To be able to have a great GPA and be one of the first at practice and last to leave is what it takes to be a great collegiate athlete.”
Q: NFL Legend Demarcus Ware admired your Pass Rushing work on Instagram. What was that like and did that help your confidence level at all?
Achour: “It was an honor to be recognized by a legend; and he has been nothing but helpful. We actually talk from time to time and he gives me advice and tips on how to master my craft. More so than my confidence, Demarcus Ware uplifted my spirits to keep training hard and stay focused during this pandemic.”
Q: Prior to COVID-19, you had signed with the West Texas Warbirds of the Champions Indoor Football League. When the CIF announced it was cancelling its 2020 season, how did it make you feel?
Achour: “I was devastated at first; but then I realized that we didn’t know much about Covid. The CIF was just trying to keep the players, coaches, and fans safe. I was truly blessed to get to stay with some of the team and workout voluntarily while the season was on hold and while some players went home. Coach Brandon Sesay stayed with the players; he would work us out voluntarily, made sure we were eating, watching film as a group, doing proper recovery, and doing what we needed to get better as a team. Coach Gabe Martinez was also constantly checking on us. He was sending film and reviewing it with us, and bringing us food or anything we needed. He lived in Lubbock so he would make 4 hour trips to take care of the players. And all of that wouldn’t have been made possible if we didn’t have Leif Kertis, the owner who managed to keep his players working hard. And consistently making sure we were healthy and eating well along with living in good circumstances. For that I can say we are over prepared and ready for the ‘21 season.”
Q: How did you first find out about The Spring League?
Achour: “I actually found out about them from when Johnny Manziel played there, other than that I didn’t know much about the Spring League. They reached out to me after I did an interview with Matt Anzio who was at the time with NFL Draft Diamonds, and TSL said my story was inspiring and invited me to come to a showcase. I ended up getting hurt, at the first one and got invited to a second one after, and that’s the film I used to get NFL workouts.”
Achour’s Highlight Film from the TSL
Q: What was it like playing for Head Coach Jerry Glanville and the rest of the Conquerors coaching staff?
Achour: “It was an amazing thing! Such an honor, Coach Glanville used to read the DL a proverb of the day and would call it “a text from God.” I am a man of God so I would love listening to it. Learning that many plays in so little time gave me a taste of what it’s like in the Pros. My DL Coach Robert Lyles was a great coach also; he taught me a lot of new techniques and pushed me to get better everyday. I’m glad I had them as Coaches and now have their contacts for the future.”
Q: Describe the feelings of playing in meaningful professional football games via TSL?
Achour: “The feeling of playing with top talent and top coaches coaching me up was so surreal, especially getting to play on FOX. It was a great taste of what I’m aiming for and that’s to play on Sundays. TSL gave me opportunities to showcase my talents and also learn what I need to work on improving.”
Q: Can you give us some insight on what the Bubble in San Antonio was like during the three games?
Achour: “I wouldn’t say it was so much a bubble because we were staying at a hotel with other civilians, but more of a bubble in the Alamodome. It was interesting compared to other experiences I’ve had. There was a lot of isolation other than practice and meetings.”
Q: How important was this experience for you as far as compiling game film for scouts and other leagues to view your work?
Achour: “The experience overall was very important; this was some of the best talent I got to face against collectively overall with NFL, XFL, CFL talent.”
Q: What is next for you now that The Spring League Season has ended?
Achour: “Now that TSL has ended, I’m going to play arena this spring for the WTX WARBIRDS. From there my goal is to just keep on leveling up to play in the NFL.”
Achour looks to build upon his Football resume and take his unique experiences along with him. I personally thank Joe for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat!
EDIT: Achour signed a contract with the West Texas Warbirds of the CIF on November 23rd, 2020, his second official stint with the team.
Header Pic Credit (Credit: @TheSpringLeague on Twitter)