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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Dan Kruger, OL, Northern Iowa

Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Dan Kruger, OL, Northern Iowa

Dan Kruger played and started in all games on the offensive line and was named MVFC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against South Dakota State.  He contributed in creating holes in the defensive line for David Johnson and Carlos Anderson who combined for a total of 1,458 yards rushing.  I think Kruger is going to be a sleeper, but Northern Iowa has a great rep for putting NFL players in the league.

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Four division 1 schools- Wisconsin, Iowa State, Iowa, and Northern Iowa; other small schools such as Iowa Central community college, and Iowa Western

Where did you choose and why?

University of Northern Iowa (UNI) because I felt it was the best fit for me.  I liked the construction management major at UNI, and I also really like the coaching staff throughout my recruiting process and career.

What were your goals for your senior year?

Our team goal was to win the FCS National Championship.  My personal goals were to improve my footwork technique and to improve my run blocking.

Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?

Yes, they told my coaches and I that the main thing that I need to work on most is my mobility and foot speed.  They recommended that I jump rope and do flexibility drills to improve these issues.  They said that these issues are they only thing that is holding me back.

At your position, what separates you from the others?

My work ethic. I may not be the best athlete, but I will compete every play to the best of my ability.  I strive to be the best at all times and I won’t give up.

Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?

I start out by looking at the whole defense, and determining what front they run most. I look for tendencies such as where the pressure comes from.  Next I look at defensive lineman I will be blocking most. I look at his tendencies such as if he likes to spin, or the speed to bull rush move.

Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?

Chris Borland from the University of Wisconsin. He was a tough kid, and was excellent at removing blocks.

If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?

Chad Rinehart, he played at UNI and now plays for the Chargers. He is a hard worker, and that drive got him where he is today.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle was coming from a small school and playing college football.  I was frustrated after my senior year of high school when no big schools were talking to me.  I wanted to play college football in front of a large crowd on Saturdays.  I had to work hard and sell myself to college teams.  I only had one offer coming out of high school and I had to prove to the UNI coaches that I was worth the scholarship.

What system fits your style of play the best?

I think that teams that run the ball a lot fit me best. I think my run blocking is my best attribute.  I like to pull for linebackers, and win the line of scrimmage.

What is your biggest strength?

My run blocking. I like to win one on one battles at the line of scrimmage. I also think I am good at pulling for linebackers.

What is your biggest weakness?

Blocking in open space. I struggle with quick changes of direction.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I am a hard worker, and I will never give up on a play.  I am a man of good character, and I will be an important attribute to this team.

Growing up, who was your role model?

My dad was and still is my role model.  He did not play football, but he taught me many important things.  Growing up on a farm, he taught me to work for what I want, and that carried over to football.  He also taught me how to be a man of good character, as well as how to be respectful to others.

Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?

Green Bay Packers, and Reggie White.  I started liking the Packers because my older brother was a Packers fan, and I wanted to be like him.  Reggie White was an exciting player to watch and I wanted to be like him.  I have liked them ever since.

What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?

When my grandmother died.  I had never experienced a death in the family before.  She had cancer, so it was not sudden, but it was still difficult to see her go through that.  I was also during my senior wrestling season, and college football recruiting process.  I overcame it by becoming closer with my family.  I talked to my parents more about decisions I was making for the future.  I also became closer with my cousins, with all the visits to the hospital to see her.

If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?

Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and Jackie Robinson

With your first paycheck what would you buy?

A new Skidoo Summit snowmobile.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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