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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: LaSteven McKinney, WR, Southern Illinois

lastevenEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you. 

What is your name?

LaSteven McKinney Slot WR

Where do you play college football?

Southern Illinois University

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

Had offers from Central Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Southern Illinois, and Louisville

How did you choose your school?

Originally I committed to Central Michigan, but when Butch Jones left for Cincinnati I began to talk to other schools. Because it was late in the recruiting process a lot of schools had filled their scholarship allotment and central Michigan pulled my offer. SIU was the only school that stuck with me.

Where are you from?

Broadview, IL western suburb of Chicago

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents, no matter what they give me unconditional love and support on the field and off. They motivate me constantly to better myself. Of my 4 years at SIU they’ve probably only missed about 2 or 3 games. They show me everyday how to work hard, have faith, live, and love. I couldn’t of been blessed with better people and parents in my life.

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

I haven’t met with any scouts yet.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Growing up I played basketball, baseball, and I ran track

Did you play any other positions in football?

I played RB in high school and my freshman year in college before being switched to slot my sophomore year. I also KR and PR.

At your position, what separates you from others?

My speed and quickness in and out of my breaks, my run after the catch ability, my releases and my versatility on the offensive side of the ball.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When I break down film the first thing I look for and tendencies. Anything the corners or safeties do to give away the coverage. The next thing I look for are flaws in technique or how the DB plays; is he physical or more of a cover guy. The next thing I look at is the safety play, are their eyes stuck in the backfield are they more run support? Or do they cover.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Toughest player I’ve faced was Antoine Lewis from Purdue, great player.

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

I would compare myself to Eddie Royal and Tavon Austin. I just think we play the game a lot alike. I craft my game after them.

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

My whole life I’ve been told I wasn’t big enough or I was too small. And my whole life I’ve proven that size doesn’t matter. I worked my tail off in high school as well as college to prove that I belong, and I plan on doing the same at the next level. There will always be doubters and it’s my job to prove them wrong.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Not really, but I do try to stay loose. I try not to get too hyped but I also try not to get too focused. I like to stay relaxed and stay within myself.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my speed, quickness, versatility and footwork.

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is size.

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

I would tell you that I’m the type of guy that doesn’t need much motivation; I’ll be the first guy in the facilities and the last one out. I’m very versatile and I can play multiple positions on the field. I’m a team player and I’ll do what it takes for the team to win. I work hard at my craft and given the opportunity I’m positive I could greatly help your organization succeed.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite team growing up was Michael Vick and the Falcons, as well as Reggie Bush and the Saints.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

Bruce Lee, Eric Thomas, and Antonio Brown.

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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