Every 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?
What is your Height/Weight?
5’11.5″ / 203lbs
What is your position?
Wide/Slot Receiver & Special Teams
Where do you play college football?
Illinois State University
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
Probably about 15; a few preferred walk-on spots at FBS/FCS schools, multiple FCS/D2/NAIA offers
How did you choose your school?
Great academics, perfect distance from home, great history of successful preferred walk-ons, and all of the faculty I met with said they felt something special was going to happen with the football program (which it did, as we won the MVFC this year and were runner-ups in the National Championship)
Where are you from?
Who is your role model, and why?
My Dad, who has been a great example for me of who I should strive to be as both a man, and as a father
Have any scouts met with you yet, and if so what are they saying?
No, I have no met with any scouts yet
Did you play any other sports growing up?
Yes; I played soccer, basketball, baseball, ran track, did some gymnastics, and swam
Yes, I have played strong safety, quarterback, kicker, punter, and been a kick/punt returner
At your position, what separates you from others?
I have a thicker build that allows me to break more tackles and be durable over the middle, and have a ton of experience playing both outside and slot receiver in three different offenses during my college career, which has made me a versatile route runner. I was expected to know all four receiver positions in our offense and was one of the only receivers in our system that could be plugged in anywhere and play without missing an assignment or playing slow out of uncertainty.
When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?
The first thing I do when watching film is watch a game or two straight through just to get an overall impression of the secondary and linebackers and what kind of schemes and general tendencies they have as a group. Then I really begin to break down each DB by studying their eye discipline in coverage, press tendencies and techniques, ball skills at the point of the catch, and what releases, moves, and routes really worked against that particular DB. I like to look for breakdowns in their coverage; if they are slow to react to certain routes and whether that slowness is due to their break technique or just having lesser speed, if have a tendency to bite hard against particular moves and sticks within a route, or if they lack discipline within a coverage and you can lose them easily on intermediate and deep routes. I also like to look for what kind of player they are in the run game; whether they just try to run around you to make a tackle or if they are going to put their helmet on you and try to run through you to the tackle point.
Who was the toughest player you ever faced?
I thought UNI’s Makinton Dorleant and Deiondre Hall were both extremely good players when we played them the first time around this past season and lost. They were taller, physical and moved very well in coverage for their size.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?
I would say Julian Edelman, just because I can play both outside and in the slot, and I’m a gritty receiver willing to make the tough catch over the middle, or can split out wide and run intermediate or deep routes and still get behind the secondary.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle was overcoming the stigma of being a preferred walk-on, and not being on scholarship. I had a very successful high school career and when that didn’t materialize into scholarship offers, I began to doubt my abilities and I carried that mentality into my first couple of years at ISU. When I finally let go of that baggage, I started to make plays and do things that I hadn’t done since high school, and I really got over the hump and launched myself into a contributing role for my final years at ISU.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Besides listening to music and getting ready in a particular order, the two things that I always have to do in my pre-warm up routine is catch passes from our redshirt quarterback Jake Kolbe, and I have to catch a throw from one of the corners, Tyler Lovgren while I’m running a warm up lap around the field.
What is your biggest strength?
My strengths are my build that allows me to be durable over the middle and break more tackles, I have very deceptive speed, and I have a lot of experience running a wide variety of routes, since I played both wide and slot receiver in three different offenses in my college career. Because of these changes I experienced, I am also a very quick learner and have a lot of football IQ.
What is your biggest weakness?
My weaknesses are that my vertical jump is average for my position and that I am not as agile as most conventional slot receivers typically are.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I am a team-first, versatile player with the capabilities to contribute at any receiver position and on any special teams, and will learn very quickly how to contribute successfully wherever I am put. I have a humble beginning to my college career and because of that, I have a work ethic and desire to succeed, that very few can match.
Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?
I really enjoyed watching Wes Welker play in Tom Brady’s system when I was younger, just because it showed me that undersized receivers could play at an elite level, but my team has been and always will Da Chicago Bears, and my favorite Bear to watch was Devin Hester because of how electrifying he was whenever he was back on a kick or punt return.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?
Jerry Rice because he’s the GOAT at receiver, Mahatma Gandhi to talk about life, and Justin Timberlake because he’s that dude.