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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Anthony Pistelli, K, Samford University

Samford kicker Anthony Pistelli has a strong leg, and could be a good kicker in the NFL

Samford kicker Anthony Pistelli has a strong leg, and could be a good kicker in the NFL

NFL Draft Diamonds and our staff have been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 2 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers. We have tons of NFL staff that read our interviews, and we actually received several of the questions from NFL scouts we speak too. This gives them a little bit more information regarding your character. We hope to bring you more than 300 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season. You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner.

What is your name?

Anthony Pistelli

What is your Height/Weight?

5’9″, 204 lbs

What is your position?

Place Kicker

Where do you play college football?

I played two years at Valdosta State and graduated, now I’m a Redshirt Senior at Samford University.

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?

It’s always nice going to local schools to hang out with the kids

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?

Probably physics, just because I’ve never been great with math.

Where are you from?

I’m from Thomasville, Georgia.

Who is your role model, and why?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have many great people in my life that I look up to, and I could never choose just one, but my parents definitely top the list. They’re my biggest fans and I’d never be where I am without them – I can only hope to be half the person and parent that they are.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I grew up playing only soccer – it was my first love. In fact, I didn’t play football until my senior year of high school and I even played soccer my freshman year of college at Thomas University before starting my football career at Valdosta State. 

Did you play any other positions in football?

I did not, but I like to tell people that I would have been a pretty good running back.

At your position, what separates you from others?

I pride myself on my accuracy. I’m not the kicker who’s going to wow you with a big leg, but I split the posts when it counts.

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

I don’t watch a ton, but I do watch film on the returners every week and I always watch my film from practice every day.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

That’s got to be Malcolm Butler from West Alabama. He plays for the Patriots now and made the interception in the Super Bowl to end the game against Seattle. 

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

Probably Nick Novak of the Houston Texans. Our kicking style is very similar, and even though he doesn’t have the biggest leg in the league, he’s managed a long and successful career.

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

I think going into my sophomore year, I was named the starter early in camp, but fell into a slump and ended up losing my spot to a senior before the first game. I won the starting job back back the second game and was able to keep it for the rest of the season. I remember thinking that I wasn’t good enough and I even had thoughts about quitting football altogether. With the love and support of my family, friends, and teammates, I put my head down and kept working and saw my way through it. I couldn’t have made it through that alone.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I’m not too ritualistic; I just do whatever I feel like I need to do to get myself ready for the game on that day.

As a small school football player what obstacles do you feel you have to overcome?

It’s definitely much more difficult to get exposure at smaller schools. Scouts do come through, but not as much as at the big schools. Also, just not having the money and resources of the bigger schools. I can remember 13 hour bus rides to games thinking about how some big schools would have flown.

What is your biggest strength?

I think my ability to persevere when times get tough and being able to stay positive when I’m not at my best. I’m also very coachable.

What is your biggest weakness?

I’m a perfectionist. I shoot for the stars and anything that falls short simply isn’t good enough. Sometimes it’s hard for me to just call it quits for the day. I’m always the one saying “one more ball.”

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

I’m humble, I’m coachable, I’m a leader, I take pride in my team and being a teammate, and I’m a motivator. I’m happy to do anything and everything it takes to help my team win.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?

My favorite NFL team is the Atlanta Falcons, mainly because I’m from Georgia, but I loved watching Mike Vick when I was growing up. My favorite kicker is Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers.

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

I’m a little eclectic, so that’s tough. But I gotta go with Steven Gerrard, Salvador Dali, and Johnny Cash. 

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

I would immediately call and ask my dad how I should invest it. I don’t want to blow it all on toys!

Rapid Answers:

  • Spongebob or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
  • Backstreet Boys or One Direction?
  • Lifetime Channel or HGTV?
  • Waffles or Pancakes?
  • Snakes or Spiders?
  • Madden or Mario

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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