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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Kendrick Van Ackeren, LB, University of Montana

Montana has a feisty linebacker in Kendrick Van Ackeren, I like his motor

Montana has a feisty linebacker in Kendrick Van Ackeren, I like his motor

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? 

Kendrick Van Ackeren

What is your Height/Weight? 

6’0″ 220

What is your position? 

Outside Linebacker

Where do you play college football? 

University of Montana

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

Either coaching younger kids in any sport or Reading to kids.  They are so young and ready to learn and listen no matter what you are bringing to the table.

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

Financial Markets and Institutions

Where are you from? 

Bellevue, Washington

Who is your role model, and why? 

As far as sports my role model has always been Sean Taylor, the way he played was something I always admired and I always wanted to be like him.  Outside of football there isn’t really one person in particular.  Growing up I had so many great people in my life and I learned a little a bit about becoming who I am today from all of them.

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Basketball, Baseball mostly, played a season of lacrosse in middle school and a couple of soccer when I was really young

Did you play any other positions in football?

I have played QB, RB, WR, TE, CB, S, MLB, OLB, basically everything but o line or D line unless you want to count when I was 6 I played some D line my first year playing football.

 At your position, what separates you from others? 

My Brain, I have always felt what separated me from the other players at my position was my how well I understand the game and how well I see things.  I am not the fastest, the biggest, or the strongest, but I believe I am one of the smarter players at my position.

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

I look for preferences.  When it comes to plays it is football and there are only so many route combinations and running plays you can run, so for the most part I look to preferences, like what receivers the QB’s go to in certain situations, or what style runner the running back is.  

Kendrick vanWho was the toughest player you ever faced? 

My Redshirt Freshman Year I played at Hawaii and we played some really good players so it could be a lot of guys but the main guys I can think of are Marquise Lee, Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, Silas Redd, Derek Carr, Davonte Adams, Matt Miller. 

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

I’m not sure, The only team I really get a chance to watch is the Seahawks, So if I had to pick someone from that team I would say Earl Thomas, not as much physically as mentally, he just understands the game and what’s going on around him, I like to think I do a good job of that.

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

After thinking about it I don’t really look at any point in my life as an obstacle, I tried to think of something but honestly everything in my life good or bad has been nothing but a blessing. I have had rough days, sure, but honestly I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I have just focused myself on what I wanted and pushing toward being the best at it I can be.  Basically I haven’t had any obstacles, just opportunities.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

Catch punts from our punter

Kick drop kick field goals

I always listen to One Mic by Nas

Get legs and back Stretched out by Team Doctor 

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

Obviously not getting the same publicity as big school players, the idea that I am playing against lessor competition, less benefits as far as nutrition programs.

What is your biggest strength?

My mind I understand the game very well.

 What is your biggest weakness? 

My size I am smaller than most who play my position

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

I will never stop fighting to win.

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

Sean Taylor, Ladainian Tomlinson, Seahawks and Raiders.

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

Malcolm X, Walter Payton, Frederick Douglass

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

Depending on how much it was, I would probably pay my rent, pay off my car and my mom’s car, and save the rest.

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 [email protected]

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