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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Mark Iannotti, QB, Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois quarterback Mark Iannoti is a good quarterback

Southern Illinois quarterback Mark Iannotti is a good quarterback

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? 

Mark Iannotti

What is your Height/Weight? 

6’2 220

What is your position? 


Where do you play college football? 

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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

The coolest things I’ve done off the field include organizing a fundraiser for American Cancer Society at Cool Spoons which is a local Frozen Yogurt business. I’ve participated in the Ford Lake Frozen Leap in Ypsilanti, MI to raise money for local non-profits. I’ve also volunteered at the Special Olympics event held here every year at SIU.

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

The hardest class I ever had to take was Production Operations Management. I had to take the class over the summer and it was only offered online. I’m a visual and kinesthetic learner, so listening to audio lectures and trying to teach myself different forecasting methods and formulas was pretty challenging. 

Where are you from? 

I’m from Schaumburg, IL

Who is your role model, and why? 

My role model would definitely be my older brother Anthony. Him and I have always been ridiculously competitive. Growing up, we played the same sports year round and he would always push me to be the best that I could be. He paved the way and let me follow in his footsteps. He was always there for me and was a perfect role model to look up to.

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Growing up, I played hockey, baseball, and basketball in addition to football. 

Did you play any other positions in football? 

I didn’t play quarterback until high school. I played just about everything but quarterback growing up. I was usually on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker or defensive line, but also played some offensive line and tight end. 

At your position, what separates you from others? 

I think my study skills separate me from others. I have a 3.85 GPA in school which shows I have a very strong work ethic and I’m a quick learner which transfers into the film room. Also, I’m a holder for extra points and field goals, so teams can get some special teams use out of me. 

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

When breaking down film, first I watch full games. I look for base coverages and get a feel for their personnel. Next, I watch cutups of situations, whether it be 1st and 10, 3rd and long, red zone, etc. to get an idea of what coverages and pressures to expect in such situations. Then I watch formation cutups, and based on our offensive game-plan, I visualize our plays against their defensive looks for each formation. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced? 

The toughest player I ever played against was when I was at Eastern Michigan. We played at Michigan State when Le’Veon Bell was the running back. He’s an unbelievable athlete, and I’m not surprised at all to see the success he’s having in Pittsburgh.

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

I would compare my style of play to Russell Wilson because when a throw isn’t there, I get outside of the pocket to extend the play or tuck the ball and get upfield to get whatever yards I can. 

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

The biggest obstacle in my life was when I was at Eastern Michigan and one of my very good friends/teammates was shot and killed halfway through the season. The only way to overcome something like that was to stick together with my brothers on the team and remember him every time we step out on that field.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

My only pre-game ritual is blasting country music in my room. I like to stay relaxed and loose before games. 

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

The biggest obstacle I feel I have to overcome is finding a way to differentiate myself. I need to find a way to show that I can compete at a very high level and find a way to stick out from the other quarterbacks.

What is your biggest strength? 

My biggest strengths are my study habits, my character, and my toughness.

What is your biggest weakness? 

I’m not the biggest, I’m not the fastest, and I’m not the strongest, so there’s three weaknesses right there. 

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

I would say that I am 100% a team first player. I care about the team more than myself. Being a marketing major, I understand that I’m representing an entire organization, and being a quarterback I must hold myself to the highest standards. I have experience holding for field goals, so I am willing and able to contribute to special teams. I am a student of the game and take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow as a player. 

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

Growing up, my favorite player was Peyton Manning and my favorite team is DA BEARS.

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

Vince Vaughn, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Aniston

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

I would definitely rescue a puppy from an animal shelter. I have a huge soft spot for dogs and those commercials get me every time.

Rapid Answers:

  • Spongebob Squarepants or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
  • Spongebob
  • Backstreet Boys or One Direction?
  • One Direction
  • HGTV
  • Waffles or Pancakes?
  • Pancakes (W/ Chocolate Chips)
  • Snakes or Spiders?
  • Spiders
  • Mario or Madden?
  • Mario (Kart)


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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