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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Joshua Wiechelt, LB, Gannon University

Joshua Wiechelt of Gannon is a fierce competitor with great power

Joshua Wiechelt of Gannon is a fierce competitor with great power

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?

Joshua Wiechelt

What is your Height/Weight?

I am 6ft 245

What is your position? 

Inside Linebacker

Where do you play college football? 

Gannon University

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

The coolest thing I have done off the field consisted of to the Martin Luther King community center here in Erie Pennsylvania. The MLK community center is a place where young local Erie kids go after their school until their parents are able to come get them. At the center we helped kids with homework, played different games, and went there to put a smile on the kids faces. Every time we went to the MLK center the kids would be so excited and would look up to us. It is a great way to give back to the community.

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

Advanced Taxes

Where are you from? 

Depew, NY

Who is your role model, and why? 

I have a few people in my life that I looked up to growing up. My grandparents other family members defiantly played a huge role in developing me to be the person I am today. The biggest role models I had in my life would be my mom and dad. Even though I had lost my mom at an early age to cancer, she taught me to never quit, always give 100%, and to be a leader. Through her encouragement and her teachings I was able to excel becoming captain of all athletic teams I have been on and molded me to the athlete I am today. Secondly, my dad has been the biggest role model in my life thus far. Having his hands full with my two sisters and I, he always supported all of us especially me with football. He taught me how to have passion, desire, and a want to always be the best person I can be on and off the field. Without my dads guidance, love, and support I would not be the person I am today.

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Yes, I played hockey and baseball

Did you play any other positions in football? 

In high school I played offensive line, tight end and fullback

At your position, what separates you from others? 

First, my relentless effort to get to the ball is what stands out the most about me as an inside linebacker. I am always in on tackles or running after the ball carrier, football is about making plays and if you’re always by the ball the percentage of doing so is much higher. Secondly, the physicality aspect that I bring when playing this game is what separates me as well. I love contact, and to play inside linebacker you have to have a certain mentality that you will go through anything to get to the ball carrier and I carry that aspect when I play. Lastly, the passion I have for the game. When I am out on the field I am a whole different person. I put everything I have into preparing myself for the season and when its practice time or game day I show it. You have to love what you do and I believe those are the qualities that separate me as a inside linebacker.

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

When I am breaking down film the first thing I do is watch the offensive line. I read the center and two guards to see if I can pick up on any tendencies that they might do to give the play away (light on their fingers when passing the ball, leaning heavy when it’s a run, turning one should when they are in their stance if they are pulling). Then I move to the running backs to see what type of player they are (downhill runner, shifty, or both) and if they give anything away as well, like on draw plays or there body language on counters or passing plays. Then I look at the QB in his passing and running abilities. I like to know if he stares his receivers down, if he looks off, or if there is anything he does that gives away he is doing a certain play. I study film for hours to give myself the best chance to make plays when the time comes.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced? 

The toughest player I have ever faced would be the center from Slippery Rock University Joe Loshavio. His ability to get to the second level was great, also played with a motor.

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

I would compare the way I play to Sean Lee from the Dallas Cowboys. His ability to get sideline to sidle, get off blocks and his relentless effort to get to the ball are shown every game.

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

The biggest obstacle I had to overcome in my life was seeing my mom pass away. She fought cancer for all of my life and it was the hardest thing I faced. One way I was able to overcome this obstacle was through football. She always said she wanted me to play for my high school team and that is what I did. I was able to use the never give up attitude and leadership qualities she gave me to become the athlete I am today. Even though she passed away before she was able to see one of my games in person, I know that she is happy that I started playing.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

Saying a prayer to my mom right before the game starts.

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

Showing that I am capable to play with anyone. The first thing that small school athletes face when trying to get to the next level is hearing your from a small school, you didn’t play against anyone good which is not true. There have been multiple players go to play else ware from smaller schools, and to me its just being the underdog and proving myself which I love to do.

What is your biggest strength? 

My ability to be athletic, use my hands and my physical play to get off or go through blocks to make plays. I constantly work on handwork and getting off blocks so it becomes second nature. Also being able to understand offenses. Through film I am able to pick things up and understand why offenses are doing certain things, which I can use to my advantage.

What is your biggest weakness? 

Something I think I have to always work on is my speed. Being fast is something that takes a lot of training and is something I always aim to improve.

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

First I am a type of player that understands all aspect of the game. I put a lot of time not only the physical part of football but also understanding offenses. I have a want to learn about the team I am going against. I spend a large amount of time studying film, which helps me when it comes to game day. Adding to the time I put in understanding the offense I am going against, I also bring great character and enthusiasm with my play. I have so much passion for the game and it is contagious.

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

My favorite player growing up was Ray Lewis. My favorite team is the Buffalo Bills.

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

Jesus, Ray Lewis, Mark Cuban

What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?

I will first be take care of student loans that I have first. Then I would take care of my family, especially my dad and grandparents. Then I will be able to use money to help those who are close to me.

Rapid Answers:

  • Tupac or Biggie?
  • NFL Network or ESPN?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • Pizza or Burgers?
  • Dogs or Cats?

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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