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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Pat McNeil, DT, Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University defensive tackle Pat McNeil is a big boy who brings the pain in the middle of the field

Middle Tennessee State University defensive tackle Pat McNeil is a big boy who brings the pain in the middle of the field

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?

Patrick McNeil 

What is your Height/Weight?

6’2 320

What is your position?

Defensive Tackle

Where do you play college football?

Middle Tennessee State 

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

Afternoon tutor at the boys and girls club.

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

Macroeconomics

Where are you from?

Mobile, Alabama 

Who is your role model, and why?

My grandfather, I lost my father at an early age and he was always there as an example for me how to operate as a man.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes. Baseball and basketball

Did you play any other positions in football?

Yes. Running back and linebacker 

At your position, what separates you from others?

Faith. I always believed in you get in what you put out, and I believe in the core values my defensive line coach Tommy West instills in us a players which is practice making plays and in the game it will show up. So by the time Saturday rolls around I don’t feel it’s a lineman in ball who is going to block me all night because we as a front have worked so hard during the week.

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

Any small keys that the o-linemen might show that gives away what they are doing offensively. That I might be able to play faster because I already know what plays they have the potential of running. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

DJ Fluker in high school, the guy was a monstrosity in high school while most of us were just seeing the benefits of puberty. Safe to say we never lost to his team though.

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

Darnell Dockett. I always liked Dockett as a player, he was a big physical guy who gave great effort on every snap. That’s how I like to view myself.

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

My father was murdered when I was four years old, it was a very adverse time for me and my family but I overcame it with a strong support system in my grandparents and God and this tragic occurrence made the bond I have with my mother and brother an indestructible one.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Prayer. Always prayer then I have a mini concert within my headphones before my coach Rick stockstill calls us up to give us the final war speech before heading to battle.

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

Exposure, and level of competition. A lot of times with so called small school athletes they say our level of competition is low and they like to see how we perform against big name schools. Anytime we played a big name school I’m always like hey these are the same people we have been playing against since high school, our whole lives even. Also in conferences like the SEC & the BIG 10 their games are always nationally televised, and their players are constantly reported on through our media outlets. So they are more household names than the smaller conference prospects.

What is your biggest strength?

Confidence. Not only In myself but in the guy lining up next to me I always know that whatever we have gone through in the off season will always make us able to stick together and overcome adversity in games.

What is your biggest weakness?

Being a perfectionist, now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist but sometimes you can’t dwell on a play. You have to always be ready for the next one, so I’ll critique myself real hard on situations on film to keep them from happening in game but off the field sometimes I dwell on them.

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

He’s a hard worker has NFL talent in his blood and would be an asset to any team with his character.

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

Ray Lewis and Jerome Bettis were my two favorites to watch growing up. Ray Lewis embodied great character, passion, and leadership on the field and Bettis demonstrated being physical and having purpose when your on the field playing. Bettis was the reason I wore 36 in park ball because we were the steelers and I played running back so I always looked up to big bruisers rather than the shifty finesse backs.

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

Christ, my father, and Muhammad Ali in his prime. Those three I feel would give me a well rounded dinner table. don’t you? 

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

If I’m blessed enough to have the opportunity, I  would have to say a decent place for my mother to call her own. Since we have been living with my grandparents ever since my father’s passing.

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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