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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Matt Zakrzewski, LB, University of New Haven

New Haven linebacker Matt Z is a hard hitter with great sideline to sideline pursuit

New Haven linebacker Matt Zakrzewski is a hard hitter with great sideline to sideline pursuit

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? 

Matt Zakrzewski

What is your Height/Weight?

6′ 2″

What is your position? 

Inside linebacker

Where do you play college football?

Indiana University/ University of New Haven

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

Working with the youth at elementary schools near my college and just spending time with them.

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

Finite Math

Where are you from?

Traverse City , MI

Who is your role model, and why?

My mother because she is such a selfless person who is always worrying about her family and to this day she is still working 3 jobs to support all of us. Plus she has always been there for me when I need guidance in any area of my life.

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Yeah, I played basketball, track, baseball, and volleyball.

Did you play any other positions in football?

Yeah I got moved around a lot when i was young I have pretty much played every position in football but center.

At your position, what separates you from others?

I think my size and physicality.

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

There is a lot of stuff I look for when i break down film some of the major things I look for are any tendencies you can catch on the O-line or watching the steps of a back to see if there are any major tendencies to key on that show run or pass right away or inside zone, outside zone, or counter keys along with certain alignments there skill positions line up with. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

That is a hard one to answer I’d probably have to go with Ohio States defensive end John Simon.

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

Honestly I know this guy was before my time, but I’d have to say Dick Butkus just how ferocious he was on the field and how tough he was .

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Not really I just have a certain playlist I like to listen to before a game.

What is your biggest strength?

My physicality

unhWhat is your biggest weakness?

Having a short memory

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

I won’t be out worked

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

Ray Lewis

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

The Rock, Ray Lewis, and Brain Urlacher

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

I do not think I will go crazy and spend my money I’d make sure the rest of my family is well off and not in any debt then maybe by a nice car once my 2000 Honda civic dies on me.

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

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