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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: B.J. Bello, LB, Illinois State University

B.J. Bello of Illinois State is an animal. He is all over the field causing problems for the opposing teams offense.

B.J. Bello of Illinois State is an animal. He is all over the field causing problems for the opposing teams offense.

NFL Draft Diamonds has been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 3 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers. Our questions are designed to give our readers a little more insight on the player. We hope to bring you more than 350 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 to the right.  Now let’s meet the prospect!!!!

What is your name?

B.J Bello

What is your Height/Weight?

6’2 230

What is your position?


Where do you play college football?

Illinois State (Transfer from University of Illinois)

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

Visited different elementary and high schools to read to them and talk about what it takes to be successful in life and reach their goals.

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

Statistics in Applied Science and Technology

Where are you from?

New Lenox, IL

Who is your role model, and why?

My father because there has never been a time where hasn’t done for everything he could to provide for our family.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Basketball, Track & Field

Did you play any other positions in football?

Running Back, Corner, Safety

At your position, what separates you from others?

My versatility and athleticism. Being able to play true in the box linebacker, playing outside of the box in space over receivers, playing man to man coverage on tight ends and slot receivers, as well as being a dynamic pass rusher. Also being effective on all special teams.

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

When breaking down film, I look for the offenses favorite plays and formations. Tendencies are huge to me because I like to play off of good instincts. What the offense does well, what they don’t do so well. Weaknesses in players that I can take advantage of, as well as how I can use my strengths and knowledge to put me in positions to make plays.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Ameer Abdullah my sophomore year

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

Telvin Smith because of his speed, athleticism, as well as good football instincts.

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

Not being recruited highly from missing majority of my junior year season in high school. Faith in God allowed me to overcome.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Talking and praying on the phone with my mom and dad.

What is your biggest strength?

Instincts, athleticism, ability to play many different positions on the defense and all special teams.

belloWhat is your biggest weakness?

Being new to being a pass rusher, I need more work on my footwork and technique playing on the line and pass rushing

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

With my size and athleticism, I have the ability to be successful at many different positions on the defense. With the tools that I carry I am capable of playing all linebacker positions, being an effective pass rusher, as well as playing man/man coverage on tight ends and running backs without a mismatch.

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

Favorite team: Chicago Bears, Favorite player: Brian Dawkins

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

Ray Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan

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


Rapid Answers

  • Who is Better: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?
  • Who will win the Super Bowl this year? Patriots
  • Who is Better: Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith?
  • Who will win MVP in NFL? JJ Watt if he was still healthy. Not sure now
  • Who is Better: Deion Sanders or Richard Sherman?

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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