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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Mark Spelman, OL, Illinois State University


Illinois State University offensive lineman Mark Spelman is a monster in the middle of the field

Illinois State University offensive lineman Mark Spelman is a monster in the middle of the field

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?

Mark Spelman           

What is your Height/Weight?

6’3 293lbs

What is your position?


Where do you play college football?

Illinois State University

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

Senior Shared Life program. Volunteered for two weeks at an inner-city grade school in Milwaukee.

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

Advanced Financial Accounting

Where are you from?

Milwaukee, WI

Who is your role model, and why?

ISU Offensive Line Coach Dan Clark. Coach Clark has incredible work ethic, intelligence, and is extremely selfless. I have become a better person and player by trying to mimic these qualities.  

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Baseball, Basketball, Powerlifting, and Track & Field

Did you play any other positions in football?

Guard, Tackle, Defensive Line

At your position, what separates you from others?

Speed and quickness as well as my ability to read a defense.

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

I look primarily at two things. First, I look at film by formation to see how the defense will adjust. Second, I look at players’ tendencies and characteristics to better understand my individual opponents.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Xavier Williams

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

Jason Kelce. He is slightly undersized, but makes up for it with his mobility, speed, and physicality.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Nothing too crazy, I like to heat, roll out, and stretch while listening to pregame music.

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

Coming from a smaller school, it is much easier to be overlooked. I do my best to standout as a top player in this league and play with a chip on my shoulder.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my intelligence. Understanding the entire offense and being able to adapt to different defenses allows me to play the game at a much faster tempo.

mark-spelmanWhat is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is my flexibility.

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

Early in my college career, I earned the starting job at center by beating out a senior and adapting quickly to the style and speed of the game. If given the opportunity, I am confident that I can do this again at the next level.

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

Reggie White – Green Bay Packers

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

  • John F. Kennedy
  • Mark Cuban
  • Jeff Saturday

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

I would probably be conservative with my money by saving or investing it.  

Rapid Answers:

  • Who will win the Super Bowl? New England Patriots
  • Whose better Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?
  • Better Running Back Adrian Peterson or Barry Sanders?
  • Better safety Eric Weddle or Ed Reed?
  • Better linebacker Ray Lewis or Luke Kuechly?


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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