NFL Draft Diamonds has been providing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 3 years and this year we mixed things up a bit. Our questions are designed to give our readers a little more insight on the draft eligible 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 our next prospect!!!!
What is your name?
What is your Height/Weight?
What is your position?
Where do you play college football?
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (D1-AA) *Missouri Valley Football Conference
Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?
While I was a player at the University of Iowa (2012-2015) George Kittle (TE) and I had the opportunity to take a homeless man out to lunch and buy him a hat and gloves for winter. He was very thankful and it was a really gratifying experience.
What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?
Where are you from?
Who is your role model, and why?
My Dad. He played for the New England Patriots in the 80’s after wrestling in college at Mizzou. That accomplishment speaks for itself about how hard of a worker he is. I learned my work ethic from him.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
I dabbled in several other sports but wrestling was my primary sport other than football. I was the 1A HWT State Champ my senior year in high school.
Did you play any other positions in football?
I’ve practiced long snapping extensively for punts and PAT’s. I never had to do it in a game but it’s still a skill i’m confident in doing. I was also on our punt shield, PAT/FG unit, and our kickoff return team this past year.
At your position, what separates you from others?
I would say my conditioning. I pride myself in being able to go as hard in the 4th quarter as I can in the first. That or my knowledge of the game and ability to interpret defensive schemes.
When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?
Tendencies in D Lineman that could give away stunts or games, tendencies in LB’s that could give away blitzes, and what kind of moves the defensive lineman may do in the pass rush, among other things.
Who was the toughest player you ever faced?
For three years while I was at Iowa I went head to head with Jaleel Johnson (DT) almost every day. He’s a big guy who moves well and is extremely physical. Karter Schult, DE from UNI is a great player too, he was a handful when I was at SIU and we played UNI in 2015 and 2016.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?
I would like to say either Joe Thuney of the New England Patriots or Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both those guys are animals and are fun to watch.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
Transferring from Iowa to Southern Illinois was a big leap of faith for me. I was only long snapping my last semester at Iowa and arrived at SIU at 250lbs and told I’d be an O lineman, with no guarantee of playing. By the time I left I was 295, had started at OG for two years, and was voted as a team captain by my teammates.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I have one of my teammates tape my wrists for me, and I have handshakes I do pre-game with 4 or 5 guys on the team.
What is your biggest strength?
Run blocking, toughness, versatility.
What is your biggest weakness?
1 on 1 pass pro with speed rushers.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I’m going to give you my best effort every single day and do whatever the team asks of me. I’ll make my teammates better every chance I can get.
Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?
My favorite player growing up was Stephen Neal, former guard for the New England Patriots, because he was a college wrestler who became an All-Pro guard. My favorite team growing up was the New England Patriots because my Dad played for them and I have a lot of family in Massachusetts.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?
Chris Kyle, Pat Tillman, James Mattis.
What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?
A new truck for my Dad or a beach house for my Mom.