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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Ryan Santos, DB, University of New Mexico


Ryan Santos is a playmaker for New Mexico. I love his ball hawking skills

NFL Draft Diamonds website 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 500 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? 

Ryan James Santos

What is your Height/Weight? 

5’10” 193

What is your position? 


Where do you play college football? 

University of New Mexico

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

I given the chance to connect with different native tribes by visiting reservations and setting up mini football clinics with a couple teammates. We ran the kids through proper tackling drills and position drills, and finished with a game of dodge ball. It was a great experience.

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

Communication research methods

Where are you from? 

Spring, TX (Northside Houston)

Who is your role model, and why? 

My father. Ever since I can remember he’s always worked hard to provide for my family. When we struggled he held his head high kept his faith and was reluctant to provide for my family.

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

I was a three sport athlete in high school. Football, basketball, Track

Did you play any other positions in football?

I played RB, WR, and even got down in the trenches at DE.

At your position, what separates you from others? 

I think physicality, knowledge of the game, and my ability to read and recognize plays really seperates myself from other safeties. I feel like I’m one of the fast players on the field once the ball is snapped.

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

Starting with the QB I look for tips and clues that’ll come up in film. When blitzes are called i look at the timing of the QB. Do they clap, raise there leg, or move their hand to call for the ball. Next I move on to base calls and check how teams call their plays vs different coverages to know what to expect. Is the inside door of the WR up or back. These kind of clues will tell you what the WR is about to run and helps me play a lot faster.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced

Jay Ajayi is probably one of the most toughest players I’ve had a chance to play against he was an extremely hard runner for Boise state and had a lot of fun making plays against him.

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

I see myself playing like Earl Thomas. He’s always been a player I’ve looked up too because of his toughness and passion for the position. I feel like I model my game very similar to his.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

I have a stretch ritual I keep my warm up pretty consistent.

What is your biggest strength? 

Reaction speed I think is one of my biggest strengths. 

What is your biggest weakness? 

I don’t consider myself to have any weaknesses

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

I’m a physical player who not only has talent but understands how to break down defenses and excel quickly in a new system. I don’t need much time to adjust into a new system and with my style of play I can only make the team better.

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

Ladanian Tomlinson was my favorite player growing up. I got a chance to meet him at San Diego’s camp and since then I wanted to be just like him. I moved from DE to RB bc I wanted to be just like him.

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

Barack Obama, MLK Jr., and Sean Taylor, 

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

Once I’m established in the NFL the first big item I would buy would be a house. Of course I would finance a new car but having a solid foundation would be the first thing on my list.


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 [email protected]

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