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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Hunter Sallila, OL, Merrimack College

Hunter Sallila the offensive lineman for Merrimack College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot

 •  Name: Hunter Sallila

 •   Height: 6’3

 •   Weight: 305

 •   Position: OL

 • College: Merrimack College

 •   Twitter: @HSallila33

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
  •   I grew up in Fitchburg MA, people have many misconceptions about the city but probably my favorite thing about it is how diverse of a community it is and how you can meet people from all walks of life. I feel like this helped shape my life and make me the person I am today.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
  •   First for me I would have to say practice, it is so important to get quality reps in practice because you are seeing how the opponent is lining up, what stunts they do, what coverages they are in and if you play football you know whatever you do on the practice field shows up on the game field. Also the individual work is so important to develop yourself as a player.

Next, film study because I like to see who I am going against and seeing how they play different techniques by the o lineman,then I look at their strengths and weaknesses and the defenses as a whole. I then go back to the practice field and incorporate the things I have learned.

Next, strength and conditioning because this allows your body to move and feel as it should on the football field. Always trying to increase strength and speed to get a step on the competition.

What do you worry about, and why?
  •   I worry about the present and the things I can control, I try to take things one step at a time and have found that when you focus on the little details then great things will begin to happen.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
  •   When I first started playing tackle in college my sets were terrible and I was always lacking confidence. So I would practice my pass sets and footwork every single day until I got it right and it felt comfortable to me.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
  •   My teammates would probably say my best quality is my leadership and the ability to bring the best out of people on and off the field.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
  •   The best players I have played against were the d lineman on my own team, Josh Hill in particular was one of the best I’ve seen at this level. I thank them for developing me into the player I am now.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
  • i will have my degree in Business Management in May, and my plan is regardless of where or how long i play I plan on being a business owner and being very successful in doing so.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
  •   I always clean my desk first and then my room, and then my car.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
  •   I would chose my family member because family is everything and I’d put my life on the line for them.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
  •  Superman, he can do anything and is always putting others before himself.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
  • Going into my junior year of high school someone said that I would never be anything more than an average division 3 player. That I was good but I’d never be great. When people set limitations on you it really drives you to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. I’ve carried that mindset into everything I’ve done to this point and will continue to do in the future.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
  •  Dropping an interception my senior year in high school on a screen

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
  •   All the clips on my highlight film, I like going out there and proving to the person across from me why they shouldn’t be out there. Nothing better than bringing someone into your world in the trenches.

What song best describes your work ethic?
  •   Underdog (lil baby, gunna)

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
  •   Great feet and hand placement, mentality that I will give myself for the team

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
  •  My grandfather who I never got the chance to meet.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
  •   BBOC nightclub

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
  •   David Bakhtiari

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
  •  Respect, it can take you much farther in life than being liked by a lot of fake people.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
  •   Josh Gordon, it’s tough dealing with mental issues and feeling like no one understands you.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
  • I hate to lose more than anything in the world.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
  •  My parents who taught me from a young age to work hard for everything and never give up. I can only thank them for the opportunities I’ve received to this point.

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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