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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Connor Kaegi, QB, Ottawa University

Connor Kaegi is a huge quarterback at 6070 and he has a cannon too. Many will try to compare him to Brock Osweiler because of his size, but this kid is a dual athlete. Plays B-Ball too!
  • Name: Connor Kaegi
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 225
  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: Ottawa University
  • Twitter: @Connorkegs

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

•  Ashland, Oregon. After spending some my childhood in a big city, I did not know what to expect with a small one. I quickly adapted to the small city of Ashland and grew to enjoy it. What I love most is that all of my friends are within a few minutes of my house. The 4th of July parade is one of the biggest events of the year in Ashland.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

•  Practice, Film Study and the Strength and Conditioning. One saying that has stuck with me my whole life is what my Pop Warner football coach always said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” Without practice, there is no watching film on yourself and correcting it. I think it is essential to always practice sharp. Film Study next because you can see clearly what you need to fix and how. Strength and Conditioning last but I believe it is still important because your strength and speed translate directly to the field.

What do you worry about, and why?

• Occasionally I worry about not being able to live a full, happy and healthy life but I try not to because I strive to count my blessings daily and thank God for them. I believe we all have a purpose in life and that God would never make us face a trial that we could not overcome. Faith is an essential part of life and I am thankful to always have someone to turn to.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• I failed to perform my best at the Junior College level after battling a knee injury prior to fall camp. At first, I was quick to blame myself but then realized that I needed to make the most out of my situation. I overcame this failure by working hard with a good attitude no matter what which eventually led me to the best spot I could be in today.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Throughout my years of playing, my teammates always point out my leadership qualities on and off the field. I strive to be a good example off the field, whether that is in the classroom, weight room or anywhere else. I have certain energy on the field in games that drives the team, and I know my teammates very well, which motivates them to play their best.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• Kirk Merritt when he was at East Mississippi Community College. He was a University of Oregon bounce back and now plays at Arkansas State. I punted to him several times in the NJCAA National Championship game.

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• I have always talked to my brother Joey about starting a sports talk show hoping one day it would become bigger than just a podcast. I love debating sports topics with people.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?

• I would clean my room first because I can not live or do homework in a room that is cluttered. The desk next because it is part of my room and I would just want to get it done. Finally, the car. Sometimes I am guilty of letting my car pile up things, but I do like to keep it clean.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• I would save my family member because I can not imagine losing someone that close to me. I have strong relationships with my family members.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• Nicholas Cage, specifically in National Treasure because I think being a treasure hunter would be very cool and I wish I was as smart as him.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• I almost quit football before my senior year to just play and focus on basketball. I told myself I was going to work harder than everyone else and prove that I deserved to be the guy. I was thrown into a tough situation mid-game during the season and led the team to not only that win, but six straight after that.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• My senior year of high school, the seven seniors on the football team reenacted the Mean Girls Jingle Bell Rock dance at a pep rally in front of the whole school. Yes, we wore the costumes too.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• Throwing the last second touchdown pass while down five on the road as time expired. It was my first game back from concussion protocol, and it catapulted Ottawa University into the NAIA top-25 for the first time in years.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Survivor- Eye of the Tiger.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• Mental toughness. I believe if you have mental toughness you can overcome adversity and have the ability to better yourself every day.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• My grandpa who passed away many years ago. He used to watch me as a kid run around in the back yard throwing the football to myself and imitating last-second touchdowns. He would always encourage me and I just wish he could watch even just one game of mine in person.

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

• Smooth Moves.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• Being a quarterback, I would have to go with Nick Foles. He has not always been in the best situations but he makes the most of it. He does not fold under pressure in big moments. The guy is a really talented quarterback in my opinion.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. You do not have to be liked to be respected. I think being respected would get you far more in life than just being liked.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• Johnny Manziel. He was so fun to watch in college and it is a shame that we did not really get to see his talent come out at the professional level.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• Hate to lose. I have a strong competitive nature when it comes to competition and I do everything I can to make sure I learn from mistakes so I do not have to go through the feeling of a loss again.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• Tom Brady. He is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and he was drafted in the 6th round. He is not the most athletic guy ever, but he is one of the smartest. It goes to show what is most important in being a quarterback. He has people do not like him, but he does not care. He goes out and gets it done despite any adversity.

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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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