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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ryan Earith, DE, South Dakota State University

Ryan Earith of South Dakota State has heart, and a knack for getting after the quarterback. I expect him to finish off his career with the Jackrabbits in amazing fashion.
  • Name: Ryan Earith
  • Height: 6’4 1/2
  • Weight: 255
  • Position: DE
  • College: South Dakota State University 
  • Twitter: @rearith

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

•  The thing I love most about Papillion, Nebraska is the support system. Everyone in the town is pulling for you to make it and are also so willing to help you reach your goal. They want the best for you.

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

•  I would say that film study is the most important thing. Knowing the opponent’s tendencies and weaknesses allow me to play at my highest level. Finding a pass key in one of the offensive linemen gives the entire defense and an advantage on the field.  This then leads into the second most important thing, practice. Once you know the opponent inside and out, it gives you the opportunity to transition what you learned in film study to the field. Obviously, strength and conditioning are very important in the game of football, but it can only get you so far on the field.

What do you worry about, and why?

•  One thing that I worry about is something happening to my family. They have been a huge part of my success on and off the field. I don’t know what I would do without them. 

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

•  I set the goal at the beginning of the season to get one sack a game. Early in the season, I failed at this goal. I took a step back and looked at my weaknesses. I watched my film over again and found things I needed to fix. To become a better rusher, I spent extra time outside of practice working on moves and spending more time studying the opponents to find their weakness. As the season progressed, I started getting to the QB more and getting the sack. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  Leadership 

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

•      The best player I have played against in college is Aaron Stinnie from James Madison University. 

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

•  If I could not play football, my career would be a coach. Having the ability to be around the game and influence others lives like my coaches have been able to do for me is something I would love to do. 

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

•  I would clean my room first. 

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

•  I would choose a family member. Even though saving them is not for the greater good, I would do anything for my family. 

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

•  I would want to be Captain American because he has always been one of my favorite characters. He is also such a noble and selfless character that has high integrity. He also has high expectations for himself as well as others around him.

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

•  My biggest adversity in life was when I had my first serious injury in my freshman year. It impacted me not only physically, but mentally as well. I was blessed to have great support from coaches and training staff that pushed me and allowed me to gain confidence in my abilities once I became healthy again. Even though it was a long road to be 100 percent again, I was able to develop a deeper understanding of the game, which has made me a much better football player.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  My most embarrassing moment was in my freshman year of college. I was on knee scooter from an injury and hit a big crack in the sidewalk and crashed on my way to class in front of a crowd of people. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  We were playing our in-state rival and I got a strip sack and recovered the football. It put our offense in a position to score before the half ended to extend our lead. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  Grinding All My Life by Nipsey Hussle 

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

•  The most important trait that you can have is composure. Things are going to happen that are out of your control. As a leader, if people see you begin to lose control, they will too. 

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

•  If I could bring one person back from the dead it would be my great-grandfather. He passed away when I was very young. I only have vague memories of him and would love to talk to him now that I am older. 

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

•  The Cuts 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

•  Dee Ford

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  I would rather be respected than liked. Respect isn’t given, you must earn it. 

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

•  I would say Josh Gordon because his mental health issues lead him to substance abuse. I’m not saying that this gave him the right to turn to substances because he could have got help in other ways, but I do feel for him because he could have had a great career.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I love to win. I am not afraid of failure. You never plan to lose but if you do you can use it as a stepping stone to fix your mistakes.  

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

•      My parents have been the biggest influences in my life. They have raised me to be the best possible man I can be. They have gone out of their way to give me everything I could ask for. Without them, I would not be where I am today. 

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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