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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Elijah Lilly, WR, University of New Mexico

Jonathan Joyce of Draft Diamonds recently sat down with Elijah Lilly the big play maker for the University of New Mexico

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Elijah Lilly
  • University of New Mexico
  • WR
  • 6’0”
  • 170
  • Hometown: San Bernardino, CA
  • Twitter: @rarelij

2018 Statistics:
  • GP: 12
  • Receptions: 21
  • Receiving Yards: 375
  • YP/REC: 17.86
  • TDs: 5
  • Kick Returns: 14
  • KR Yards: 247
  • YP/KR: 17.64
via Elijah Lilly (YouTube)

2018 was your first year as a WR (after moving from CB). What were the difficulties during that transition and how do you continue to improve yourself at the position?

Some difficulties that I had from moving to WR from CB was route running and catching consistently. To continue to grow at this, I have to work on strengthening my hands and work on my hand-eye coordination. I also have to run routes whenever I can and watch film on the proper ways to run the route to help me improve.

As an athlete, what is your motivation?

My motivation is my family and seeing them happy. I would like to be able to do stuff for my family that they couldn’t do before due to financial problems and things of that sort.

What defines success for you?

Being happy, at the end of the day if you’re happy with yourself and know you’ve put your all into something and got the best possible outcome then you’re successful in my eyes.

via @PFF_College (Twitter)

What would your teammates say about the type of teammate you are?

They would say that I’m always goofing around, but I’m reliable and a competitor.

What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?

Never let my family or teammates down. That’s something that I can’t allow because it would be devastating for me and for my family and teammates.

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

Michael Gallup or Christian Kirk.

via @Ben_Baby (Twitter)

Who is the best player in the NFL?

Michael Thomas.

What is your team of choice on Madden, why?

The Saints, because I’m a Saints fan and then Saints are the best team in the NFL.

Failure is inevitable in life. How do you handle situations that don’t go in your favor?

I handle situations that don’t go in my by keeping a positive attitude. Of course I’ll be upset, but once I get back to myself I stay positive and just say “maybe this was for the best” and keep going. Always have to keep my head up and my faith high because you never know what God has in store for you. “Minor setback for a major comeback”

via @rarelij (Twitter)

Is there a current/former NFL player that you model your game after?

There are a few players I model my game at. The smaller WRs, of course, like Brandin Cooks, DeSean Jackson, AB, and Jakeem Grant. My favorite WR to watch and try to model my game after would be none other than Michael Thomas.

Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell yourself as a High-School Freshman?

I would tell myself to probably eat more and lift more, so I could gain weight and already be prepared for college. Ima smaller person, gaining weight before college should’ve been the first thing on my mind.

What is your go-to restaurant near campus?

I would probably go with Outback Steakhouse, it’s not really close to campus, but that’s my go to spot.

via @LifeandBall (Twitter)

If your life was a book, what would its title be?

“Beautiful Struggle” I think that would be the title of my book because I had to struggle to get where I’m at now in life, but it was all worth it and worked out and that’s what makes it beautiful.

What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?

I’m not too sure, maybe Drake or Meek Mill.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

My Grandfather, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, and Michael Thomas. I would have dinner with them because I’m sure the table would be nothing but positive energy and good vibes.

Forty-years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for being a nice, positive, but goofy person who wanted to help others and make his community better.

In 15 words or less, why should an NFL team invest in you?

I’m a hard worker, competitor, smart, and I’ll do anything to help the team win.

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