- Name: Niko Culnan
- Height: 6’3
- Weight: 295
- Position: Center
- College: University at Albany
- Twitter: @nculnan
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
• I love how in tune the area is with people’s success. Whenever someone is doing something special everyone in the 518 is behind them.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
• Practice first because what you are doing in practice, all of the little things, will always show up in games. Good or bad. Second, I would go with film study. Everything in life should be reviewed before to make sure you are prepared and after to learn from mistakes and successes. This shows up so much in football with the mental aspect being so much of the game. Lastly but just as important is strength and conditioning. No mater how technically sound you are you need to be physically able to play the whole game and keep up with your competition.
What do you worry about, and why?
• I worry about not leaving a lasting positive impact on as many people as I can. No matter how much money you make, at the end of the day are you remembered as being a great person.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
• My recruitment in high school was nonexistent because I did not meet clearing house requirements with specific classes due to ignorance of the recruiting process. I took that as a personal failure because it was preventable. I made sure to excel in the classroom the minute I started college to make sure it would not become a problem. I held a 3.71 GPA out of junior college in computer information and currently hold a 3.64 in Informatics at UAlbany.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
• I am reliable. If someone needs anything, I’ll be there to do it.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
• Diego Fagot in JUCO
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
• Programmer or something in Business application.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
• Desk. A clean desk will help focus on the task at hand. Most of my life revolves around a computer due to my degree and film study.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
• One family member. Keeping them safe, happy and healthy has always came first.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
• Chris Gardner from the Pursuit of Happiness. He overcame every adversity in his life by staying true to himself, focusing on what made him great and keeping his son happy.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
• My Freshman year of college I needed to essentially change my life. My little brother was born a week before camp started. I needed to continue to work a part time job during the season to pay my tuition, become a good student when I have never been one, help take care of my little brother in any way and lastly become a real college recruit. I only weighed 235lbs graduating High school, a 79 average and never helped take care of a child before. I overcame all of this by focusing on what was important in my life and not worrying about the extra stuff. Just kept my head down, sacrificed and grind on a daily basis.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
• I slipped and fell down the stairs at a season opening arena football game a few years ago.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
• Being on the game winning field goal unit that beat Stony Brook for the Golden Apple.
What song best describes your work ethic?
• Get Up n Get it – Don Q
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
• My ability to retain knowledge extremely fast and put it into action simultaneously.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
• My first cousin Zachary Culnan, who died at the age of 21 in 2015.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
• Nite lite.
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
• Matt Paradis
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
• Respected. Respect comes from actions; anyone can be liked but to be respected means you have a resume of actions.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
• Vince Young. He went from Pro Bowler to out of the league after 2 more seasons.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
• Love to win. Nothing is better than seeing you and your team’s hard work end in a W.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
• My 3-year-old little brother. I want to do everything to make sure I’m the best role model possible for him on and off the field.