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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Eli Thomas, LB, University of Connecticut

UConn linebacker has had quite the journey in his football career. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jonathan Joyce.

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Eli Thomas
  • University of Connecticut
  • LB
  • 6’1”
  • 220lbs.
  • Hometown: Elmira, NY
  • Twitter: @Ethomasss22

2018 Statistics:

  • GP: 5
  • Total Tackles: 11
  • TFL: 1.0
  • Sacks: 1.0
  • FF: 1
via UConn Huskies (YouTube)

During a weightlifting session this past October, you suffered a stroke. How are you doing now?

I’m doing great. Mentally sharp and physically stronger then I have ever been. None of the doctors expected me to recover this fast.

Going through a situation like that, how has it changed your mindset towards life on and off the football field?

Going through this taught me that nothing is guaranteed on and off the field. Every day you wake up is a blessing so make it your best.

As an athlete, what is your motivation?

My mother. She taught me that the world is in my hands and it is up to me if I want to change it.

via @RandyEdsall (Twitter)

What defines success for you?

At the end of every year looking back on my yearly goal sheet and seeing goals crossed off.

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

They would say I am a leader, passionate, and energetic.

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

Never say the “C” word in the weight room. (Can’t)

via @ICB66 (Twitter)

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

Marcelias “Boobie” Sutton. We were teammates at Junior College. The best running back that I’ve faced.

Who is the best player in the NFL?

Tom Brady.

What is your team of choice on Madden, why?

Dallas Cowboys. I am a big Dallas fan.

via @UConnSN (Twitter)

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

When life gives me lemons, I make grape juice. This means don’t even blink when you fail, just fix it and don’t make the same mistake twice.

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

No. I study players and take some moves from them that’s about it.

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

I would just pat him on the back and tell him he will be great just follow god.

via @UConnFootball (Twitter)

What is your go-to restaurant near campus?

Gansett Wraps.

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

“From the Mud.”

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

Justin Bieber.

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

Ernie Davis. First African American Heisman Trophy winner from my home town of Elmira, New York. I would just like to talk with him and pick his mind and ask him a million questions.

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

For being one of the captains on the 2019-2020 team that started the UCONN football dynasty.

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

Not one player on a roster will out work me.

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