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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Leon Eggleston, OLB, Wayne State University

Leon Eggleston the fantastic OLB from Wayne State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds very own Jimmy Williams
  • Name: Leon Eggleston
  • Height: 5’11
  • Weight:220
  • Position:OLB
  • College: Wayne State University
  • Twitter: @Lil_eggy22

Tell us about your university/college. What was your major/minor? How is campus life?

I majored in Criminal Justice, minored in Psychology. The campus life is very diverse. You see people from different countries, ethnic backgrounds and religion. To me that’s what makes it fun because we are meeting different people from all over and learning their point of views and perspectives. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

The leadership and passion I bring to the game. My teammates tell me constantly when I make a play. They want to make an even better one because they feed off of my energy. I play the game for them. That is the reason why I get so passionate because I love the guys I play next to. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

Role wise, I see myself being a special teams demon first. I know that is just as important as any offense or defense position. For position, I see myself playing outside linebacker or nickel just because of my speed on the field and how much ground I can cover when I am in pass coverage.  

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

Ronald Rivers from Slippery Rock. He had a great arm and was able to find his receivers in open space. His vision down the field was phenomenal too when he went into scramble mode.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

I think Deiontae Nicholas impressed me the most. In 2017 and 2018 he was out with season ending injuries. He could have decided not to come back and play his 6th year, but he did. His perseverance and hard work earned him GLIAC Offensive Back of the year, and it just amazes me how he endured all those adversities. He pushed through and continued to play at a top-tier level for us. He is arguably one of the best running backs to come through Wayne State.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

My red-shirt freshman year I lost my grandma. I was really close with her and her death hurt a lot because I wanted to accomplish things that she could have seen in her lifetime, like try and play for the pros. That was also the summer that I was struggling to gain weight for football. So, I just had a lot on my mental that was steering my mind off of football. But a conversation I had with my strength and conditioning coach changed how I looked at things and how I should approach the game. He told me “these teammates are your brothers and whenever you are feeling down go talk to them because they are there for you always”. I took that to heart and whatever struggle I faced, I talked to them, and they made me feel better and think more clearly.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

I would have to say basketball. I love playing defense and being called the underdog. Also, I love doing the dirty work and getting physical with the other players. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

I think what I am most proud of was being able to play football at the collegiate level. I was overlooked because of my size, and I just wanted a shot to show teams that I can play physical, fast, and smart at the level.  Wayne State gave me the opportunity, and the rest is history.

My biggest achievement was being named to the D2 All-American Second Team. This year, I was one of two GLIAC players to be a Harlon Hill Trophy nominee. Something I can hang my hat on is all the hard work me and my teammates gave this past off season. With the work we put in we were able to go from 2-9 in 2018 to 8-3 in 2019. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

Favorite team is the Buffalo Bills. The player I model my game after is Luke Kuechly. His IQ for the game is so high, and he puts himself in position to make plays all the time. I model by watching film and studying tendencies to predict and put myself in a better position to make plays.

Who is your favorite music artist? 

Jaden Smith 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Calamari 

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

Independence Day 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

I love to go bowling. Hanging out and bowling with friends is always a good time and a way to still be competitive 

Who or what motivates you the most?

My dad and mom motivate me the most. They have sacrificed so much for me, my sister and my older brother. I just want to give them the world. That is why every time I’m on the field I give it my all because I know they gave their all for me so the least I can do is return the favor and play my hardest every play

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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