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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Andrew Rakers, LS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Andrew Rakers the accurate LS from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Andrew Rakers
  • Height: 6020
  • Weight: 235
  • Position: LS
  • College: University of Wisconsin-Platteville
  • Twitter: @DrewRakers

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

• I was born and raised in the village of Elm Grove, WI. The thing I enjoyed most about this town was the fact that it was a small community nested in an urban area. I had easy access to the city of Milwaukee, but I was also in close proximity to the rural areas of Wisconsin where the hunting and fishing opportunities were abundant.

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

• For me personally, it goes practice, strength and conditioning, and film study. While all these components are important facets of growing as a long snapper, practice is the most important. Nothing tops live snapping reps to become a better long snapper. Strength and conditioning is a close second, as explosiveness and overall athletic ability is critical to becoming a quality long snapper who can snap, block, and cover effectively. Finally, film study is another important aspect, since studying mechanics leads to small tweaks that can make a difference.

What do you worry about, and why?

• Honestly, I don’t worry about much. Every once in a while, I’ll sweat some of the little things in life, but in the grand scheme of things, I know God has a plan for me, and everything will work out in the end.

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

• In high school, I was hard set on going to an FBS program to long snap for my college career. Nonetheless, I did not receive these offers until extremely late in the recruiting process, at which time I was already committed to UW-Platteville. It tore me up that I was going to “miss out” on the opportunity to play FBS football, but once I started my career at Platteville, my mindset changed. I knew I was in the right place and for the long haul. I made sure to put my head down and make the most of my opportunity to play at the collegiate level. I also never took my eyes off the end goal of playing at the professional level. UW-Platteville offered my opportunities to excel on and off the field.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• My teammates would say my best quality is my work ethic.

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

• As a long snapper, you’re not necessarily going head to head with a ton of players. However, the best player I personally encountered on the field in my college career was a linebacker at University of Wisconsin-River Falls named Max Praschak. He blocked me downfield on punts and was a stud linebacker who transferred in from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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

• I would become an Environmental Engineer specializing in work with water resource management and hydrology

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?

• That’s an extremely tough question. I would personally save the family member. They most likely had my back at some point or another in my life, and I would love to get the opportunity to repay that debt by saving them.

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

• I would be “Will” from Good Will Hunting. He was a genius who had to find his way in life and ended up being successful while staying true to himself and the people around him. That’s about as good as it gets for a life story.

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

• My biggest adversity in life is the fact that I’ve never been the biggest, strongest, fastest, or smartest guy in the room. I’ve come close but fallen short any number of times. However, while those times have helped to keep me humble, ’ve never allowed them to tear me down. I’ve only used it as fuel to get better in all aspects of my life. The only thing I can control is my effort and attitude on a day to day basis, and I think I control those two things relatively well.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• I’ve always been pretty comfortable in my own skin, so I don’t usually get embarrassed often, as I’m good at laughing at myself. My most embarrassing moment, however, occurred in the 5th grade spelling bee. I had placed in the top of my grade, and I received the opportunity to compete with the other top-tier spellers in their respective grades at my school. I remember telling kids in my grade that I planned on winning the competition. However, in the first round of the competition, I was eliminated on the word, “Genius”, as I spelled it, “Genious”. Not only was it tough to lose in the first round after promising a victory, it was also embarrassing to get out on such an ironic word. I took a lot of flak from that, but it’s a great piece of comedic material nowadays.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My most memorable play from my collegiate career was actually my first snap in a college game. It was always a dream to play college ball, and I got the opportunity late in the homecoming game against UW-River Falls my freshman year. I still don’t know if I’ve ever snapped a ball that fast to this day, because my adrenaline was pumping like crazy for that snap. I was one of the only freshmen that got to play in that game, so that was a really cool experience.

What song best describes your work ethic?

• I would have to go with “No Way But the Hard Way” by Airbourne. I’ve always been willing to put my head down and get after it even when the going gets tough.

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

• To succeed as a long snapper at the next level, I believe that having a strong and stable mental state is the most important trait. Perfection is hard to pursue but is necessary in order to hold your position on the roster and to succeed as a professional long snapper. If your head isn’t screwed on straight and you’re not mentally tough, you will not succeed.

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

• I would bring back Jimi Hendrix. It would be unreal to hear him play live and get the opportunity to talk to the guy.

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

• I would name my dance club “The Soul Stop” and play music strictly from Soul Train.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• The most underrated player in the NFL has to be Frank Gore. People forget about him, yet he’s arguably doing stuff that no one has ever done in the league. To be as consistent as he is for as long as he has is absolutely insane, yet he doesn’t get enough love.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• I would rather be respected. Being liked, while always appreciated, can be shallow and fleeting. I. It’s harder to earn someone’s respect, and if you have, you’re doing something right.

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

• This one has to be Tony Mandarich. He had a brutal set of off-field issues, and it really ruined him for a long time. He was a guy with a wealth of athletic ability and was made for a long career in the NFL but ended up going down the wrong path and struggled with maturity issues. It was also tough to see him fight all the way back and have his career end with injury.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  I hate to lose. I always have resented failure, which is one of the things that drives me to work as hard as I do to succeed.

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

• Honestly, it probably is my dad. He’s a guy that takes care of business and has always been involved in my athletic career. He’s set an example for me in my life, and I don’t know if I would be here today without that example.

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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