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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Will Waddell, OL, Grambling State University

Will Waddell Grambling State
Grambling veteran offensive lineman Will Waddell recently sat down with Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Will Waddell
  • Height: 6′ 2″ 
  • Weight: 295
  • Position: OG/C
  • College: Grambling State University
  • Twitter: @lakejackkid

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

Grambling State University combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college, a combination that enables our students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. We offer more than forty (40) undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. The one thing endeared me to Dear Ole Grambling is our College Motto,” Where Everybody Is Somebody”  

What was your major/minor?

I am a recent graduate of the Criminal Justice Program, and I am applying to pursue a Master’s Degree in Sports Management. 

How is campus life?

The Campus Life at Grambling is truly family oriented. Everyday you grind to get your priorities accomplished. Afterwards, you can always relax with teammates and friends in a really low-key campus setting. Yet on the other hand, Grambling gets the latest artists and entertainment that keeps weekends socially exciting.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates would say my best quality is, He brings the JUICE everyday and he competes at a high level every snap and every drill! I enjoy being challenged. 

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

I am a team leader. I have been blessed to compete and win my job every year since I was a true freshman in 2016. So I have seen a lot. My coaches and teammates count on me to be the example and to win every drill while pushing myself and my teammates to Get Better Everyday. That Is my Life Motto. Get Better Everyday (G.B.E.)!

What scheme and/or position suits your skill set? 

I can play in any scheme. I am versatile. I am an inside guy. So I can play either guard position and can snap when called upon. I enjoy grinding and playing with leverage and explosion in the trenches, and I also enjoy the passing game, picking up blitzes and picking apart defensive  tendencies. My head coach, Coach Fobbs, and our O-line coach, Coach Nelson, along with our OC, Coach Orlando, really challenge us to not only be physically ready but to be mentally ready for anything a team may throw at us. I really believe having started 38 games playing FBS, SWAC and MEAC teams has prepared me to operate from a “whatever needs to be done” perspective with great efficiency, no mental errors and nasty physicality to finish every play through the whistle.

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

Wow. I have played against so many great players. I guess being a G-Man, I never felt outmatched by anyone on gameday. Otherwise, I would have to say the true best person was from our 2016 National Championship Team. It was a grad transfer senior DL Blaine Winston. He was nasty, long, physical and fast. He really was one of the tone setters for our defense that year. I was a freshman and when we went ones against ones he and I would battle. He really made me better with his hand technique and speed to counters.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Man that is tough.  We have so many guys who are so gifted. But as far as physically freakish, David Moore my Bash Brother on the left side at guard. He is 6’3” 320 all muscle, runs like a deer and is incredibly explosive. This guy can actually easily do front and backflips and dunk a basketball. We really challenge each other to be better everyday.

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

In my true junior year, I had an injury that required me to redshirt the whole season. It was absolutely the hardest time in my life. I had begun to establish myself, and I was poised to be dominant that year. Unfortunately, I had to watch my brothers from the sidelines fight through a tough season. I finally came back in the Bayou Classic and played the entire game. Honestly, I am so grateful to God, my family, teammates and coaches for sticking by me. I hadn’t been without football since I was in 6th grade. So I went to some dark places. It was a life adjustment. My family checked on me constantly. My OL coach kept me engaged by letting me work through film and gameplans and just talking me through my storm. By God’s Grace, I was able to return successfully this past season, didn’t miss practices and started every game. In all reality, I was able to lose weight and become much more agile. I needed that time off to get better and work to become elite.

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

With all due respect, nothing. Football is what I am cut for, period. Otherwise, I would go into my career in Criminal Justice or Coaching. I have always wanted to be an Air Marshall.

What is something that you are most proud of?
Graduating from College, Winning a National Championship and Becoming a true G-Man.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement would be losing 70 lbs, transforming my body and coming back  stronger, faster, and more flexible from injury. As of today, I am at my weight goal of 295-300 and 10% or less body fat.

William talks about his weight loss transformation.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

I would say my freshman year in the Celebration Bowl. It was 4th and short, and we needed to get the first down to close out the game against North Carolina Central. Our OC called Power and he trusted me to pull. A LB blitzed in the gap I was attacking, I was able to block him and we got the first down. We took a knee and the Grambling got our National Championship. It was one of the best days of my life. 

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

My favorite player is Shaq Mason, the right guard from The Patriots. I love his leverage movement and physicality. I’ve patterned my game after Will Shields from the Chiefs. He and my Dad were college roommates and played together at Nebraska. So all my Dad talked about once he was done playing was Will Shields and his great feet and balance. He constantly showed us old Chiefs games and modeled Mr. Shields techniques when he coached me in middle and high school.

Who is your favorite music artist? 

Rod Wave.

What gets you pumped before a game?

My freshmen and sophomore year I listened to music but now I really like to mentally lock in and think about my mental assignments. Basically, play the game in my mind before we actually go out and compete..

What is your favorite comfort food?

Grilled chicken and seasoned red potatoes.

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

Avengers Marvel Series. Samuel L. Jackson is my favorite actor. 

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

Watch game film. Prep for next year’s opponents.

Who or what motivates you the most?

I am motivated by my relationship with God, and I really am grateful for the ability God has given me to do what I love. I am in love with Football. I play for the love of the game. I am an old school football player. I will line it up in the street if I have to. 

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