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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Richard McBryde, LB, SMU

Richard McBryde SMu 2021 nfl draft
Richard McBryde is a veteran LB who played for SMU and Auburn. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Richard McBryde
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 229 lbs
  • Position: LB
  • College: Southern Methodist University
  • Twitter: @R_Mcbryde15
  • Instagram: r_mcbryde


Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I started my college career at Auburn before transferring to SMU. I had an amazing experience at SMU. From the moment I walked on campus, I was welcomed with open arms. My professors taught me valuable life lessons that I feel I wouldn’t have got anywhere else. Most of them took the time to really get to know me on a personal level which made the experience that much better.

I got my undergraduate at Auburn in Interdisciplinary studies with focuses in Sports Coaching, Leadership and Sociology. At SMU, I was able to get my Masters in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Humanities. After my football playing career, I might get into coaching.

Taking four graduate level classes on top of football was a lot on my plate, especially once the coronavirus pandemic hit. That made it really hard to get involved in other organizations even as classes transitioned from off campus to online.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would talk about my passion and love for the game. I also bring a lot of effort and positive energy into every practice and game

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
Being older and still playing college football allowed me to have the experience to lead the team and hopefully gave the young guys someone to look up to. I was occasionally given the role to call out audibles like if a team got into a bunch formation, we would switch to a cover 2.

I was on almost every special team unit at Auburn but haven’t played that so much here at SMU. I have mainly been used as a starter on defense as one of the inside LBs in a 3-4. I’ve very confident and comfortable in my ability to stop the run.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I’ve played against some great guys in college. While at Auburn, I saw some great talent in the SEC. Georgia had very talented RBs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Michel was very fast and elusive. The American Athletic Conference has some great talent as well. Lately, Memphis has had a great offense churning out some big name RBs like Antonio Gibson and Kenny Gainwell.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Carl Lawson was one of the best guys that I played alongside at Auburn. He is so strong and athletic. Carl is just a different human in how he can create havoc in the backfield.

I feel like our receiving core can compete with anyone in the country. We’ve had some great guys these past couple years with players like James Proche and Reggie Roberson. Proche was so smart in knowing how to run his routes and get open. He was so reliable and could catch anything. Roberson can just take the top off defenses and make them respect his ability.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
2018 was a difficult year because that’s when I had my neck injury. We were in camp in August getting prepped up for the season. I was in a shock and shed drill going against one of my teammates. When we hit, I felt my right side tingling which was a sensation I had never felt before. After getting X-rays, they found that I had a cervical disk injury.

A lot of thoughts went through my head when that happened. I wondered whether or not I was going to be able to play again. One of the things that helped motivate me was that I had a teammate with a similar injury who wasn’t able to make it in the NFL. He wasn’t able to live his dream. So, I knew that I had to persevere through that injury and prove that I can come back and play.

I sat out that 2018 season and went through tons of rehab in order to get better. I also graduated from Auburn which allowed me the opportunity to transfer. I got cleared to play by doctors in Chicago and also in Dallas before SMU offered me a scholarship. I had a solid season in 2019 starting 10 games and putting up almost 100 tackles.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Probably basketball or track. In high school, I did many events in track including the 400, 300 hurdles, triple jump and long jump, but I was really good at throwing the javelin. I was in the top 2 in our district, top 5 in sectionals and even went to state.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Overcoming my injury and getting a second opportunity to play football is one of the things I’m most thankful for. My biggest achievement is that I’m the first in my family with a master’s degree.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
This past season against Memphis, we had just scored. We were in the 4th quarter and the game was almost over. They got into 20 personnel and tried to run the ball my way in order to get in field goal position to tie the game. I was able to come up with the stop and seal the game.

I had a similar moment against Temple this year as well. They were trying to do a QB run in the 2nd half of the game, and I was able to make the stop.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I grew up a fan of Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis. That was when I was about 7-8 years old, but as I got older and noticed how much the game has changed to open offenses and more passing, I started studying different linebackers like Darius Leonard, Fred Warner and Lavonte David that are very athletic and can cover sideline to sideline.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Nipsey Hussle. I listen to Lil Baby before a game just put me in game mode 

What is your favorite comfort food?
Growing up in Alabama, my grandma cooked the best fried chicken and collard greens. Yet, as I moved to Dallas, I started to like salmon, rice and vegetables.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movies are Friday, Next Friday and The Friday After Next. Those movies will never get old.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like to go to the lake and go fishing. I also like to play video games like Madden and Call of Duty.  I’ll also watch YouTube videos of different linebackers. One of the hobbies that I do is yoga.

Who or what motivates you the most?
Family. Growing up my family would always come and watch me play. The Under Armour All-American game was the last game my mother went to before she got sick. She’s in a nursing home now. So now, I do my best so that my family can see me play on TV. I also hope to provide for my family. My brother’s death was hard in that he left behind his kids with no father figure. I hope to one day be that rich uncle that can spoil them.

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