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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Eli Stove, WR, Auburn University

Eli Stove Auburn NFL Draft interview
Eli Stove has been an explosive downhill threat for Auburn University. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

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 completed my undergraduate degree back in May 2020 in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Marketing and Kinesiology. I’ve also participated in SAC which is a social and community awareness group at Auburn. We helped the school and did community outreaches where we would do things like canned food drives and helping needy children by giving them clothes

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say respect. I have a lot of mutual respect among my teammates. They know that I am consistent on and off the field.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
There’s a lot of roles that I play. I hope to play on offense when I get into the pros. Yet, I realize that I’ll be on special teams to start out. I really like special teams. I’ve played on a lot of different units such as kickoffs, punt blocking, being the interior gunner, and I also have experience as a return specialist.

I’ve been utilized all over the field on offense, playing in the slot, out wide or even as a running back. I can go deep or catch passes in the screen game. I’ve also taken the ball on jet sweeps. I have 55 career rushes. I like taking the top off of defenses and being a downhill threat. I’m able to create a lot of separation which you can see on film.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I’ve competed against some of the best talent in the country in the SEC. Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn and Derek Stingley have been great opponents. I was also able to compete against Trayvon Mullen who was a DB for Clemson who was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 Draft by the Raiders. He was a very smart player who was able to use his length and physicality well.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
We have a great receiving core with Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams. One of the players that impressed me the most that I practiced against was Roger McCreary. He’ll be back at Auburn for the 2021 Fall season, and I expect him to become an elite player.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
2018 started off rough. During Spring camp, it was the end of practice the day before Spring break. I was going out for a pass and my body moved the wrong way. I ended up tearing my ACL. It was hard to tell my mom about the news because I didn’t want her to get upset. It was a hard time for me because I didn’t know how hard it was going to be to get better and be back to playing football again.

Honestly, I felt like God put me in that position to help me understand more about life. I feel like it was healthy to take a step back and realize that I was blessed to play this game. I didn’t want to take anything for granted anymore. So, I worked very hard to be able to play again.

I had played a few games in 2018, but I didn’t receive significant playing time until 2019. Before that season, I had tweaked my knee in fall camp, and I thought I injured it again. Although it turned out to be okay, my knee still bothered me as the season went on. I was able to persevere through the pain.

By 2020, I was feeling much better. I ended up playing a total of 10 games. After the season, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the College Gridiron Showcase as well as the Hula Bowl. I’m thankful that I was able to attend those events. Now, I’m looking forward to my pro day and eventually getting into the league.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would probably run track. I was named All Region in high school. Some of my personal bests include 10.89 in the 100m and 20.14 in the 200m.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of getting to this point in my life and not taking anything for granted. I’ve spent a great 5 years at Auburn, and I was able to get my degree. I feel good about that. The next thing that I hope to achieve is hearing my name called on draft day.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My most memorable moment would be my first college touchdown. We were playing Arkansas, and I scored on a long 70-yard reception. After that moment, that’s when I knew that I could be great. I knew that I was very athletic and still had a lot to learn. That moment just helped spark my whole career.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My father was in the military and we moved around a lot when I was younger. So, I never really had a favorite team. Some of the receivers that I compare my game to include guys like Stefon Diggs and Jarvis Landry. Diggs has great speed and playmaking ability. Landry is one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s very smart and sure-handed.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Some of my favorite music artists include guys like 21 Savage, Kodak Black and Lil Uzi Vert.

What is your favorite comfort food?
There’s a spot in Florida called Pounders Hawaiian Grill. I like their garlic chicken, teriyaki steak, brown rice and macaroni salad.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is “All About the Benjamins”. My favorite TV show is “The Boondocks”. Some of my favorite actors include Denzel Washington and Mike Epps.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
Over quarantine, I developed a hobby in bowling because they were one of the few places open. I’m pretty good. I have a 240 point personal best. I also like to play video games such as War Zone. One thing people may not know is that I have played in a band as a percussionist.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
My family. They motivate me more than they know. I love playing football. Yet, I want to be able to put my family in a good spot and have a stable home. Things haven’t always been great financially. I hope to one day provide my family with the best opportunities possible.

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