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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Chrinovic Mukulu, DE/LB, Fairmont State

Chrinovic Mukulu, DE/LB, Fairmont State
Chrinovic Mukulu is a relentless pass rusher out of Fairmont State University. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Chrinovic Mukulu
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 245 lbs.
  • Position: DE/LB
  • College: Fairmont State University
  • Twitter: @_Chrino94
  • Instagram: _c.94

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?
My career started at Morehead State University. After 2 years of experience in a Division 1 program, I decided to transfer to Fairmont State. I will be graduating with a business degree in the fall of 2021. During my time at Morehead State, I joined the International Peer mentoring program, we helped foreign students adapt to a new life on campus. As a transfer at Fairmont State in my second year through the pandemic, we hosted a food and drive. The goal was to help people in need. We were able to provide shelters with more food, furniture, cleaning supplies, and more. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would say that I am hard working, physical and have a relentless effort. They would say that I take pride in my technique probably more than I use my athleticism. With each practice I see it as an opportunity to get better and to learn about the opponent’s habit. They might say that I take film study very seriously. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
My role has been developing each year, and my work ethic and experience has helped me become a leader on the team. Before leaving Morehead, I was blessed with the opportunity to be captain. My senior season is coming up and our team hasn’t decided on the captains yet. Although, I still push my teammates and try to be a vocal leader. I still need to improve but I definitely show my leadership by the way I carry myself in practice and through conditioning.
 

I can play wherever needed. I am athletic enough to be able to play linebacker and I can also gain more weight to play on the defensive line. I put up my best film at the DE position on a 4-3 and 4-2 defense in college. When given the opportunity, I was able to drop back and also cover the running back.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
My former teammate OT Chandler Zavala who transferred to NC State. 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Obadiah Asare, Mark Woods, and Jer’Quan Fraley. All of them are terrific players, and I’m blessed to be working with them. We push each other everyday. They are impressive, and  I can’t wait to be able to have a full season with them on the field. Obadiah and I have been pushing each other since day one. We have been helping each other get better. Mark and Fraley have also been great. Both had to step up and be the players the team needed, especially after losing our seniors.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My senior year of high school might have been the most challenging yet. I played multiple sports my senior year. I played football, wrestling, and track & field. Being a 3-sport athlete was tough, but it kept me focused throughout the whole year. The challenging part was after practices. Since I did not have any offer in any sports I was involved in, I was putting in extra work to get better. By the time I was done, I would be the only student left and no one to get a ride from so I walked back home, did my homework, slept, and repeated that everyday. It was a struggle since the walking distance from my school to my house was a 2 hour walk. It didn’t keep me from pushing myself in every practice and giving it my all. I remember I used to be so tired during wrestling practice that I would crawl out of the room.  

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would have wrestled. With 2 years of wrestling experience, I am confident that I would have kept improving each year. Although, I love football and don’t think I would have gone with any other sport.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m proud of everything I have accomplished so far. I am proud of everything I went through to make me the man I am today. I just know that there are a lot more situations that I need to overcome in order to make it where I want to be. My biggest achievement so far was organizing a food drive to help people in need. We collected a lot more food and supplies than we were expecting that we gave to the shelter.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
This is tough. I have had a lot of memorable moments playing football. One that sticks out the most was a play during the West Liberty game. I had been working on a certain move that worked for Reggie White during his time playing with the Packers. From the get off, I had a feeling “the hump” was going to come in handy because I was watching film on this specific tackle, and I knew he loved to overset whenever you are about to get past quarterback depth. As soon as he did, I was able to throw him on the ground and get to the quarterback for a sack

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I’ve been a Texans fan since coming to the United States. I’ve been modeling my game after Yannick Ngakoue and TJ Watt. Outside of football, I can definitely name a couple of other athletes that I look up to. Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Messi from Barcelona and Lebron James from the Lakers. Those athletes know how to find a way around everything thrown at them.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Lil Baby and Young Thug are some of my favorite artists. I listen to something different before every game. The last game I played I remember listening to “Ma direction” by Sexion d’Assaut. Right before the game starts, I like to calm myself down and remember why I do this and just tell myself how I got here in the first place.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I do not have a favorite comfort food but I do love Chinese food.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Until I find a better show, I’ll stick with Money Heist. I do like to rewatch the Simpsons and Family Guy. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I love to freestyle (juggle) with a soccer ball. I’m a soccer fan. I love to play FIFA in my spare time. I’m the best FIFA player in the NCAA, and I can definitely claim it. Soccer is my way to release stress ever since I played it at a young age. It has been my escape.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play football because I love the sport in general. It gives you lessons about life, and teaches you how to overcome adversity. My family motivates me. My parents gave up a lot for us to come here. Every time I step on the field, I make sure to go as hard as I can to let them know it was worth the trouble. I also have siblings who play football. I do it for them. I do it to make them proud and will keep doing it until I can’t. They have been cheering me on from the day I decided to go to my first practice until now. I will keep pushing myself for them even after I get to the NFL.

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