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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Connor Degenhardt, QB, New Haven

Connor Degenhardt 2022 NFL Draft Interview New Haven
Connor Degenhardt is a talented signal-caller who will be taking his talents to The University of New Haven as a transfer from Holy Cross. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Connor Degenhardt
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 222 lbs
  • Position: QB
  • College: University of New Haven
  • Twitter:@cdegenhardt10
  • Instagram: cd10_

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 just finished my time at Holy Cross getting my undergraduate in Psychology with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. I will be transferring to New Haven to play this upcoming fall with two years of eligibility remaining due to the pandemic. I will be there studying for my Masters in Business Administration. Academics are very important to me. I’ve been on the Patriot League All-Academic team every year as well as regularly being on the Dean’s List. I volunteered some of my time with some of my teammates to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Before the pandemic, I would go once a week to help out. I’ve also done intramural sports such as basketball and dodgeball.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that my best quality is that I’m very dependable, and that they can count on me in all aspects whether it be on or off the field. I am counted on the make the right decisions, not turn the ball over, and I try and put our defense in the best position to win.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m a “pass first” type of QB. Yet, I feel like I don’t get enough credit for my ability to extend plays with my legs. I’m deceptively athletic. I’ve made good decisions in the pocket, and I’ve really grown into the RPO game. The RPO opens things up so that I can throw the ball behind defenses.

During my time at Holy Cross, I’ve had 4 different offensive coordinators. Although, each scheme has been similar in concept. I’m used to running spread offenses, throwing to our weapons on the outside and allowing them to make plays in space.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The best individual player who played on an opposing team was AJ Dillon. That was during my sophomore year against Boston College. He was a phenomenal player who actually played at a nearby high school.

The Patriot League has a lot of good defenses. The one player who has definitely earned my respect is Malik Hamm of Lafayette College. With his presence on the defensive line, Lafayette is able to switch up their defensive scheme anyway they want. Sometimes, they would rush 3, drop 8 and Hamm would still get a good rush against double teams.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
I’ve had a lot of great teammates over the years. Yet, Brian Foley is one guy that I’m glad he was on my team. It’s amazing how he competes and dominates. Having him as my LT, I never had to worry so much about my blind side. Brain helped keep my jersey clean.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Coming in as a freshman, we dealt with a coaching change midway through the season. That was rough. I was recruited by the old staff, and 90% of those coaches got fired. With new coaches coming in, you feel like you’re not the one they want because you know they’re probably going to bring in their own guys. So, going into my sophomore year, it really hurt my confidence.

Going into that offseason the Spring of my Sophomore year, I had to change my mentality. I started going back to my roots and my love of the game. I wasn’t just playing for the coaches in order to earn my spot. I wanted to play for fun, and that really helped build a new level of confidence. That attitude has helped me succeed to where we were ultimately able to win our conference title in 2019.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I think I’d want to play baseball. I played basketball in high school. I was decent in basketball. We had a really good team and made it to the state semi finals.  I’m a big Red Sox fan though. I played baseball all the way up until high school. I stopped playing because I didn’t want to ruin my arm motion as a quarterback.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
One of the things that I’m most proud of is being named captain this spring season. Being respected and trusted by your peers is great. Getting voted captain validates all your hard work. It showed that everyone looked up to me and were confident of me doing the right things on and off the field.

My biggest achievement was winning the Patriot League Championship for the 2019 season. We were dominant that season. I came away being named Second Team All Conference.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
While playing against Lehigh in 2019, we were battling for the top spot. We only had 2 minutes left in the game, and we needed to win. It was a 3rd and 10, and there was a specific blitz package that I recognized them running while studying on film. So, I pulled the ball down avoiding a sack and ran for the 1st down. This let us run the clock and really secure the win, it wasn’t the flashiest play but it’s one that has always stuck with me. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or a professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Being from the New England area, I’m a fan of all the local teams (Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins). But one of my favorite players is Aaron Rodgers. He plays the position very well and is inspiring to watch. I’m obviously a huge Tom Brady fan. I try to model my game after him. I learn a lot when studying his film.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
One of my favorite music artists is Juice WRLD. Before games, I like listening to “Computers” by Rowdy Rebel featuring Bobby Shurda.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Burgers. There’s a place in Shrewsbury, MA called Jimmy’s Tavern & Grill. They have $5 burger nights every Monday. That’s one of the best places my teammates and I would go on our day off.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
I love the Quentin Tarantino movies like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I like to play video games like Call of Duty War Zone. I also like to hang out with my friends, family and my pit bull and best friend Dugan.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
My dad, Chris Degenhardt, played QB for Holy Cross back in the 80s. He taught me how to play at a very young age, and shared his love of the game. We’ve built a strong relationship over football. My dad is a huge reason why I play. His passion for the game rubbed off on me, and I love being able to share that with him.

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