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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Thomas Hennigan, WR, Appalachian State

Thomas Hennigan App state 2022
Thomas Hennigan is a very tough experienced WR and returning starter for Appalachian State in 2021. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Thomas Hennigan
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Position: WR
  • College: Appalachian State University
  • Twitter: @_t_Henni
  • Instagram: t_henni

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 am a Marketing major with a Sales concentration. I also have a minor in Finance. I am currently an intern as a sales liaison for a physical therapy company. I’ve been on the Dean’s List, and I have about a 3.54 GPA.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that my best quality is my toughness. I come into work and do more than what is expected of me. I persevered through a hamstring injury last season and played through it. I’m also a team captain who leads by example.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I see myself as an every down receiver that can run the whole route tree. Early on in my career, I was seen as more of a possession type WR. Yet, towards my junior year, I really started to become more of a solid deep threat. I make most of my catches in the short to intermediate range. Although, I am a proven deep threat and an every down playmaker that can get those contested jump balls. I’ve also had plenty of experience on special teams, whether being on kickoff coverages or being an effective return specialist when healthy.

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

Being in the Sun Belt, we usually get a couple games against Power 5 schools every year. As a freshman, the first corner that I ever faced was Deandre Baker. He was probably the most talented player that I had ever seen at the time. I’ve also been able to go one-on-one against Jaycee Horn. He’s the real deal and proved that he was worth taking 8th overall in the 2021 draft to the Panthers.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Darryton Evans is the most explosive player that we’ve ever had on our offense. We knew that we had to hold our blocks because there was always a chance that he could take off for a big gain.

Demetrius Taylor is one of the strongest players that I’ve ever played with.He’s a great defender that I know will get his chance at the next level. I’m glad to have him back at App State for one more season.

Zac Thomas was a consistent and dependable QB for us. He was one of the winningest QBs in history and really helped me have a lot of success.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I’ve been through lots of change and hardship during my time at App State. I’ve been through 3 different head coaches, 4 different offensive coordinators, 3 different strength coaches and 2 different WR coaches. That’s a lot of change where you have to learn new terminology and get accustomed to it in a short period of time. It really speaks to the character of everyone on our team. We had hungry players who were going to make plays despite who was the coach. When future employers come to me and ask me about my ability to transition and my ability to persevere through times of distress, I can tell them all about this.

One of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever had to make was whether or not to come back to App State. Due to COVID-19, every player in the NCAA was granted an additional year, and last season wasn’t the best for me. I had my first major injury which was my hamstring. I could have sat out games and come back healthier. Yet, I knew that the team benefitted from me being on the field. So, I had to swallow my pride and play through the pain. I wanted to play, but it bothered me that I wasn’t as effective as I had been. The season didn’t go as I had hoped, and I remember going back and forth with my decision about coming out in the draft or staying for another year. I eventually decided that I wanted to end my college days on my terms with a strong year before heading to the pros.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I was a pretty good basketball player in high school. I was named All-Conference a couple years and even had a couple D2 offers to play. I also played indoor soccer in high school. If I didn’t play football, I would actually play either soccer or golf.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I am most proud of winning 3 conference championships. I’m also in the top 5 of the all-time receivers at App State. I’m happy to be a part of that tradition and those records.

I’m also honored to be a team captain and a role model. The young kids in my hometown look up to me, and I want them to see how to live your life correctly and how to carry yourself every day.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I’ve had some great moments during my time. During my freshman year, I made a fantastic one hand catch against Wake Forest. I also love that we have wins against North Carolina and South Carolina. The best game of my career so far has to be the game against Louisiana-Lafayette my freshman year. It seemed like every time I touched the ball, I scored. I ended up with 4 receiving touchdowns that game. I also had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown that was called back after a penalty. That was a wild game where we demolished them 63 to 14.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
I grew up a Panthers fan. One of my favorite players of all time is Steve Smith. I love the aggressiveness and passion that he played with. His mentality set him apart. Jordy Nelson was also another one of my personal favorites

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artist is Post Malone.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Pizza is my comfort food.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite TV Show is Ozark.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I enjoy FIFA, golf and premier league soccer.

Why do you play football?
I love the feeling of going out there and making plays. Making the crowd road and the ability to forget about the last play and just move forward

Who or what motivates you the most?
Myself. I’m the person that holds myself accountable the most along with the coaching/strength staff. But I’m the hardest on myself.

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