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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Thomas Stacker, DL, South Dakota State University

South Dakota State pass rusher Thomas Stacker recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen. Check it out!
  • Name: Thomas Stacker
  • Position: DL
  • College: South Dakota State University 
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 275 lbs 
  • Twitter: @_55stacks
  • Instagram: @55stacks

1. What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

My parents made me play soccer when I was younger and I hated it, I told them I’d do anything if I didn’t have to play soccer the next summer and my dad suggested football, he was always a huge football guy. He’s a big dude but he about did a backflip when I told him I wanted to play.

2. What is a moment in your football career that improved you as a football player?

When I was in like 6th grade and my park district put out the starting lineup for the team, and I wasn’t starting and I was really broken up about it and as embarrassing as it is to say I sat on my kitchen sink and cried and my father came up to me and said, “son you got what it takes, you just have to show them” and from that point I have always said to myself, I’ve got it, no matter what the situation was in the game, whether it was playing high school teams, Minnesota or in the national championship, he really helped me with my mindset, from then on I was really never shaken by any adversity that has come my way.

3. What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I like to see myself as the hype man for our team when I’m out there, if I make a play everyone in the stadium is gonna know because I love to celebrate, whether it be for myself or my teammates. I love football because it’s fun, and the energy I bring to my play makes it more fun for us and radiates through the entire team, and hopefully it demoralizes the opponent.

4. If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

Jay Cutler, the best QB for the Bears to date (only because Justin Fields hasn’t played yet) and his level headedness in any situation has always been cool. He also seems like he would be a good guy to hang out with off the field.

5. What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

Physicality at any position is necessary, and I believe our team prides ourself on being the most physical on the field at all times, when you watch us play I don’t believe there will ever be a time where you say a team physically beat down on us. I also believe effort is important as well, if you run to the ball, finish your block, run passed contact, or in general give everything you got every play and go 1-0 you and your coaches will never be disappointed when you look at your film.

6. What sets you apart from other defensive linemen?

My knowledge of the game, Coach Smith has done a great job with teaching us schemes of the entire offenses. We will often take tests and have to draw team’s blocking schemes and formations and have to know what play is coming based on that. I also have some fairly long arms and can get separation on offensive linemen easier than some can.

7. What is your favorite workout?

Deadlift, I got long arms and a short torso so it’s a lot easier for me to pull a lot more weight, so I have one of the heavier deadlifts on our team.

8. What are your favorite things about playing football for South Dakota State?

The family we have here. I have friends from all over the country, guys I would have never been friends with. I’m a guy from Chicago, and now I’m out here going to thanksgiving with Tolu eating African food, or going to easter dinner with Preston and then going to ride four wheelers when we are done eating. My roommate Krockett got me hooked on fishing, and Xavier’s family treats me like I’m one of their’s when I can’t go home and see my family. It’s just a special culture that we have here, and it allows you to play with a different swagger when you are out there with your best friends and you all are making plays.

9. What role do you hope to have if you make it into the NFL?

A high effort player that’s technically sound and bring a lot of energy to the team when I’m out on the field.

10 What is your mindset when you are on the football field?

I know that I’m prepared for anything a team can throw at me, I got the best coaches and teammates in the country, and I wouldn’t be out on the field if my coaches didn’t have the confidence in me to dominate my rep when I’m out there, so it really frees you up just to play your game and do what you do best, put your face on someone and go make a play.

11. What would a team get in a player like you?

High effort and a player that wants to be the best he can, I have never been satisfied with any position I have been in and I never will be, I always want to raise my level and I’ll stop at nothing to do that, It helps when you are competing with some of the best in the country because if you ever slack off and you will get passed up.

12 What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

Being able to play with all my best friends one last time, 7 of us have made it through all of this, and we came up short this year, but we tasted what that’s like, we saw what Frisco has to offer. We set a new standard for SDSU football, It’s national championship or bust, we are ready to give everything we got for the guys that aren’t here anymore, especially Preston Tetzlaff, he can be with us this year because he’s going to law school, and I want to finish what we all started. I’m also excited to see how our young talent matured and steps up to make our team better.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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