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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tre McNeil, DB, Gannon University

tre Mcneil 2022 nfl draft gannon
Gannon University standout defensive back Tre McNeil recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Tre McNeill
  • Position: DB
  • College: Gannon University 
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Twitter: @trevaughn333
  • Instagram: @Im.Tre8

1.What are your favorite things about playing football for Gannon? 

Some of my favorite things about playing football for Gannon have been the relationships I have created with my teammates, coaches and training staff. It’s really like a big competitive family that cares for one another and expects each member to be fully dedicated. All the way back to my official visit it has always felt easy to mesh with the team, I’ve felt at home and accepted by my teammates. I also really enjoy our facilities with an indoor field and full weight room weather is never an inconvenience and it creates an opportunity to put in extra work. I also have loved our trainers they work really hard to make sure our game recovery and rehab training has us ready week in and week out.

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

Ever since I was a little boy my parents kept me busy with athletics. Growing up in South West Philly there are a lot of negative things you could find yourself doing and my parents worked hard to keep me away from those influences. My dad played football and always had football on around the house if it was actual games on Sundays, Madden games, or NFL top 10 episodes the game has always been around me. I fell in love at 6 years old and never looked back. 

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

I would want to hang out with Ray Lewis. I’ve watched him ever since I first started playing and he is my all time favorite player because of his leadership capabilities. This game is special because you have to depend on you’re teammates to be successful. I feel like Ray was one of the most influential leaders I have seen on a football field. He was able to inspire his teammates to play above and beyond for the sake of the team. That type of leadership makes the game more enjoyable and a team more dangerous. I would like to see what lessons he could teach me. 

4.What are your favorite moments from your football life? 

Some of my favorite football moments from my life come from when I played youth football for the Rhawnhurst Raiders. We qualified to go to Florida and got an opportunity to travel to a different state to play teams from all over. That trip really helped me open my eyes and understand to be the best I need to be able to out work the people I can’t see. Another one of my favorite memories came recently our University had an opportunity to compete this spring despite the COVID pandemic. We just went through a coaching staff change and our team had been working really hard to earn a win. Our final game of the season was against our rival. We were able to pull out an overtime victory and earn our first win of the spring. It felt amazing because throughout the season we kept perfecting our craft and never allowed our circumstances to detract from our goal. 

5.What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

My physicality and composure is definitely what separates me from other defensive backs. The game has changed and tries to make DB’s play with less aggression. I’m not afraid to stick my nose in there to make my plays. As the game goes on I am able to remain even tempered and bring that same physicality regardless of the situation. My high energy and aggressive play helps my teammates trust me. 

 6.What is your favorite workout? 

My favorite workout is between hang cleans and resistance band push-ups. I like hang cleans because it’s all body inclusive I feel like it transfers very well into on field movements. I like resistance band push ups because it adds a challenge to a easy workout you can do everyday. I can’t tell which one I like more. 

7.What should we know about Tre McNeill the person?

I’d like everyone to know that I am a devoted Christian. I try my best to live in a way that is pleasing to God and have been able to lean on my faith to help me through all my battles I’ve faced in life. I don’t think there’s anything I can’t face without God and believe everyone should look into their own faith for strength they didn’t know they had. 

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

I bring a never say die attitude to the field.  Being a part of the defense we never have a moment to feel sorry for ourselves. If something goes wrong we have to have short memory and be ready to make the next play or we could hurt the team even more by letting up a score. When you watch me play you can’t tell if we are winning or losing because I always go as hard as I can, the course of a game can change in the blink of an eye. 

9.How do you prepare for games? 

I wake up at 7am and pray/stretch. Once I finish I eat and watch Ed Reed highlights after breakfast I meet with my trainers and get any treatment I need before the game. After treatment I get dressed and pray, there’s no music for me I’m in a constant prayer until it’s time to head out guy.

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

A team would be getting a guy who loves the game and the process it takes to become the best. I enjoy going to practice, lifts, and film study. I always remind myself to treat every opportunity like it’s my last because I know this game could be taken away just as fast as I got the chance to play it. 

11.What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

I have one more opportunity to help my team earn a playoff spot to compete for the PSAC Championship and further beyond. I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to show the work our team has been putting in. I’m excited to compete and leave it all out there this season. 

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

My mindset on the field is best described as “If not me then who”. If my responsibility is to go set the edge in the run game or defend my zone/cover my man my team is depending on me to get the job done if I don’t I could hurt the team. I think the most important part about playing on a team is doing your 1/11th if everyone does their job it allows big plays to made. 

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 [email protected]

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