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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Eagan Lickiss, OL, South Dakota State University

Eagan Lickiss the mauling offensive lineman from South Dakota State recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Eagan Lickiss
  • Position: OL
  • College: South Dakota State University
  • Height: 6’5″
  • Weight: 315 lbs
  • Twitter: @EaganLickiss
  • Instagram: @eaganlickiss

1.What should people know about Eagan Lickiss the person?

Well, I’m a very family oriented person. I like to spend my free time with my parents, loved ones, and friends. I value quality time with people. The support that I get from them is my motivation to accomplish my goals. They are my why.

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

I’m definitely an aggressive player with a high energy level. One thing that I pride myself in is the consistency of my effort. You will always get 100% effort out of me in everything I’m doing. Practice, weight room, game time. I’m going to do what is asked of me to the best of my ability.

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

I would have to go with Quenton Nelson. I highly admire the way he plays the game and would love to pick his brain about how he approaches his mental and physical preparation for game day. He is an absolute monster. He’s also a fantastic example and role model for every guard playing the game.

4.What sets you apart from other offensive linemen?

What you will get from me is commitment, coachability, effort, and physicality at all times. I am competitive and I do not give up easily. If you need someone who is always going to be dependable and do what you need them to, I’m your man. I have a ‘can do’ attitude. Keeping myself physically healthy has been a large part of my success as well. Being free of injuries has kept me on the field and evolving as my career has gone on.

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

I was always inspired by my family’s history with the game. Growing up I always heard stories about my uncle’s history with the Steelers. As I got older, I viewed all of the other sports I competed in as training for football season. It has become part of my identity and has helped me grow so much as a person. But at the end of the day, there is nothing better than physical domination the man across from you.

6.What is your favorite workout?

I love to ride my bike. As a big guy, running can be tough on the knees so I’ve always preferred wheels. In the weight room, it’s hard to beat the big 3. Squat, bench, clean are lifts that I will continue to do till the day I die.

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

One of the best parts about playing football here has been Coach Eck. Learning from him has been a blessing. His knowledge of the game is far greater than I could have ever imagined when I signed up. He is a tremendous coach. My teammates are also fantastic. The atmosphere in our locker room is unparalleled and the bond that we share by being here is strong.

8.How do you prepare for games?

One amazing addition to the program has been our mental performance coach, Kristofer Kracht. Over the course of the spring season, he helped my teammates and I develop our own individualized mental performance plan. A checklist of steps that we take to prepare ourselves for game time. On game day, I map out my day from the time I wake up to the time the game is over. I have found that to play at my best level, I need to remain calm throughout the morning leading up to my arrival at the facility. Calmer music, nothing heavy. Before pregame meal, I’ll start watching any last minute film or reps that I need to see again. This is also when I will visualize my technique and footwork, etc. Pregame meal is when I finally let myself turn the music up in my headphones and visualize the way I will play against my opponent. Once we are in the locker room, I will let my excitement build up until I reach my mental performance number (scale from 1-10 the level of intensity that we need to be at to perform our best) which for me is about a 7.

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

The Dakota Marker game against NDSU this last spring. It felt amazing to finally get that rock back after it’s two year hiatus from our trophy cast. The feeling after our semifinals game, knowing that we were the first team in school history to reach that national championship game. That was an exceptionally special moment for the program as a whole. But above all, my first career start on the offensive line was against NDSU in the Fargo dome in 2018. Tyler Weir, my tackle at the time, and I blocked the frontside of a 61 yard run by Isaac Wallace for a touchdown. We high-fived each other while we chased down the play!

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

Commitment. I am the guy that will give you everything I can every time you ask something of me. I am not the guy who will put myself above the team. It is a deep belief of mine that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing it to the best of your ability and with maximum effort. I strive to keep that consistent and present in my character both on and off the field, at all times.

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

I’m excited for one last go around with my teammates in ‘hopefully’ a normal fashion. I’m excited to further demonstrate my skill on the field as I feel that last spring was some of the most technically sound football I have played in my career. Every year I have improved on my technique and I’m excited to grow even further. I am also excited for another opportunity to play for a national championship. We have unfinished business down in Texas.

12.What do you love about the game of football?

It’s a great feeling to know that when you’ve beaten a team, you out worked them together. And I really enjoy being a part of something bigger than myself. All of the time we put in outside of our planned practices. Watching film together, growing as a team, finally getting every player on the field to run that one look right. All of the little things that add up to the largest victories on game day. Those are the moments that I absolutely love about football.

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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