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NFL Draft Diamonds Free Agent Interview: Eric Assoua, Defensive Lineman

Eric Assoua the former Western Michigan defensive lineman recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen. Check it out!

Hello, I am @jrberendzen on Twitter and this is one of my free agent interviews where I ask very deserving free agents questions about the players themselves and about what a team would get in these players. All of these players should get picked up by NFL, CFL, and XFL teams and get a shot at being a career football player. So I hope you all read this interview about Eric and follow his journey on social media! Twitter: @EricAssoua1 Instagram: @__esuuu

1.What should we know about Eric Assoua the person?

You should know, that I believe that I’m once in a lifetime player. If I didn’t believe that I could be on someone’s team RIGHT NOW, I wouldn’t still be grinding, getting after it everyday till this day. Of course there’s a greater purpose to this, and that’s to play in the league, take care of my family and help change the world while being an inspiration to others. I’m hungry right now and which ever team calls my phone won’t be disappointed. It will be their best move. I’m not looking for any handouts, or any shortcuts. I’m the guy that will start off on practice squad but will be on the 53 man roster after the season if not that same season. But I don’t stay in one spot and I don’t want to. I’m always looking to improve my craft and believe you can never be comfortable with where you are in football or life, and that may not be for everyone and I won’t look down on someone for not feeling the same, but I truly believe there’s always room for growth. And I’m constantly growing.

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

I guess after not playing since 2019 while in rookie mini camp with the Raiders. Best moment was getting the opportunity to play and be coached in the last Spring League season. Being able to be coached by a guy who also coached Khalil Mack at the edge position and things I would’ve gotten from a vet had I been in the right position my first year coming out of college. Just made me realize there’s a lot more to learn about the position which was fun for me. Along with working with other teammates that also have been in recent nfl camps or teams. I just finished playing my last spring league game June 12th. So I guess learning from a great coach and other players with some experience and game knowledge that could help my game.

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

When I started playing, it was just for fun but something that was so fun was one of my biggest gifts because it was something I am good at and wanted to get better at once I found out I could one day make it to the NFL and change the circumstances of my family some day. I was probably 10 when I noticed all of this.

4. What is your training routine?

Depending on my work schedule, it usually changes. I’m either working out early in the morning at 7am or late at night round 9pm. And if I can get a chance to make my way up to the stadium to do position work, I’ll do that too.

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

Sean Taylor, looked up to him as a kid. Was one of the reasons I even fell in love with football. Just having fun yelling out your favorite players name after making a good playing football in the neighborhood. That was a different era of football and he was a different special player. I just want to see and hear from him how he viewed the game and what does being in the league meant to him.

6. What do you hope to achieve as a football player going forward?

Making it on someone’s team, and professing from there. I don’t just want to be in the NFL. I want to play in the NFL, for a long period of time, and be someone the game remembers. I hope to leave a legacy. Win Super Bowls of course, and hopefully the HOF if I’m ever so blessed to be a part of.

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

Confidence and confirmation is the type of energy I bring. It’s the type of energy that lets everyone know we’re suppose to be here, we are in this 100%, and we’ve got each other’s backs! Type of energy that lets our trust in each other become so fun!

8. Rank focus,footwork and skill.Based on what is most important to you as a football player and explain why?

I would rank it in that order. 1. Focus, 2. Footwork, and 3.Skill. Without focus, you don’t even see or think you need to improve in your footwork. Gotta have that self discipline to know you gotta focus on what you do to make it better. Footwork second because you’re clearly nothing without your feet. A tip I got though that has always been with me was that if you have great hands, your feet will follow. Working on those two things will improve in number 3 which is your skill. But you’ve got to always improve your skill because there’s someone out there if not already that’s trying to be more skilled than you.

9. How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

My response is everything and I can’t let the circumstances of what I’m going through dictate my behavior. I try to handle to decisions on the football field like I do in a regular life because it’s rules out in order that we all have to live by, so I gotta protect my person and brand and can’t allow outside distractions to trick me out of my position to a point I say or do something I can’t take back. I choose to attack my challenges with caution knowing that whatever it is, I’ll get through it and it will pass.

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

Someone who’s looking to get involved in every play whether it’s my play to make or not. I hold people accountable as well as myself and if I were picked up by a team they will get the high standards that come with me, and those standards will spread through out the whole team.

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

Being a part of Western Michigan 2016 undefeated football team. We went on to win the championship vs Ohio university for the MAC championship. Went on to play Wisconsin in the cotton bowl but lost. Best time of my football life as well as coming back to play in the last spring league season from april to june. Being able to step back on that field and show everyone I can really ball after being out of the game for reasons I couldn’t control like covid and new coaching staff. But I had the most fun I’ve ever had in a while while playing in the spring league.

12.What is a skill you have that you think translates into the NFL well?

My ability to have a way higher motor than people, my get off, and my ability to play more than one position. The more I can do the 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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