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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Deven Lewis, OLB, West Liberty University

Deven Lewis the standout pass rushing outside linebacker from West Liberty University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds.
Deven Lewis the standout pass rushing outside linebacker from West Liberty University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Deven Lewis
  • Position: Defensive Line/OLB
  • College: West Liberty University
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 280lbs (currently training to drop weight to 245-250)
  • Twitter: @GetEm_Dev
  • Instagram: @getem_dev

What makes you a top prospect at your position  in the 2022 NFL Draft?

I believe that I am a top prospect because of my determination to be successful. My hard work, attention to detail, and physicality have paved the way for me since I first started playing this great sport. 

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

I actually fell in love with this game a lot later than others. I first started playing in 6th grade, but the season got shut down two years in a row so I never got to actually get accustomed to the game. My first season of football would come in 8th grade. People never believed that it was my first real season being that I was a standout player and had just pure raw talent. Our first scrimmage I took a Tight End pop pass 50 yds for a touchdown. I didn’t know what I know now that it was just the beginning. 

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I believe every NFL team should know that I am a guy who loves to watch film, and study my opponent. I am obsessed with perfecting my craft and being the greatest version of myself that I can be. I am coachable and will never turn down the opportunity to get better. I love this game from a physical and mental viewpoint.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

I would donate my time and efforts to combating poverty. I know what it is like to grow up less fortunate than others. It would be great if I could be that change that I wish I had to motivate and help others accomplish their goals in life. It’s not easy being that poverty brings a lot more around you than just being poor, and it could definitely steer someone in the wrong direction. 

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Honestly, the best advice that seemingly always played in my head over and over as a kid was when my dad told me “don’t be like me..” This motivated me to want better for my own life and to break generational curses and be somebody. Those words kept me from getting affiliated with anyone I knew that was doing wrong in my neighborhood. I knew what I didn’t want my life to look like. 

Who was your childhood hero?

My mother is most definitely my childhood hero. Her resilience and hard work to make things happen for me and my siblings always was very inspirational to me. She’s a very strong woman who will always find a way to get through anything.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

I would say that Wisdom Jenkins is the most underrated person in our locker room. I believe so because he is a receiver who is absolutely capable of doing great things. When our #1 receiver got injured, Wisdom stepped up and in my opinion showed great things that should have warranted him to get more targets all season. 

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I tell my girl this all the time. I absolutely hate it when the bed sheet comes off while laying in bed lol. It drives me insane. Also, I would have to say I hate seeing a player that has so much talent but refuses to put in the work to be great. 

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

Where do I start..

Being that it was so daunting heavily on my mind. When I left Juco I received a full ride scholarship to play for Alcorn State University. Instead I really wanted to stay close to home and play for Temple University in front of my family. I sent the coach my film and he liked it. I inquired that I would be willing to walk on. The coach led me to believe that I would be able to receive this great opportunity. That opportunity never came. I was on campus that entire school semester just going to class. Meanwhile, Alcorn State won the championship that year. I then contacted the coach that had recruited me to Alcorn to see if they were still interested, they were. Covid-19 caused the season to be cancelled in Fall ‘20 so I stayed home and just took classes online at Alcorn for that semester and continued training. I went down to Alcorn State University that following spring semester to play football and get accustomed to the team. It wasn’t until the end of April that I was told that I was ineligible to play being that I switched my degree when I went to Temple which ultimately set me back as Alcorn did not offer that same program. This hurt me as my eligibility was starting to be in question as I’ve already transferred to two four year schools. I had to sell myself to schools again after that and it seemed like a lost cause especially knowing in my mind that I can help a lot of teams win games. It wasn’t until I received a call late August to come play for West Liberty. Coach Monte made me feel wanted and appreciated. I got here on campus not even a full week before we had our first game. I would later make an impact on this team that I know was felt by everyone here from the coaches to my peers. I applaud my resiliency to keep going even when it seems that no one believes in me. 

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

West Liberty University will always have a special place in my heart because they gave me an opportunity when others tried to write me off as if I wasn’t good enough. I believe that everything that has happened to me throughout my life happened for a reason. God has a plan. 

What is your favorite snack food?

You can never go wrong with Schneider’s honey mustard pretzels. 

What is the best part of football?

I first fell in love with football because of the physicality of the sport. I had a lot of built up anger and it was a great way for me to harness that anger and leave it out on the field. I believe that the best part of football is that it teaches you almost every characteristic that someone will need to be successful in life. This sport requires you to be disciplined, coachable, attentive, a great teammate, and to want to be successful. The only way that anyone is ever successful in this sport is because of how hard they work to prepare themselves for Sunday’s. 

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

“When you want it as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas

I want it more than that…

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

I would have to say Aaron Donald. He plays with such precision and attention to detail. He doesn’t do a lot of talking, but he always finishes anything that someone else starts. More importantly, the way he prepares and trains for gameday is very encouraging. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

  1. First, I would love to have dinner with my grandfather again. He passed away due to cancer when I was a sophmore in highschool. He motivated me so much to do better and always made me feel better about myself no matter what I was going through. I know he would be proud of the man that I am becoming. I’m sure he would’ve been at every game of mine, and would’ve been the loudest in the stands. I know he is watching over me every step that I take. 
  2. Next, I would love to have dinner with Reggie White. I never got to see Reggie play but I love to watch his highlights. I would not be able to stop talking and trying to get every bit of information he could offer me on how to elevate my game and take it to the next level. 
  3. Finally, I would love to have dinner with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The love and comroderry that he was able to instill in my people is always a beautiful thing to go back and see. While there have been huge advancements towards equality in the more recent years, there still is a ton of work to do. There isn’t anyone better to have that discussion with than the man himself. 

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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