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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Michael Niese, OL, Temple University

Michael Niese the versatile offensive lineman from Temple University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.
Michael Niese the versatile offensive lineman from Temple University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Michael Niese
  • Position: OL
  • College: Temple University
  • Height: 6’5″
  • Weight: 295 lbs
  • Twitter: @Beez_Niese
  • Instagram: @beez_niese

What sets you apart from other offensive linemen?

  • My game relies on technique, body mechanics, and film study rather than just pure strength and athleticism. While having strength and athleticism is needed at this level and professionally, a player can never be at his best with those qualities alone. Moving another strong person against their will is an imperfect science. But, blocking can be done efficiently by relying on body mechanics that include staying on your insteps with inside hands in the run game and a solid punch in pass protection. By focusing on those technical fundamentals I think I can separate myself from others at my position.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

  • The greatest honor of my football life was when I received the 2019 Stan Kurdziel Award at the University of Dayton after my senior season. The Kurdziel award is voted on by the players only to recognize the best lineman on the team that season. To receive that kind of recognition from your teammates hits home and is very meaningful. What happened at Dayton that season was also really special as I enjoyed playing on the number one scoring offense that season with my teammates. We had a big win on senior day over our rival that season which was a favorite moment of mine.

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

  • The key to success is mental and physical toughness. I think a good player has to train your mind just as hard as your body in order to succeed. In addition to lifting, good nutrition, stretching, and practicing hard, I have found that being able to visualize plays versus certain fronts and opponent scheme is the most critical part to solid execution. Taking the time to train your mind for success is very important.

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

  • No one in my family had ever participated in football, and I did not start playing until sixth grade. Growing up my dad took me to his alma mater, Notre Dame, for a football game in the fall. Between those game day experiences and going to high school football games, I was drawn to football as opposed to other sports because there is a brotherhood/warrior aspect you simply don’t see in other sports. Football is a physical game, and you need to depend on your teammates and your own tenacity to win which makes it more fun than any other game in my opinion.

How are you planning to prepare for the draft?

  • I am currently exploring options on the representation front. I am spending time trying to find the right situation for me. As of right now, I plan to move back to my hometown of St. Louis to train at a performance facility. I will prepare for a pro day at Temple University in March 2022.

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

  • I think the most important energy is steady and consistent energy. There can be many ups and downs in a football game with several momentum swings. In my opinion a great player will play just as hard whether they are up or down by a large margin. During these swings I think it is important to control your energy, I like to remain consistent and steady in order to perform at a high level and avoid mistakes.

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

  • Both on the field and in life we can’t always control our circumstances. We can only control how we react to those circumstances. A great football player does not dwell on the past play whether it was good or bad. He can catalog what has happened and store that information to improve his play throughout the game. In life we are faced with the same challenge, do we use failure as an opportunity to improve? Or do we rest on our successes and not reach our full potential? Lessons learned in football can be applied to challenges in life and vice versa.

What should we know about Michael Niese the person?

  • Football is only one of my interests in life. Before I spent so much time and energy playing football, I was a good guitar player and wanted to be in a rock band. Listening to music and being in a rock band someday remain strong interests of mine. I have also always liked learning math and science in grade school and high school. Before I graduate transferred to Temple University, I earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Dayton. I am proud of being able to earn such a technical degree while also excelling as an athlete.

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

  • Although he is not with us anymore, one player I would have wanted to meet and get to know better is Pat Tillman. He played the game with as much heart and intensity as anyone ever has. Pat’s decision to turn down millions of dollars and serve our country after 9/11 is one of the most admirable acts by any football player ever. Life was not just about money to Pat, he demonstrated he cared more for his neighbor than himself when he decided to serve in the military. On the field, Pat proved that it is not about the size or combine measurables that determine how good a player is. I would have been honored to spend any amount of time with Pat.

What would a team get in a player like you?

  • An over-achiever, a player who has worked his way to the top of every level that he has played. Someone who can play multiple offensive line positions, first team all-conference guard at Dayton and then transitioning to tackle at Temple. A player who is always looking to improve on fundamentals and technique. I learn offensive schemes quickly, can efficiently translate game plans to on field execution and able to make mid-game adjustments. A hard worker in the off season training room knowing how important that work is to prepare for the season. I will always come prepared to the meeting room, practice, and games ready to outwork the competition. Although I have had to work hard to get where I am, I will exceed expectations.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

  • I would like to keep playing the game of football, take it to the next level. I want to see if I can compete at the highest level of play. Keep getting better on every play. I have never been on a championship winning team, and I am driven to one day help my team achieve a championship win.

What do you love about the game of football?

  • I love the OL strategies and execution, the game planning and the unique preparation for each opponent. But the camaraderie of the game is why I play this sport. My teammates know that they can count on me to be a warrior on the field. Getting to know my teammates from all walks of life is a privilege I don’t take lightly. Being in the huddle with 10 other guys knowing we all have each other’s back is the best feeling in the world.

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