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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Niko Mermigas, DB, Dartmouth College

Niko Mermigas the standout defensive back from Dartmouth College recently sat down with Draft Diamonds very own Justin Berendzen.
Niko Mermigas the standout defensive back from Dartmouth College recently sat down with Draft Diamonds very own Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Niko Mermigas
  • Position: DB
  • College: Dartmouth College
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Twitter: @nikomermigas
  • Instagram: @nmerm

What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

My ability to play multiple positions in the defensive backfield, as well as my football IQ and decision making sets me apart from other draft defensive backs.

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

I think success on the football field is found when you do your job, and trust the rest of your teammates to do theirs. Outside of that, football is a game of effort. You have to want it more than the guy that lines up across from you.

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

I would probably hang out with Pat Tillman. I remember watching his “A Football Life” and being struck with how he carried himself, but also the standard that he held his teammates to. He was undersized for his position but played with an incredible energy.

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

I started my football journey in 8th grade when I realized that I was too aggressive for other sports. I played baseball and soccer for most of my life, but baseball was boring to me and I got too many red cards in soccer. I loved the physicality of football, but also loved that even though it was a team sport, there is a certain level of competitiveness against yourself, both in training and on the field.

What is your favorite coverage and why?

My favorite coverage at Dartmouth was Cover 4. We usually stuck to a pretty conservative defense, and our safeties often times played pretty deep, so Cover 4 got me closer to the WRs and gave me faster reads for runs.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

I made some amazing memories playing High School Football in Western PA. Friday nights were really special in my town, and the stadiums got pretty crowded. At Dartmouth I have had some really competitive games throughout my four years, but its hard to beat winning back to back Ivy League Titles. Specifically, I loved playing Harvard at Harvard Stadium in Boston. We always had huge crowds and close games, and the setting is hard to beat.

What should we know about Niko Mermigas the person?

I think it is important to know that I am a disciplined person who wants to succeed, but also watch others around me succeed.

How are you planning to prepare for the draft?

To prepare for the draft I have returned to Hanover, NH to workout with Spencer Brown, the head strength and conditioning coach for Dartmouth. We have lifts throughout the week, and are able to do field work in our new indoor practice facility.

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

I believe the energy I bring to the field is a form of controlled chaos. I am intense at the right times, but am always aware of what kind of energy is warranted based on the play of the game.

What would a team get in a player like you?

An NFL team would be getting an intelligent, intense football player who is willing and ready to compete and play any position for the success of the team.

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

Whenever I am faced with a challenge or adversity I usually analyze the situation at hand and think about solutions that are within my control. If there are things that I can’t control, I face them with the same energy and thoughts that I use everyday. Adversity can be overcome in many ways, but having a solid attitude is the first step.

What do you love about the game of football?

I love the mental and physical challenge that football has. Again, it is a team sport, but there is always a personal internal battle that is being fought, and I believe the internal struggles bring out the best in people. The battles happen throughout the season, but also in the offseason, so it is almost never ending.

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