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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Patrick Minenok, LB/S, Youngstown State University

Patrick Minenok the gifted linebacker/safety from Youngstown State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
Patrick Minenok the gifted linebacker/safety from Youngstown State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Patrick Minenok
  • Position: Safety/Linebacker
  • College: Youngstown State
  • Height:  5’11
  • Weight: 215 lbs.
  • Twitter: @Minenok6
  • Instagram: @pat_minenok6

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

  • There are a few things that separate me from other pro prospects at my position. One is the fact that I’ve played multiple positions and succeeded at them all. Our coaches would move me around almost every week because they knew I understood our scheme just as much as them. I have played both field and boundary safety, Will linebacker, and a hybrid position in our defense called “penny”. I think my skill set is very unique because I have the tools to cover a receiver in the slot, yet I have the strength, size and violence necessary to cover a big tight end or tackle a running back. I have also been used in key ways on special teams, and was a special teams captain for three years. So being familiar with understanding different types of special teams foot work, dialect, and schemes, I believe my special teams experience gives me an advantage on other prospects as well.

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

  • My interest in football began when I was in kindergarten. My dad was a high school football coach and he would allow me to come to practice and games. The excitement, the physicality, along the thrill and challenge of competition were all things that drew my interest.

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

  • One thing NFL Teams should know about me is that I walked on at YSU before becoming a full scholarship player. When I got on scholarship, my sense of urgency and attention to detail never wavered. So, no matter if I am in year 1 or 10 of my professional career, a sense of urgency to learn and get the job done is something that will always be a part of me

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

  • I would donate to the city rescue mission of my hometown, New Castle, PA. If I am fortunate enough to live out m dream of playing professional football, then it is my obligation and duty to give back. I love where I am from, it has played a huge part in molding me in to who I am. Seeing people struggle in my hometown breaks my heart. Using my platform as a professional athlete is at the forefront of my goals as a professional.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

  • The best advice I’ve ever received is to be where your feet are. If you cannot focus on the task at hand, then you are doing a disservice to the final product. That can apply to the film room, practice field, and weight room. Every minute matters and an elite level of focus is required to achieve the final goal.

Who was your childhood hero? 

  • My child hood hero was my dad, my dad still is my hero today. His work ethic and unselfishness are two qualities I hope to apply to my life. He has been a positive figure in hundreds if not thousands of kids lives while working in New Castle School District. These are also qualities that makes him such a great family man. When I am a husband and father some day, I am confident because I have learned from the best, to always put my wife and kids before myself.

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

  • Jaleel McLaughlin. He has an elite work ethic and I admire him for that. He is a fierce competitor on the field, and off the field he is soft spoken and respectful. He is the epitome of a good teammate.

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

  • My biggest pet peeve is laziness. Being able to see my parents work full time jobs in the day and then side jobs in the evening and weekends, all while raising 5 kids, finding time to exercise, and keep the house in order, I have no tolerance for laziness. My parents are like superhero’s to me and no matter how I fee, I get done what needs to get done. That is what they have instilled in me.

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

  • The hardest moment of adversity I’ve had to over come is when my younger brother Daniel was in a car accident. He was in a head on collision with a garbage truck on January 26, 2021. This happened right before our spring COVID football season started, so staying the course and making sure I was ready to play all while he was recovering was really tough. He went through 7 major surgeries. Knowing that he would want me to be at my best kept me focused when I was watching film, at practice, or when it came time for games.

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

  • My dad’s side of the family is from Youngstown. I get my last name from Youngstown, so playing for Youngstown State felt personal to me. Every time I put on a jersey or shirt that said Youngstown State I wanted to represent my school and family as best I could.

What is your favorite snack food? 

  • I would compare myself to Nate Ebner. I’ve followed Nate’s career since about 2015 and seeing how much of an impact he’s made on special teams is exactly what I want to do for a team. With my special teams and defensive experience playing multiple positions, I believe I can do just that.

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

  • I would have dinner with Mike Tyson, Nate Ebner, and my grandfather, who is no longer with us. I would love to talk to Mike because he is my favorite athlete of all time. We are about the same size and my playing style has similarities with his fighting style. That is a swing first ask questions later type of approach. Mike’s courage and unwavering fight is something I try to implement in my game. I would choose Nate because our paths in college were similar. From studying his tape at Ohio state and reading about how he made a way for himself in the NFL, I find very similar to my own. Last, I would talk with my grandfather, Frank Minenok. He died when I was 14 and was sick and weak for some time leading up to that. I’d love to talk to him now as an adult just to obtain as much knowledge from him as possible. He was an orphan who became a professional boxer. He never knew his father but he never used that as an excuse. He loved my grandmother tremendously and was a great father to his 7 children, including my dad. He is everything I hope to be.

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 [email protected]

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