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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Knylen Miller-Levi, DB, Minot State University

Knylen Miller-Levi the defensive back from Minot State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen
Knylen Miller-Levi the defensive back from Minot State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen
  • Name: Knylen Miller-Levi
  • Position: DB
  • College: Minot State University
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • Twitter: @KNY_finesse
  • Instagram: @pbnkny

What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

What set me apart from the others DBs is my preparation, feel for the game, and IQ. I always want to have the upper hand in anyways possible. The little details always matter. How a receiver lines up, their mannerisms, and team tendencies. I want to also play mental games with the QB giving him a read pre-snap that makes him do what I want. This off-season will propel me ahead to another level for this season coming up.

What is your favorite coverage and why?

I don’t have a favorite coverage but If I was to choose a favorite coverage it would be cover 4. If you feel it will give you a little bit of every coverage depending on the concepts and formations.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

Number one has to be this year catch against UMary. It was a fake punt that was designed to be a pop pass, but ended up a deep ball that got me #2 on ESPN 10 top plays. Luka had to make a buzzer beater to steal the #1 spot. There are so many youth moments, but one has to be getting the sack that sealed our championship. A second one was first round of playoffs in 7th grade and I caught a contested ball in the 4th quarter that turned into a 80 yards touchdown. That was the first touchdown of two scored in the whole game and that team blew us out the first game of the season. We came out with the win when it mattered.

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

My journey of deciding to be a football player was very rocky before I got to college. Ever since I was able to walk and talk my mom would tell me how I would grab the football VHS tapes and watch football over and over again. I started tackle at 5 years old and played throughout all my years in school until I got to sophomore year. I decided that I wanted to focus on basketball for that year because I lost the passion for football. I then decided to come back to football for my last two years of high school. Throughout the summer after graduation I still found it hard to decide which sport I wanted to dedicate myself to. At first I struggled with choosing football over basketball, but this journey has made me find that passion again that once drove me to want to be the best.

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

If I had to choose any football player I would want to hang out with it would be Jalen Ramsey for a day. I would want to pick his brain about everything because the way he carries himself on and off the field is something that I love. Take in the information from him so I can try to apply that to my life.

What should we know about Knylen Miller-Levi the person?

Since I was a kid I have always had to prove that I deserve my spot because of my introverted personality. If I believe I deserve my spot I will wait on my opportunity to execute and prove myself. I have a big heart for anyone that becomes my friend/family because I grew up very family oriented. Once you are my friend/family you are getting a genuine person that will go to end of the earth to support you. My passion for the people around me drive me to not fail them. I am my biggest critic and I have always been that way since I can remember.

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

I believe the keys to success on the football field individually is preparation and the mental aspect of the game. Preparation for me is knowing yourself first as a player physically. Honestly assets yourself to get better. Then comes the work that no one sees. Perfecting your craft. The mental aspect for me being able to recognize the little things that can give you the advantage. Also being able to set yourself up and not be one dimensional the whole game because then someone can anticipate what’s coming next. Do not create an opportunity for big success by doing the same thing. Confidence will always be on the top of success. Two kids could potentially be the same exact player but if one has the confidence and the other doesn’t the kid with the confidence will grow into who he should be. While the other is not hitting that potential because of confidence.

How do you prepare for games?

Game day preparation starts a week or 2 before the game actually start. I love to watch film and try to pick up on the smallest details no one would usually see. Understand tendency in certain areas of the field, downs, after they make a big play or a negative play. Practice time I try different techniques and disguises to add/improve. Closer to game time I like to visualize me making plays. Calming my mind so I can read things slow to react fast.

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

My support system has played a major role in handling challenges in both life and football. They created a foundation of improving the mental side of facing challenges. There’s always going to be challenges that comes up, but mentally you can’t let that affect your thought. Always try to find the positive in the situation.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A player like me teams are getting someone that is humble, ready to get work done when it is needed to and then get extra work in. Getting someone that wants to be a student of the game. My abilities have always spoken louder then what I say. Have a high motor and IQ of the game. Being my worst critic I’m always self improving myself, whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually I am working toward the man that I want to be someday.

What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

This season I am looking forward to taking my game to another level. Last season I left many opportunities on the field that could have taken my season from good to great. Also having a bigger role on the team now that I am considered an upperclassman. Especially with our team still being fairly young and inexperienced. I want to relieve the stress that comes with my younger teammates. Being able to communicate and motivate. We needed more of that leadership from me last season. Taking that step I believe will propel us as a team. I am the player that people look at and respect on the field.

If there was a billboard with 5 of your traits on there which 5 would be up there?

Self-critical, honest, passionate, observant and dynamic.

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