Every year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you.
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
I was getting some attention from some big time D1 schools, but I was only 190lbs so when they saw me in person you can tell they lost interest. I didn’t get any D1 offers, but I had 11 total offers split up between D1-AA and D2 schools.
Where did you choose and why?
I chose CalU (PA) because they gave me a full ride, it was close to home so my family would always be able to come watch me, they have a great football program with a reputation for getting guys to the next level, and I really loved the campus and felt at home there.
What were your goals for your senior year?
To win the conference, be a great leader for the defense, and lead the team in tackles.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
No, but I imagine they would tell me I’m undersized which is something I’ve heard my whole life.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
Without a doubt it’s my motor. I take a great deal of pride in hustling, getting to the ball, and flying around the field every single play.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
Tendencies. whether it be play call tendencies based on down and distance/location on the field, or individual player tendencies like an offensive lineman leaning in his stance when he pulls or a quarterbacks mannerisms pre-snap. Anything that will help give me or my teammates a small edge on the field. I’m definitely a huge film junkie and with technology nowadays I have the Hudl app on my phone and I’ll watch film literally up until I walk in the locker room before a game to try and get any last piece of information I can get.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
From another team: Nic Cooper, RB, Winston-Salem State he was with the Packers for a little bit. From my own team: Eric KushC/Rishaw Johnson G, They played next to each other on our OL and I went against them everyday in practice. They’re both in the NFL now, Kush with the Chiefs and Johnson with the Redskins. It made me so much better going against those two monsters in practice everyday.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I would say Sean Lee. He’s very instinctive and a very good reader of plays. He flies all around the field, sideline to sideline making tackles.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
In football the biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my lack of size coming out of high school. I overcame it by rededicating myself to the weight room like never before, forcing myself to eat more, and refusing to give in to people who kept telling me I was too small to have a good career in college.
What system fits your style of play the best?
I don’t want to limit myself to just one system. I’m confident that with my dedication to studying playbooks and work ethic I would be able to fit in any system.
My biggest strength (aside from my motor) is my brain. I’m a very cerebral player on the field and off the field. On the field I was responsible for getting the call, communicating it to the rest of the defense, making the necessary checks and adjustments up front, and staying on the same page with the secondary in regards to coverage checks. In addition to that, I’ve also figured out other teams pre-snap checks and audibles in game before. Off the field, I’ve already mentioned my love of watching film and dedication studying playbooks.
What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness is probably my size. It would be beneficially for me to gain some more weight while not losing any speed and I’m trying.
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
You might be able to find a bigger, stronger, faster player than me, but I guarantee you will not find anyone who works harder. Give me a chance, let me work, and I promise you will not be let down.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My dad. I definitely learned my work ethic from him.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
My favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers because they’re my hometown team. My favorite player was Hines Ward because he played for them and I always admired his love for the game, always out there on the field with a huge smile on his face. You could tell he was always having fun.
What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?
I’ve been very fortunate not to have too many tragedies in my life but the most tragic event was when my Pap passed away right before my sophomore season. He had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and we were in camp when I got the call that he wasn’t going to make it. I left camp to go visit him in the hospital and say my goodbyes. He never missed one of my games, even while he was sick. I overcame it by telling him that I would dedicate that season to him. I returned to camp, did my best to focus on football, and we had a successful year.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
My Pap, Pat Tillman, and Will Ferrell. Someone I miss, someone to have a great conversation with, and someone to make me laugh.
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
Nothing. I would deposit or invest it.