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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Robert Rathje, OL, University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa center Rob Rathje is a beast in the middle of the line
University of Northern Iowa center Rob Rathje is a beast in the middle of the line

NFL Draft Diamonds has been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 3 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers. Our questions are designed to give our readers a little more insight on the player. We hope to bring you more than 350 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season. You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner to the right.  Now let’s meet the prospect!!!!

What is your name?

Robert Rathje

What is your Height/Weight?

6′ 3″, 295 pounds

What is your position?

Offensive Line – Center

Where do you play college football?

University of Northern Iowa

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field?

Work at a hospital, where I am able to help with the rehabilitation of different ailments such as strokes, total joint replacements, and many others. It is awesome to see how well the patients progress and get better each day.

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?

Physics 2 or Anatomy and Physiology 2

Where are you from?

Watkins, Iowa

Who is your role model, and why?

My dad, always worked hard on the farm to provide for our family and I cannot thank him enough for the opportunity he has given me to be where I am at today.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Track and Basketball

Did you play any other positions in football?

Offensive guard

At your position, what separates you from others?

Ability to read defensive structures, pressures, and blitzes. Knowledge of the whole offense and their assignments.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

Tendencies of defensive line, linebacker stances, and secondary rotations. Down and distance and formational defensive tendencies.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Carl Davis, Xavier Williams

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

Lyle Sendlein, similar approach to the game

Do you have any pre-game rituals?


As a small school football player what obstacles do you feel you have to overcome?

The misconception that we face lesser talent at our level. Several great players have come from the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

What is your biggest strength?

Quick learner, ability to quickly and efficiently learn/adapt to different blocking techniques, schemes, and concepts.

What is your biggest weakness?

Maintaining a powerful base while engaged.

robertrathje_ils_2nd_1If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I was taught to give 100% in everything I do. I am loyal, self-sufficient, and compassionate about being the best I can be on and off the field.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up?

Peyton Manning – Absolute leader of the offense.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

– Albert Einstein
– Abe Lincoln
– Jesus

With your first NFL paycheck what would you buy?

Save for Graduate School

Rapid Answers:

  • Who will win the Super Bowl? Dallas Cowboys
  • Whose better Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?
  • Better Running Back Adrian Peterson or Barry Sanders?
  • Better safety Eric Weddle or Ed Reed?
  • Better linebacker Ray Lewis or Luke Kuechly?



Damond Talbot

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

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