NFL DraftProspect Interviews

NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Holt Keeling, FS, Lindsey Wilson College

Holt Keeling the defensive back of Lindsey Wilson College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds

•  Name: Holt Keeling
        •       Height: 6’0
        •       Weight:190
        •       Position: Free Safety
        •       College: Lindsey Wilson College
        •       Twitter: @holtkeeling15

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
        •  I was raised in a decently big city called Gadsden, Alabama. This city built me into the man I am today. The things I love most about my hometown is the support from my friends, family, and community. Every time I go back home for a short break, I am always greeted with love and motivation. My hometown will always have a special place in my heart, because it reminds me how it all started.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
        •  Practice, Film Study, Strength and Condition. I believe that practice is the most important, because, in order to be great at what you do, you must perfect your craft day in and out. I placed film study second in importance because this correlates with practice. Watching film is key for fixing any mistakes, as well as knowing your opponents. In order to reach your full potential on the field, you must be a student of the game. Even though I listed strength and conditioning last in importance, it is still a huge component to the game of football. By preparing your body and mind for the season, it separates you from your competition and sets you up for success.

What do you worry about, and why?
        •   If I do worry, it would be about being successful in my future. I want to succeed in my endeavors for myself and my future family.      

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
        •    Last year I did not qualify for indoor nationals for track. I felt as if I had let myself and my team down. My instant reaction after my race was that I needed to go harder. I used that anger as motivation and turned it into something positive. I just recently overcame that failure by qualifying this year for the Indoor National Championship.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
        •      If you were to ask my teammates what my best quality is, they would tell you that it is my energy. I am always going to be the one to get you motivated for a game or practice. Being enthusiastic and energetic is an easy way to lead by example. I will also support my teammates through their best and worst times. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
        •     Laquvionte Gonzalez. Rams picked him up as a free agent.   

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
        •        I would most likely go into medical sales. I am earning my degree in Business Management, so this career path can be available for me in the future.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
        •        I am cleaning my room first. The area where I am spending most of my time and sleeping has to be a clean area.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
        •    This would be a very hard choice, but I would go with save three strangers. Even though my family is my pride and joy, they would want me to save more people than just themselves. You have to think of the big picture, and not just make decisions based off of your personal happiness.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
        •     I would choose Flash. I have always been one of the fastest guys on my team, but I would love to be the fastest man in the world. Speed has always been a priority of mine, so this super hero fits my qualities well.

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
        •   One of the biggest adversities I have had in my lifetime is when I snapped my arm my junior season. That season was suppose to be my breakout year, so when the injury happened in week 4 of season,  I was devastated. After my surgery I knew the obstacles that were in front of me in order to get back on the field. The whole rest of the year I was in the training room everyday doing anything possible I could in order to come back faster. With all my hard work and dedication, I ended up returning and starting the 1st game of the playoffs with a club on my arm. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?
        •    One of my most embarrassing moments was during my freshman year. I had been begging my coach all year to let me return kickoffs for my speed, and he would consistently say no because he didn’t like to have defensive players returning kicks. So one game in the middle of the season, one of the starting returners had gotten injured, and it was finally my time to step up. Being a freshman I was very nervous and anxious because I was really wanting to prove what I could do with the ball in my hands. The kick went up, landed right in my hands, I took about 5 steps and slipped on the 15 yard line. When I tell you I was so embarrassed to come back to the sideline, after all the talking I had been doing. But surprisingly none of my teammates were upset, and my coach gave me plenty of other opportunities after this embarrassing moment happened. I used that play as a learning tool.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
        •     The most memorable play of my collegiate career would have to be a pick 6 I had my junior year against a very solid Southeastern team. It is my most memorable play because I remember my whole defense making a wall for me to get in the end zone, and when a defensive player scores a TD, there is a party in the end zone.

What song best describes your work ethic?
        •       Survivor- Drake 

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
        •     Perseverance, because this will help me achieve all of my goals.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
        •     Sean Taylor. He was one of the most iconic and physical safeties that have ever played the game of football. I would have loved to just spend one day with him and soak up all of his knowledge. I would have discussed his play style, his reads, and his training methods.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
        •      El Derado (The city of Gold)  

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
        •      Danielle Hunter. On a team filled with superstars, there are bound to be players who are underrated. That’s the case with the Vikings. Hunter, one of the best pass rushers in the league, is overshadowed by bigger stars on defense — Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
        •   On the field I would rather be respected. As a leader, we sometimes need to make tough decisions that are not the most popular choice. If there was an option I would choose both because if you are showing up every day and leading with intention, then respect and being liked will come with it.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
        •  Johnny Manziel. I feel for Johnny because I feel as if he never had someone to look up to and guide him in the right direction. If you have seen this man play, then you know he had the athleticism do dominate in the league. I just feel as if his partying lifestyle and sub par performance in the league could have been fixed, before it just totally fell apart.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
        •        I hate to lose way more than I love to win. Now do not get me wrong, getting a win is an awesome feeling. But that feeling when the clock hits zero and you are down will always make me feel sick to my stomach.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

  • My mother, because she basically raised me and my sister by herself for most of my life. Being a school teacher, her income was nothing crazy, but she still consistently made sure my sister and I were taken care of. Without my mother I would not be in this position I am today, and I am forever grateful for her. She pushed me and motivated me in ways that I never knew were possible.   

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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