2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Aidan O’Neill, K, Towson University
- Aidan O’Neill
- Towson University
- Hometown: New Paltz, NY
- Twitter: @aidannp98
2018 Accolades & Statistics:
- 2018 Walter Camp FCS All-America Team.
- 2018 AFCA FCS Coaches’ All-America Second Team.
- 2018 AP All-America Third Team.
- 2018 STATS FCS All-America Third Team.
- 2018 All-CAA First Team.
- GP: 12
- FGM-FGA: 22-29
- FG%: 75.86%
- 01-19 yds: 1-1
- 20-29 yds: 9-9
- 30-39 yds: 6-10
- 40-49 yds: 5-7
- 50+ yds: 1-2
- PATM-PATA: 42-43
- PAT%: 97.67%
- Total Points: 108
As an athlete, what is your motivation?
Just to always do my job to the best of my ability and be there for my teammates on and off the field, and enjoy my time doing it for as long as I have the opportunity to do so. Also, I love the process that comes with being an athlete; always being able to develop yourself as an athlete and a person and taking in all the life-lessons that come with the journey.
What defines success for you?
Doing my best all the time. Results are just a sum of your hard work in each moment you are given the opportunity to train and to perform with your team. I aspire for perfection in my results, but it is known to every man playing football that perfection is not attainable, so for me being successful is knowing I did my job to the best of my ability and encouraging those around me to do the same.
What would your teammates say about the type of teammate you are?
They would say I’m the best, and most clutch kicker they’ve ever played with. They would probably say that I’m very calm, cool and collected and just focused as hell when I’m kicking footballs. I hope to be setting an example for how to be obsessed and dedicated to your specific craft to everyone who I play with.
What are some of your personal “rules” that you never break?
I never change my process for preparation. I love the routine I have of warming up and I never let myself go too fast or too slow while warming up and I never change what I do. I also would say I never accept my warmups or get satisfied or dissatisfied with how I kick pre-practice or pre-game. “You don’t win your warm-ups,” is something my old long snapper Will Hayes would say and it’s so true. Those warm-up reps must be taken seriously, but good or bad they don’t count for anything and you must take each kick one kick at a time. Building off that, I’d say is I never let myself get upset when things go wrong. It’s all about being level-headed as a kicker and looking forward to the next rep whether the last was great or blocked or what have you, the next one is the important one.
Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?
The D-End from Nova, Tanoh Kpassagnon. He was a beast, man you know an NFL body when you see one. Other than that, I’d say Troy Reeder from Delaware, he has unreal vision and ability to move down field and make big plays.
Who is the best player in the NFL?
It’s got to be Pat Mahomes or Justin Tucker right now. Pat Mahomes is the most talented QB other than Aaron Rodgers and to be doing what has done this early in his career, man, he’s got some future. And I don’t think I need to explain Justin Tucker’s near perfection as a player, teammate and person.
What is your team of choice on Madden, why?
I suck at Madden, I’m honestly a Fortnite or FIFA guy, but I’ll take the Panthers all day and scramble with Cam, I love a running QB on Madden.
Failure is inevitable in life. How do you handle situations that don’t go in your favor?
On the football field, I just clear the mind and keep going like nothing happened. In a game like football, everything keeps going at a fast pace and there’s no time to get upset or caught up about anything because you never know when you’ll be called upon again. Just have to stay ready and locked in, that being said you can never get satisfied either, you always got to be hungry for more opportunities to be great.
Is there a current/former NFL player that you model your game after?
Before every game, I watch the film of Justin Tucker in 2015. His form was almost identical to mine now and I love to just see his leg speed, and his leg/hips getting through the ball without pads on, just hitting off a wizard holder. Now his form is just insane and nobody is there yet on the planet besides him but he’s who I like to try and replicate when it comes to how a football can best be kicked.
Knowing what you do now, what would you go back and tell yourself as a High-School Freshman?
I started kicking Sophomore year, and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing; I’ve met the greatest people from high school to other kickers and kicking coach (Adam Tanalski) and found myself at a school that I wouldn’t change for a thing. I love my teammates and coaches and I have been given such a great opportunity to perform and develop, I’d just tell the old me to have fun while it lasts because high school ball flies by!
What is your go-to restaurant near campus?
NY-fried Chicken & Seafood. Although I’m from NY, its nothing I’d find in NY and I’ve never had their fried chicken or seafood. But, they make a lamb and rice platter with salad and white sauce that I probably eat at least 3 times per week.
What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?
I have no shame in my musical interests and I usually share what I like with my friends but I’d say someone not a lot of people know about is Isaiah Rashad. He’s just a great lyrical laid back rapper and isn’t just into being loud or making stuff up and cussing belligerently, he’s super down to Earth and talks about real-life struggles and successes and he’s usually my go-to when I throw on headphones or when we are traveling.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
Siddhārtha Gautama , because I want to know what it looks like to be at full inner peace and how to truly achieve that feeling.
Forty-years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?
Just being a good person, someone you could go to for anything, someone who doesn’t slack off when it comes to their responsibilities, someone who reached the absolute top of whatever profession they find themselves in, someone who’s just a good guy, holds the door open for anyone, and gives back to those less fortunate. So just being a good person whatever that means to whoever you’re asking.
In 15 words or less, why should an NFL team invest in you?
I’m the smoothest, most consistent kicker in college. I can compete against any NFL kicker.