NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Logan Backhaus, LB, South Dakota State

Logan Backhaus
Logan Backhaus is a very intelligent leader on the South Dakota State defense. He had the opportunity to tell his story to Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Logan Backhaus
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 212 lbs
  • Position: LB
  • College: South Dakota State University
  • Twitter: @Logan_Backhaus

Tell us about your university/college. Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

I have been a coach for our FCA football teams we do in the fall. I also have been a Peer Mentor for multiple freshmen as well as an Anatomy Intern, (which entails teaching students during their time of taking anatomy.

How did you end up at South Dakota State?

They were one of the first schools that showed me interest in high school and they stuck with me throughout the whole recruiting process. I knew they were going to be losing their starting Sam linebacker after my redshirt year, so I thought that it would be a good fit for me. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

I think they would say my leadership ability and how vocal I am when it comes to my leadership skill set. Being named a captain as a junior really showed that my teammates believed in me and thought that my leadership skills were good enough to be one of their team captains. 

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I am the vocal leader on the team which helps me on the field too. Being vocal is a huge part of my game in helping guys get lined up and seeing any giveaways the offense might have before the snap. I have played strong side linebacker most of my career, so I have been in coverage a lot which helps my overall skill set. We run a 4-3, but we have multiple other packages, so I feel pretty comfortable in a lot of different schemes. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

I was able to line up against Dallas Goedert almost everyday in practice for my first two years at South Dakota State. This helped me get better in coverage because he is such a dominant receiving threat. But the best player I have played against would probably be Easton Stick with the amount of times we play them I would say he is the best player overall I have played against.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

I would say Christian Rozeboom. I played alongside him for 3 straight years, and he helped me become the player I am today. He showed great work ethic everyday on the practice field and especially on gameday. The way he was able to have success and yet stay very humble was something that has stuck with me all this time. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

I have grown up in a very good household and I am grateful for that opportunity and I haven’t had to overcome too many struggles in my life. Sports-wise I tore my MCL in the middle of my redshirt freshman season. I missed two games, but was able to come back into the starting lineup and finish the season out strong. I was proud of the resilience to get my rehab in so that I was able to finish the season. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

I am most proud of being able to be successful in the classroom and on the field. Managing playing football at a high level as well as preparing myself to go to medical school in the future is what I am proud of. I don’t know if I have had my biggest achievement yet.There is always something greater out there that I can achieve and that is the only thing I focus on until I achieve that goal. 

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

It was my sophomore year and we were playing Kennesaw State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. There was 2 minutes or so on the clock and Kennesaw had the ball on their own 40-45 yard line. We had just scored and were up in the game. It was 3rd and 7 or so. I’m playing linebacker and Jordan Brown was playing corner right next to me. I look at Jordan and say, “Hey watch the hitch at the first down marker.” The Kennesaw receiver runs the hitch and Jordan is waiting on it. Jordan breaks up the pass, and I dove in to make the interception to seal the game and send us to the semifinals. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

I would decide to play baseball. I used to play baseball in high school and I used to pitch. I loved pitching because you were basically in control of the whole entire game. The win/loss was mainly in your hands. I loved that pressure and control that you have when you pitch. 

What was your major/minor? Other than football, what would be your dream job?

I am majoring in Human Biology and Biotechnology with a minor in Chemistry. My dream job would be to be an orthopedic surgeon because I would like to stick around sports for as long as I can. Sports have been such an important part of my life. I would look forward to helping young athletes come back from injury as fast as possible because I know how much they love their sport and would like to get back to it. 

What have you been working on in the off-season?

I have been working on mastering all 3 linebacker positions because with everything going on someone could get sick and we can’t miss a beat. I want to know all the linebacker positions, so if need be I can jump in and play every single one. I have also been studying for my MCAT (medical school entrance exam). Along with my everyday drills and lifting. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

Brett Favre used to be my favorite athlete of all time because I was a Packers fan when I was younger, I was also playing quarterback at the time. Now I don’t necessarily have a favorite team, but just enjoy watching good football. I try to model my game after Cory Littleton. He is a tall, lengthy linebacker and he plays very smart. By knowing tendencies of the offense he is able to sniff out plays quickly.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any secret talents?

With the minimal spare time we get, I like to spend it out on the water whether it be boating, wake surfing, or swimming in the summer. My roommates and I play a lot of 2k in our free time. We play basically anytime we can get a game in. 

Why do you play football?

I play for the love of the game. I love deciphering offensive plays and being in the right spot to make plays. I’ve grown up competitive and hate losing, so being able to make plays to help the team win drives me. 

Who or what motivates you the most?

I get my motivation from all the college coaches that thought I was too small to play linebacker out of high school. That and just people saying you won’t make it or you’re too small to play at the next level. Proving them wrong is what motivates me, plus I have had this dream to play at the next level for as long as I can remember. 

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