- Name: Keegan Cryder
- Position: Center/Guard
- College: University of Wyoming
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 308
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?
I am a top prospect in my position because I am a cerebral player and can translate what I learn on the board to the field very well. I can make offensive calls and communicate well under high-pressure situations. I am also a very resilient player having never missed a game in my career and starting 44 consecutive games
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
I started playing football in 3rd grade and quickly learned it was the sport for me! I loved the physicality, the competition, the teamwork, and I just had fun playing from the beginning.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
My faith is a central part of my life and feeds into everything I do. Because of my faith I believe that I am accountable to share the gifts and blessings that I have been given with my community. I believe there is a lot of responsibility that comes with playing in the NFL. If I did have the opportunity to play in the NFL, my on-field actions and attitude would be of equal importance to me as community engagement. I would want to be an active part of initiatives to support local communities and encourage the next generation in how sports can contribute to an improved quality of life. I think NFL players have a responsibility to their teams and community to improve them and leave a positive impact.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
I would want to donate to the Wounded Warriors Project because I have tremendous respect for our servicemen and women. Our troops hold a special place in my heart because my sister is a pilot for the United States Air Force. They are willing to lay down their freedoms, so we can have ours. I would love to help those who might have received injuries from their service.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My last offensive line coach, Derek Frazier, had a saying, “control the controllables.” Meaning, there are things that are going to happen in a game and in life that are out of your control, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have control over anything in the situation. You can always control your attitude, effort and how you respond to situations. How you respond to adversity is a very valuable lesson I learned from my coach and the game of football.
Who was your childhood hero?
My dad was my childhood hero. I am the youngest of 5 siblings and he displayed what it looks like to both love and lead sacrificially while raising us all. I observed the choices he had to make with limited resources of time and money for a family of this size, and how he balanced that with rationale decision making skills and communication. All of us knew of his unfailing love and his example of hard work and desire to accomplish your dreams drove each of his children to pursue their passions to the greatest of their abilities. Obviously, life is not without some disappointments and he also gave me a model for how to handle failure and be flexible to new opportunities.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
Eric Abojei is the most underrated teammate at my school. He is a very physical player who has overcome a lot of adversity in his life to get to where he is today. His ability to drive defensive lineman off the ball is unmatched and he has worked to improve his foot speed by losing almost 80 pounds. I have a lot of respect for him and am thankful I had the opportunity to play next to him.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
One of my biggest pet peeves is being late. Time is a limited resource and therefore it is very precious. I want my time to be respected; and therefore I respect other people’s time as well. Whether its practice, class, a job, or any other commitment I make, I ensure that I’m on time and prepared to contribute to the topic or task at hand. I appreciate when others also recognize how valuable time is and respect the limited time we have allocated to a given event. As Vincent Lombardi used to say “if you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late!”
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
The freshman year of college is a challenging year for most people, but is was especially for me. I was recruited at 250 pounds and needed to gain weight as quickly as possible. I was also learning the rigor that comes with an engineering major as well as what a division 1 football season entails. Between all the extra meals, homework assignments, and practices I had to balance my time across all of these priorities and learn to receive and respond to various sources of feedback, which was sometimes challenging to hear. Up to this point I worked hard but success had come relatively easily to me, my freshman year of college introduced a whole new level of challenges and opened my eyes to a new level of effort and organization that I had to aspire to. I can now proudly say I have a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Wyoming and friends that will last a lifetime.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
Here in Laramie, we have the saying, “One Wyoming.” The University of Wyoming is the only 4-year university in the entire state, meaning that we athletes have an entire state as our fan base. Some fans drive 4 or more hours to come and watch us compete on Saturdays. That level of support is hard to find in college football and it is one of the many reason I am proud to be a Cowboy.
What is your favorite snack food?
There is nothing better than a bag of Gardettos.
What is the best part of football?
There isn’t just one, there are many great parts of the game, but for me the best parts are relationships and competition. I have met so many people through the game that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. People who have inspired me, challenged me, changed my perspective, and helped me to grow as an athlete and a person. I also love the competition and the adrenaline I feel when I’m entering the field to challenge a rival team. Knowing all the hard work and preparation that goes into that moment, and seeing how many fans are there counting on you and rooting for you gives me goosebumps.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
I am a goal-oriented leader who holds myself accountable to a high standard of excellence and will do everything in my power to enable the success of the team.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
I would compare my play to Ryan Jensen from Tampa Bay. He is a player who plays with great finish and strength. I think the way he can control a zero technique in the run game is very impressive and I try to emulate that in my game as well.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
The three people I would like to have dinner with would be Jesus Christ, Theodore Roosevelt, and Roy Orbison. Jesus is my Lord and savior, Teddy is my favorite president and Roy Orbison is one of my favorite artists (thank you, mom and dad). As I’ve previously mentioned, my faith is very important to me, but that doesn’t mean I have all the answers. I would relish the opportunity, to meet my savior Jesus, and dig deeper into the questions I have to strengthen my faith and grow in that relationship. Teddy Roosevelt is such a colorful character and a great leader. Like me, he was diagnosed with asthma as a child, but he did not let that stop him from achieving his goals. I’m inspired by his can do attitude, his excitement for exploration and the outdoors, and I’m sure he would have some pretty entertaining stories to tell. Finally, I grew up listening to Roy Orbison on family road trips and think it would be a great experience to get a personal concert from him!