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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Nathan East, LB, Samford

Nathan East is a quick athlete and great hitter on Samford's defense. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
Nathan East is a quick athlete and great hitter on Samford’s defense. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Nathan East
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 232 lbs.
  • Position: LB
  • College: Samford University
  • Twitter: NathanEast22
  • Instagram: NathanEast22

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I completed my undergrad back in December of 2020 in Exercise Science. I started my Doctorate in Physical Therapy in May of 2021. Lately, I’ve been doing part of my clinical internship with Benchmark Physical Therapy.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
I think they would say that I’m a good teammate and very accountable. I do things the right way and lead by example

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’ve mainly played in a 4-3 base defense as mostly OLB and occasionally DE. I am typically the coverage LB although I have a good number of reps coming off the edge. I’ve also had several opportunities during spring ball playing a middle-high safety position in our new system. I have good athleticism which allows some versatility to play all over. I have evolved into a nickel LB, having experience covering receivers in the slot. I’ve also had good reps on special teams with that being more emphasized this season.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
ETSU has had a nice run game with Quay Holmes as their ball carrier over the past several seasons. He’s a good all-around back that makes good plays on the edge and can also run on the inside, delivering blows as a hard hitter.

The Citadel had a very athletic WR in Raleigh Webb. He’s a very hard-nosed player that’s willing to block, yet takes advantage of his opportunities as a receiver when he has them.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Liam Welch and Montrell Washington were great leaders on our team and had a great love for the game that showed. Montrell is a very exciting athlete to watch. He was used all over the field for us. The Denver Broncos selected him in the 5th round of this year’s draft.

Seth Simmer plays DL and knows how to be disruptive, taking on double teams and making plays in the backfield. He knows how to lock it in when we are out there playing and he’s a great leader for our defense.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I grew up without a father figure in my life. I’m the youngest in my family with my mom and 3 older sisters. My mom raised us well and that shaped me into who I am today, always striving to do the right thing. That mentality has spilled over into my life as a football player, being well-disciplined in all aspects.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Baseball. My father-in-law actually coached me in baseball in high school. I played all 4 years in the outfield. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I just recently married my high school sweetheart and that’s something that I am very proud of.

With regards to my football career, I’m very glad that I have had the opportunity to play at the Division One level and obtain a degree at an institution like Samford.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
In 2021, our opening game was against Tennessee Tech. It was a night game and a great atmosphere with the stadium packed with students and fans. I was happy to have everyone back after having limited capacity during the Spring and no season the prior Fall. That was my first game playing any reps at the DE position. In the 1st quarter on a 3rd down and long, I was able to get a sack forcing the team to punt.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite all-time athlete is Lebron James. For football, my favorite players are Troy Polamalu and Harrison Smith. They are just hard-nosed players who delivered some of the best hits.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
I’m a fan of Drake. Before games, I’m usually not listening to much but it’s probably worship music from someone like Hillsong.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Loaded baked potato.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Avengers End Game is one of my favorite movies. Chris Evans is one of my favorite actors. I’ve really enjoyed watching the TV show “This is Us” with my wife. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I love spending time with my wife and family. I also have a chocolate lab that I enjoy training.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play football because I love it. I really enjoy being around all the guys. My main motivation comes from my mom and my wife. I want to go as far as I can with the game of football for myself and my family.

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