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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Sam Viera Jr, LB, Albright College

Sam Viera Jr the star linebacker from Albright College recently sat down with Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.
Sam Viera Jr the star linebacker from Albright College recently sat down with Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Sam Viera Jr
  • Position: LB
  • College: Albright College
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 228 lbs
  • Twitter: @SamVieraJr
  • Instagram: @samvierajr

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

I decided I wanted to be a football player early on in my life. I was always drawn to footballs either if that was playing in recess, on the school team, or even at home constantly talking about the game and trying to learn more about its history and where the game was going. Looking back throughout my life football was there and something I could count on always being there for me as long as I put the work in and respected the game. I knew it was for me the first time I put on pads. Football was something I fell in love with as a kid and haven’t lost that feeling and love I have for the game since.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My first favorite memory dates back to when I first starting playing tackle football. Everything was going great the first couple weeks as I was learning a lot and was in the starting lineup. I was informed by the coaches that I was around 10 pounds over the weight limit. For the next week I would come to practice early run and do everything I could to make weight. That season I didn’t miss a game making weight each game of the season all the way to the championship. After that I realized there will be challenges and obstacles but I could overcome them with consistency. Other moments include being voted by coaches and players team captain in both high school and college, District Championships in High School football , when I tore my ACL and came back earning all conference honors after the injuries, along with the countless relationships I have gained over the years especially at Albright College that have impacted my life.

What stands out about your film the most?

What stands out about my film includes a player who was given responsibility on his defense in terms of being the play caller on the field, making checks for both the front seven with different fronts and blitz calls and the secondary for coverage depending on what formation and down and distance the offensive situation was. This responsibility was given to me throughout having multiple defensive coordinators throughout college career. My film will show a smart leader who understands blocking schemes, run fits and overall what the offense is trying to do against the defense. Lastly my film shows that I have the capability to rush the passer on various blitzes but also but be aware enough to make an impact in the pass game dropping back into coverage as well as being strong in run fits and showing the ability to take down a ball carrier in the hole or in open space.

Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?

My mom inspires me the most in my family. Growing up in a single parent home as a boy who lives with his mom is hard on everyone involved. My mom never failed to amaze me everyday with how she was able to lead by example but still always being there when we needed it. Whether that was correcting us when we needed, giving us motivation when we were down or just making sure we were always fed for dinner time no matter if she wasn’t there herself. Working 2 jobs is hard but she wanted what was best for her kids and I couldn’t thank her enough. The lessons that I learned just watching her go through her daily life will stick with me and have taught me so much into being a leader and being comfortable with the uncomfortable and finding a way.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

This was a tough question for my as I have looked up to so many football players. I narrowed it down to Brian Dawkins and Ray Lewis. Both players are known as leaders of their respective franchises, centerpieces that were the heartbeat of their historic defenses. Both players were excellent in the cerebral part of the game and preparation through film study and training. I look to model my game after theirs by being an extension of the coaching staff on the field and putting in the extreme dedication to the work and process to get better. Another aspect that both these players have in common is their relationship with God and the strength that they have for their faith and how they translate it into their football careers.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

Overall as a football player going into the future I am looking to reach my full potential athletically, strength wise and mentally. To achieve this hard work is required daily as well as putting the right fuel into my body not only for my body but for my mental too. Along the way I look forward to earning my way onto a roster and being in a situation where I can help a team win and be a good teammate in any aspect of what my role would be.

What should we know about Sam Viera Jr the person?

Sam Viera Jr as a person has been overcoming odds his whole life. He is respectful, responsible and works hard and go to the farthest extent for the things in his life that he cares about. As a person he is a hard working confident leader who tries to help all those around him. He works well in a team and has shown great responsibility that has been put on him by his family, teammates and coaches.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

My favorite defensive scheme would be an aggressive 4-3. I’ve played in both a 4-3 and a 3-4 as an inside linebacker in my college career but due to my skill set, size and knowledge of the scheme I do believe that I can play at either the strong or weak side OLB in a 4-3 as well if needed. In an aggressive 4-3 scheme the inside linebacker is ask to not only fit the run correctly but also be impactful on blitzes getting to the QB as well as playing coverage as a deep hole player in cover 2 (or 4) or a short hole/ spy player in cover 3 as well as some man to man responsibility with various calls vs the RB and TE/wings.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

I’ve faced many challenges in life and football. From knee injuries, losing seasons and losing coaches who I was very close to, football always throws challenges at you. In life I have grown up and became a man without a true father in my life. With these challenges I’ve matured and learned the best way to deal with challenges to to double down on being consistent and continue to grow in my relationship with those who are here for me and with God. Challenges have came in my life but I feel as if I been able to over come them due to my support system and my dedication.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would be getting a hard working, team first player who will lead by example and always be on time. A team would be getting a player who will be all in and focused on doing whatever he can to be a great teammate and help his team reach their ultimate goals of winning.

What would a team get in in player like you?

What I love most about the game of football is it’s direct correlation to life lessons. In the game of football you will get exposed if you do not put the work in whether that is physically or mentally. Football will always give back to you what you have invested into it. Football has given me the best relationships I can ever ask for. Whether that is with coaches who have become like father figures to me or teammates who I know are like family and will go to war with me on the field or off it and will have my back. I love the energy that the sport of football brings and the ability it has to bring together people of all different backgrounds.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

Armon Jefferson is the most underrated player I’ve played with. He was a safety at Albright who was in the class above me. AJ was a true student to the game and was a field general type of player. He taught me the importance of knowing your opponents tendencies and understanding what offense are trying to do in different down n distances as well as field positions. He was able to translate his study of the game onto the field through his performance.

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