Meet 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Nathan Karsjens, TE/LS, Western Illinois University
- Name: Nathan Karsjens
- Position: TE/Long Snapper
- College: Western Illinois University
- Height: 6’5.5
- Weight: 250
- Twitter: @natekarsjens
- Instagram: @nathankarsjens
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?
I feel that my versatility is my best quality. Being a TE and Long Snapper, and being able to do both well, allows me to contribute to teams more than other prospects can. My willingness to do whatever is needed out of me to better my team adds to that as well.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
Honestly, as long as I can remember. Some of my first memories are being on the sidelines for my brother’s high school games as well as being on the sideline after his college games. Wanting to be like my brother and do what he did really contributed to my love for football.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
I’m dynamic. This means, there is so much depth to who I am as a person and especially as a football player. I want to be successful in everything I do and have the ability to do so.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
I would donate to after school programs. Growing up I had coaches for parents, so I was lucky to be able to stay around sports after school and not go home and get myself in trouble. Not only can these programs teach sports and athletics, but they also give kids the opportunity to explore other areas they are interested in like art, music and so much more. I was also extremely involved in school, like being in band, vocal, student council, as well as a 4-sport athlete. Giving back to kids to get the experience that I was given is a huge goal of mine.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I learned a lot through experiences but very early on I was told that talent only takes you so far. It took me a long time to figure out what exactly that meant. To me, talent is something that can open doors for you but everything else that makes you who you are is what takes you to the next level.
Who was your childhood hero?
It would have to be my father and brother. Both were extremely vital in my development as an athlete and man. From watching my brother play at a young age and seeing my dad and brother coach as I grew up really allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do with my own athletic career. Being able to learn from them since the beginning was such a huge advantage. I would also like to mention my mom. She gave me a different perspective to learn from and grow from.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
We had a lot of guys at Western that I think might be considered underrated. Guys like Mason Laramie, Cam Washington, Henry Ogala, just to name a few. But one of the hardest workers I ever saw, especially at the kicking position, was Mason. He did anything and everything he could to be the best kicker he could be, and still is.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people complain about something that can be changed or fixed. Nothing gets me going more than people who just want to push all their problems on someone or something else when they can change the outcome themselves.
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
Honestly, the fall season before my senior year was one of the toughest seasons of my life. Going into it I was feeling really good about my play and position as a leader on the team. But life likes to humble us. Things just didn’t come my way and the more I pushed the worse it got. It taught me that nothing is ever expected or given to you, especially in football. What you make for yourself must come from your hard work and not from luck or expectation from your coaches or those around you.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
Western was my only real offer for D1 football coming out of high school. They were the only place that saw my potential. I was a QB/LB who was a 3x all-state punter in high school and they took a risk on me to play TE. Spending all my eligibility at one place too just makes it even more special.
What is your favorite snack food?
My favorite snack food honestly varies. I usually go with one thing for about a month or so before I switch it up. Right now, or recently, there have been recipes that I see online and want to try to make. Most of the time they come out pretty good but sometimes they don’t. They can be anything from meal prepping for the week or high protein cookies to pretty much anything I think I can make.
What is the best part of football?
The best part to me is that it is the perfect team game. The amount of teamwork and trust that goes into the game seems to be unparalleled. The game owes you nothing, yet you give everything you have for it, makes it unlike anything else.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
No one with my size can do the things that I can do or are willing to do for my team and organization.
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL, who would it be?
At the tight end position, I would say Mark Andrews. Size with a lot of versatility. As a long snapper, I wouldn’t think there are many guys like me.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My Grandpa Green, my Mom, and Vince Lombardi. My grandpa passed away before I was born so it would be nice to talk to him. My mom because she would like to talk to her dad and I about all the things I have done in life. Lastly, Vince Lombardi just to keep things interesting and focused on football, also all the things my grandpa and Vince Lombardi would talk about would be very interesting to me.