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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Eli Alford, IDL, University of Montana

Eli Alford the interior defensive lineman from the University of Montana recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen
Eli Alford the interior defensive lineman from the University of Montana recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen
  • Name: Eli Alford
  • Position: IDL
  • College: University of Montana
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 300 lbs
  • Twitter: @elialford91
  • Instagram: @eli.alford.91

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

I grew up with football all around me. My dad, Aaron Alford, and my uncle, Tony Alford, both coached college football so I have always been surrounded by it. With this being said, I moved around a lot when I was younger and always got to hangout with my dads players which I thought was the coolest thing and I always knew I wanted to be like those guys when I grew up and sure enough it worked out haha.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My favorite moments from my football life would probably be all the memories made off the field with my teammates in the locker room. Just being able to hangout and shoot the stuff with all the guys on your team is hard to beat. Other than that, I would say beating the Huskies (UW) in 2021 will be a memory that I will never forget as well as beating the Cats (MSU) later that season was quite the memory. But mostly any of the games where we came in as the underdogs and ended up beating some highly ranked teams.

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

Going forward, I just want to focus on being the best player that I can be regardless of the noise around me. I mainly want to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be a dominant defensive tackle in any league.

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

If I had the chance, I would want to hangout with my dad back when he was playing running back at Colorado State. I say this because he passed away in 2013 when I was just starting high school football and I would do anything to hear what he thinks about my playing abilities and how far I’ve come as an athlete. Plus it would be cool to be able to spend more time with him.

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

The family member that inspires me the most would be my mom, Linda Alford. I say this because, as I mentioned last question, my dad died when my brothers and I were still pretty young and my mom really took over and truly was our superhero. She is incredibly strong and has done the absolute most to make sure my brothers and I would be successful in whatever we chose to do in life. She is the most supportive person I have in my life and I strive to be like her and my dad every single day. She is just an incredible woman that I would do anything for because she’s already done everything for me.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

My favorite defensive scheme would probably be any scheme with a 3 man front or anything that includes a nose tackle. I just love playing as far inside as I can because I think I do my best work on the interior of the trenches. But the defense we ran at Montana had me and the other nose tackles looping and rushing off the edges which was also fun at times. But overall I love any defense that brings a lot of pressure.

What should we know about Eli Alford the person?

All you need to know about Eli Alford is that I will work as hard as I can to be the best player and man that I can be. I love and have so much passion for this sport but it doesn’t define me. My life is so much bigger than football and in the end, I just want to be known as a good person who helped change lives for the better.

What stands out about your film the most?

What stands out about my film the most is that I’m dominant in the trenches. I am extremely powerful and I push guys around and am a hard object to move, even for multiple offensive lineman. I thrive in double teams and take pride in controlling the line of scrimmage.

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

I like to handle all challenges head on. I like to address whatever the issue is that I see and find ways to work through it as quickly as possible.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would get an extremely hard worker who is excited to prove his worth and will always put the teams needs before his own. All I need is an opportunity and I promise you the rest will be history!

What do you love the most about the game of football?

I love that football is so much more than a game. It is a activity that brings so many people together that can also take you on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a pathway for struggling kids to make it out. It teaches you everything you need to know about teamwork and working selflessly. I could honestly go on forever and that shows why football is so special to so many people.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?This one is tough because I can think of so many guys that would be considered ’underrated’. But if I had to choose one, I would say my former Grizzly teammate, Gavin Robertson. He is an incredible player that really knows how to light dudes up. He’s crazy athletic and just a straight baller but had some trouble with injuries his last season so kinda got overlooked. But he’s playing in the XFL for the San Antonio Brahmas so I’m excited to see where his career goes.

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