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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Michael Lufile, LB, Alcorn State

2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Michael Lufile, LB, Alcorn State
Michael Lufile the physically gifted linebacker from Alcorn State recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds lead scout Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Michael Okamo Lufilé 
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 235 lbs.
  • Position: LB
  • College: Alcorn State University
  • Twitter: OkamoLufile
  • Instagram: Mosantute

How long have you played football?

I’ve played football since about the 6th grade and have been in love since. 

What do you love most about football?

Honestly, the carnage that can transpire between whistles. There aren’t too many things that feel better than running through another grown man and dominantly forcing your issue.

Did you play other sports in high school and/or college?

In high school and college, I only played football, but if I’m being honest I did try out for the track team my junior year at South Grand Prairie HS and didn’t make it. In my defense, being not even a full 9 months removed from ACL surgery and running track, in a full ACL brace, wasn’t the smartest or easiest thing to do lol.

Talk about your school and what you are doing as a student?

I was only at Alcorn for 3 months. I didn’t get the full HBCU experience because I was afraid I’d lose focus on trying to handle my situation with the NCAA and my eligibility. But if I could do it all again, I’d force myself to be where my feet were and take as much as Alcorn had to offer in the short time I was there. The people I met were amazing nonetheless, very charismatic and encouraging individuals. 

What is your best quality as an athlete?

I would say my best quality is that I’m a workhorse. Physically and mentally I exhaust myself because I genuinely love the game of football and everything that comes with it. Sometimes my best quality does become my biggest flaw but having the right people around me and letting them love me has always leveled me out pretty well. 

Describe one of the best plays in your collegiate career.

My first game after getting cleared by the NCAA, we traveled to Montgomery, Alabama to play against Alabama State. Being that it was my first week/ game back, my coaches weren’t planning in the slightest to fit me into the scheme. The first half comes and goes. Coming out from halftime, after getting a fire lit under us by the illustrious Coach Thomas, I begged to get in the game, and, in short, I was told no. As the 3rd quarter winds down, I end up getting my name called and get my first snap on defense in a Braves jersey. We keep them out of the end zone the whole 3rd quarter and score on offense to bring the game to 13-17 us. The 4th qtr came, and we marched down the field, attempting a field goal which was blocked and returned for a Touchdown making the game 20-17 Alabama, with 9:25 left. I’m back on the field, and Alabama ends up with the ball in the red zone after a few first downs with 3:49 left on the clock. I recognized the next play by the receiver motion and played the C-Gap vertically to entice the ball carrier through my assigned gap and force the ball out of the running back’s hands on the 12-yard line. That play was special because we got the ball back and marched down the field to kick a field goal with 5 seconds on the clock to tie the game and send it into OT. Our offense goes back out first and scores another field goal to bring it to 20-23, and then our defense plays complementary football to keep the Hornets out of the end zone and seal the win.  It felt like the world to me to officially be a part of something bigger than myself again, like I found my tribe. Plus we needed that SWAC win badly after losing to PV the week before (20-23).

What is your biggest achievement as a player?

Not giving up. Since high school and throughout college I’ve had almost every reason to give up and I didn’t. I could’ve gone off and focused solely on school, but I wanted to walk my path with no regrets. If I fail(ed), at least I can say I truly gave it my all, but by God’s grace I keep going.

Tell me a lesson you learned from football.

A lesson that will forever resonate in my heart is that the pain I feel today will not last forever, and one day it will be the strength that I survive by. With everything that I have been through in my career and life outside of football, be it physical or mental pain, I always would find myself in the latter days facing the same problems with a different but better approach and/or strategy.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

In my spare time, I’m either meditating on the Word or finding something to do that’s hands-on, which is also my hobby. I love to build and/or fix things either around the house or for other people when needed.

I don’t think this is much of a secret talent, but I’ve learned how to make people laugh, including myself, regardless of what I or they are going through. I’ve found that laughter/ humor is one of the few universal pleasures and languages understood around the world, and I love to see happy people. 

Who or what motivates you the most?

My mom. I often pray that if God doesn’t see fit to bless me with my desires, he would remember the pain my mother has borne from young until today, that I may be able to bless her because, without her prayer, fasting, and faithfulness to him, I’m not sure I would be inclined to seek the kingdom of God, let alone be here to do so.

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