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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dante Cleveland, DL Southern Illinois University

Dante Cleveland, DL Southern Illinois University
Dante Cleveland the standout defensive lineman from Southern Illinois University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Dante Cleveland
  • Position: DL
  • College: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 300 lbs
  • X (Twitter): @taedon3
  • Instagram: @taedon3

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

I have love for the game and ever since I was little I have always dreamed of playing at the highest level.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

I told my guys I’m about to go off and that’s exactly what I did. I told my little brother I’m standing on straight business and when we played Idaho that’s exactly what I did.

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

I’m looking to play at the highest level and prove that anything is possible even when the odds are stacked against you.

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

Chris Jones and Von Miller, they are both dominant players that make the game look so easy so I’d like to get a chance to learn from them.

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

My father has always been an inspiration for me. He has always pushed me and helped me get to where I am today.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

I don’t have a favorite scheme because up front no matter what you have to defeat the person across from you. I do prefer defensive schemes that attack more than play a lag technique.

What should we know about Dante Cleveland the person?

I am an ambitious and tenacious individual that has a motor and passion for this game. Also, I am a personable individual that loves helping others in my community.

What stands out about your film the most?

I have great hands and block destruction and I hawk the ball down.

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

I analyze the situation and figure out the best option for me. When challenges are out of my control, I understand that and know that God has a plan for me so, I thank him daily regardless if I’m challenged or brought success. There’s always a lesson to be learned in both.

What would a team get in a player like you?

My motor and knowledge of the game are a huge strength of mine because it allows me to play all positions on the DL and be productive. I’m a work horse and I’m a guy who will do the grunt work!

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

There’s life lessons that are taught each time I step on the field. I do enjoy inflicting violence on my opponents.

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

DJ Johnson is a great athlete and has played amongst and against many talented WR and has held his own.


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