In today’s NFL, the game is fast-paced, elaborate, and simply on another level compared to past generations of football. Especially on defense, versatility is the subsequent key to victory.
We have all seen what multifaceted athletes like Jamal Adams, Tyrann Mathieu, Deone Bucannon, and Darron Lee can do.
In a similar situation is Emeka Etta. This Wayne State College defender has a ton of talent and athleticism to add to the versatility he possesses. He is an outside linebacker who can pay all over the field, and is an excellent special teams piece.
Etta, the next subject of Breaking Football’s “Prospect Spotlight” series, will be fighting for a roster spot in the coming months. If this interview displays anything, we hope that it exemplifies how deserving Emeka Etta is of a shot at the next level, and how unique he is as an NFL prospect.
Q: As someone that hails from California, what made Wayne State College, a Nebraska school, right for you?
A: It was a very hard decision. But ultimately I picked the school that I felt would be the best fit for me. A small school with not too many distractions, where I could focus on goals while getting my Business Degree in Marketing and pursuing my football career.
Q: You are face to face with an NFL General Manager. What is your pitch for him to acquire you?
A: My sales pitch to an NFL General Manager is that I’m the type of player you need on your team, a young, smart, explosive athlete to make plays all over the field, even on special teams. One with a lot of speed to avoid and shed blocks.
Q: Is there a current NFL player you compare yourself to?
A: If I could compare my style of play to any player in the NFL I believe it would be Deion Jones. We both have a similar styles of play and bring a lot of speed to the game, sideline to sideline. We both excel in setting the edge in the run fit & covering a TE with little to no effort.
Q: Are there any pre-draft events you plan on attending in order to boost your stock?
A: I’ve played in the 2017 National Bowl in Daytona which went well and have been invited to a 2018 Podyum Showcase in Miami. Other events I plan on attending are some combines and getting a Pro Day lined up at UNL.
Q: Durability and versatility are obviously important in today’s NFL. Do you feel you can assist an NFL team at multiple positions/roles while staying healthy?
A: Yes, durability and versatility are very important. I never had any serious injuries over the course of my whole career and this is a very dangerous sport. But that’s why I take my training serious so that if necessary I can play every down and my body can handle the stress I’m putting on it. My senior year my coaches gave me a big role for the team as I played almost every special teams down so I know how important winning the hidden yardages can be.
Q: Which college achievement or accolade means the most to you and why?
A: One of the most important accolades I believe you can get is being picked for All-American for your division because it’s chosen by the other coaches from other teams that you played against and they tend to pick the kid who gave them a hard time trying to stopping when they played.
Q: Who was the most important figure in helping you get to this point?
A: Well there are a lot of people who helped me get to this point but I would have to thank my mother for giving me the strength to pursue my dreams and venture out of the state into an unknown environment. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.
Q: Another significant aspect of today’s league is athleticism. What 40 yard dash time do you expect from yourself?
A: The 40-yard dash I plan on running is a 4.5 or under.
Q: As a football player, if you don’t improve, someone else will take your spot. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan on improving them?
A: My biggest strength would be my heart and willingness to not give up as I’m not the biggest at my position but I play like I am. My speed makes up for my size and allows me to react quicker to make the play. The things I can definitely improve on which I think can be an easy fix are my pad level, eye placement in man coverage, and attacking the ball at the highest point. The little things.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome over the course of your career?
A: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was back in high school was during my senior year. I wasn’t able to play football because I had to work and help my family so we wouldn’t lose our house at the time. I remember back then the fear of not knowing if I would play again but I was lucky enough to take my talents to Laney Junior College in Oakland that prepared me for the next level and I am very grateful to John Beam and the rest of the coaching staff up there who believed in me.
Q: Who was your favorite athlete/football player growing up?
A: My favorite athlete growing up has to be Chad Johnson, the WR. I really like the energy he brought to the game and his confidence that no one could hold him because he believed in his craft and speed.
Q: Recent rule changes have allowed for more creative touchdown celebrations. What touchdown celebration would you perform if you happen to find yourself in the end zone?
A: My touchdown celebration would be a dance that originally came from the Bay Area called the “Slow Down”.