The 2017 NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 27th through Saturday, April 29th. As the stars of the college game get ready to find out where they will begin their NFL journey, CBS Local Sports’ “My Life As” series will give them an opportunity to talk about how they got to this point and what they expect from the future in their own words.
We start with Nico Siragusa, offensive lineman from San Diego State University, who only got started playing football a few years ago.
For the fans of any team that drafts me, know that I’m bringing a toughness with me. I’m a guy who works hard every day, brings his hard hat with him every day and I’m going to give my all to whatever team picks me.
The guys that I’ve modeled my game after, Louis Vasquez and Trea Turner, play that way and that’s how I want to play as well. Both those guys were able to play inside at guard and also kick out to right tackle when needed and that’s the type of versatility that I want to bring to my team at the next level.
I first got started playing football when I was a junior in high school. My best friend at the time convinced me to go out and play because the team wasn’t that good. I went out and started playing and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I thought I was a basketball player, but, that didn’t work out because I was way too big.
I really wanted to play tight end, but, because of my size, the coach thought the offensive line was the best fit for me so I started playing left tackle.
The reason I decided to go to San Diego State is I’m a hometown guy, and I love San Diego and all of the sports teams. Seeing the direction that San Diego State football was headed, I really wanted to be a part of that. We ended up winning three Mountain West conference titles and, this year, we finished in the Top 25 so I would say that it was a pretty good decision.
There are so many memories from my time at SDSU, but my most memorable one was the last game I played against Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl. We beat them 34-10 and, knowing that we beat a team that had beaten two Top 10 teams in Louisville and Oklahoma was great. Many people consider them to be a Group of 5 powerhouse, so beating them was a great feeling.
The NFL Combine was a really cool experience. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to participate in an event like that, so, the craziness of that couple of days is all worth it. The early wake-ups, the late nights, it was all worth it just to have that experience.
To get ready for the NFL Combine, I worked out at Exos in Carlsbad, California. They trained a bunch of the guys that went to the combine. While we were there, we were really working on explosion, speed training, power lifting, and working on the various different positional drills that they run you through in Indianapolis. Thanks to the program at Exos, I was pretty well prepared going into the combine and was able to show what I can do.
The interview process at the combine is a whole different animal.
They get you ready for the interviews, but there’s nothing that can quite get you ready for sitting in for an interview with everybody in an organization. The biggest thing for me was when I got interviewed by the Broncos and Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway was interviewing me. That was crazy.
As I continue to prepare for the NFL Draft, the biggest thing left in the process is my pro day that’s coming up on March 23rd. I can’t wait for that because I’m going to be around all my teammates who I haven’t seen in a long time because everybody is in different places training. On top of that, it’s basically the last thing that I get to do with San Diego State. The scouts will get the opportunity to see what we can do one more time before the draft, so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to try and impress them one more time.
There’s a couple of things that I’ve been working on as I prepare to go to the NFL, but one of the biggest things that I have worked on this offseason is getting lighter because I want to be able to be a little quicker off the ball. I’ve also been working on improving finishing off my blocks.