Name: Connor Wagner
School: Concordia University Wisconsin
Position: Offensive Line
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
My primary goal heading into the season was to help my team win a conference championship by being the best offensive lineman in the conference and one of the best in the country at the Division 3 level. I set a goal at the end of last year to not allow a sack all season which I came close to accomplishing by only allowing one.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Violent, Gritty, and Unrelenting.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
Well since the season ended, I’ve been currently training with my teammates and participating in team lifts and conditioning workouts to stay in good shape. Once classes end, I’ll head home for a few weeks and start training back at APE Athletes with my younger brother who also plays offensive line in college. The workouts consist of high intensity training that is specific to our position group that help in developing your body to be best suited to play on the line. We additionally supplement these workouts with field and technical work that help to keep us in a rhythm similar to what we would be in during football season which helps to maintain your positioning and timing as an offensive lineman.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
Typically when I break down film, I watch the defense as a whole and look for any tendencies that they have as far as play calling. After I’ve watched one or two games and figured out tendencies, I go back through and break down each player listed on the opponent’s depth chart. While I do this, I try to develop an idea of what each specific player likes to do, what his strengths are, and what he’s weak at. This way, I’m prepared and have an idea of what to expect depending on the personnel the other team has on the field.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
I think there are a lot of offensive lineman out there with really similar skill sets to mine, but what I think makes me stand out from other players is my preparation. Having a complete understanding of our offensive game plan as well as the defensive game plan the other team has set up for us allows me to really play on somewhat of an “autopilot” mode. I don’t have to think about what’s going on, I can just go out and execute my job at 100% without any hesitation.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
One thing I think that stands out about me both on and off the field is my ability to focus on the next play and keep a positive outlook on things regardless of the situation. This season we struggled a lot due to injury and found ourselves down early in a lot of the games we played, so one thing I really had to improve and excel at was being able to lead guys through adversity and keep them focused on winning one rep at a time and not focusing on the score or anything outside of the next play.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
Being a professional athlete has been a dream of mine ever since the first time I played a sport, and along my path to getting to where I’m at today, I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do because I was too small or because I wasn’t good enough. I’ve proven all of those people wrong by playing football at a high level in college, and I’m going to continue to prove people who doubt me wrong for the rest of my life, whether that be on or off the field. All I need is someone to take a chance on me and I guarantee I’ll prove them right for doing so.