Name: Dennis Gardeck
School: University of Sioux Falls
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
I actually have a printed out word document of my goals that I set in May when I first got out to Sioux Falls. They started with just earning the respect of my teammates and getting to know them. That was one area I noticed was missing from my 2016 team that my 2015 team really had and knew it would be important to having a successful season. Next, I listed the team goals I wanted to achieve such as a conference championship and making the playoffs. Finally, I had individual goals of being All-American, making 1st team All-Conference, and earning A’s in my classes.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
My three words would be passionate, intense, and physical.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I’m currently training at the Fischer Institute in Phoenix Arizona. They really have everything down to a science, making sure all the hard work I’m putting in is efficient and directed towards getting a shot at the next level. With their guidance, my only responsibility is to give max effort in everything I do. I feel like I’m the biggest, fastest, and strongest I’ve been and I’m really excited to showcase all the hard work that’s gone into the past 3 months at my pro day.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
Big picture, I’m just looking to see top formations and what they’re doing run/pass wise out of it. See what they do when they’re backed up, towards the middle of the field, and in the red zone. As the week goes on, then I start looking for tells, like if back alignment, o-line stances or splits can tip off a run or pass. Finally, I watch 2 minute situations to get a feel for what they’re comfortable with or trying to do when the game is on the line.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
I’d say my determination sets me apart from other Linebackers. I’ll stop at nothing to complete the task in front of me. Whether that’s to get home on a pass rush, weed through the traffic in the box to make a play, or simply to play at the next level.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
One strength I have is production. That’s reflected in my sacks and TFLs. My work ethic is another strength, always trying to find new ways to improve my craft. Our defensive motto was “a relentless pursuit of perfection.” Off the field, my priority is building relationships with my teammates, watching film, and getting in extra workouts.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
My final pitch is that I still have untapped potential. I’m still growing as a football player. Continuously finding new areas to improve on. Being around better competition is only going to elevate my game and help me maximize my true potential.