Name: Niko Culnan
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
The main goal I had for the season was to help the team make the playoffs. I had not experienced winning in college and wanted nothing more than to make the playoffs and even win our first playoff game in school history.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches and teammates would say that I am reliable. Off the field, I am the type of person that will do whatever someone needs of me without expecting anything in return. On the field, in my whole 2 years at Albany I had never missed a practice or a snap.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
I focus a lot on tendencies of the defense out of specific formations and alignments to try and get an advantage on stunts and/or blitzes. I also like to look and see what kind of moves a defensive player favors in certain situations. As for myself, focus on my notes of every play in a game. If I am repeating something a lot it needs to be my focus during the week.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I feel the biggest thing that separates me is my intelligence combined with the ability to communicate with my O-Line. Our offense required great communication from the center especially due to us switching from blocking assignments by the look or rule based on formation. I was responsible for remembering personnel, formation, the way the defense aligned to it and communicate responsibilities of double teams and pass protection based on them.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
After finishing up at the Small School College Gridiron showcase, my focus is currently on my Pro Day to showcase my athletic ability at my size that I feel will translate nicely to 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?
My work ethic and competitiveness will both stand out to a team on and off the field. Both of them go together to me because if you want to be competitive you need the work ethic to match. These are not just in the weight room and field but also studying film, playbooks and nutrition. In my years of college, I’ve learned that those two traits are contagious to the whole team and equal eventual success.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
I have always been overlooked in terms of award recognition from High School, to Junior College, to Albany. To me, it’s about my team success and what my teammates think of me. I may not have the accolades of other players at my position, but I guarantee my film shows my ability to play at the next level and every opponent I’ve played respects me. Just as the other levels, I know nothing will be handed to me but when the opportunity comes I’ll be ready to compete.