Name: Kevin R. Ventura-Cortes
School: Concordia University St. Paul/Abilene Christian University
Position: TE

Height: 6’6”
Weight: 240

What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?

I first and foremost set out to obtain my MBA upon receiving my undergraduate degree during my final collegiate season. I also made it a priority to transition my off season work into the beginning of the season. I set out to have a better first step and have good hand placement while working on my pad level. I had high expectations for myself to improve in all aspects of my game while specifically making some noise in the run game. I believe I made a tremendous improvement from the previous season into my final year of eligibility in terms of my blocking. I was able to hold my own and assist in key blocking schemes against players I would typically have some trouble against. I made it an emphasis to gain weight and become a more aggressive player in both the passing and blocking game. I believe at the end of it that I became a better teammate, unselfish to an extent and drastically improved my weaknesses in my overall athletic ability.

Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?

The extra year allowed me to truly set goals and expectations for myself while challenging me to push my game to an elite level. It provided me with the time and opportunities to work on my mental as well as emotional health in order to ground myself with the player I wanted to become one day. I put on the size and devoted my time to executing the details at my position. From picking a stance that allowed me to fully function at a higher level and gaining an even more explosive first step. Too working on my blocking techniques and perfecting my route tree. All while grasping a better understanding of defensive schemes and coverages. I was committed and dedicated to being involved in team coordinated workouts/ meetings while training back home in California through means of a rental car. I would make drives from San Diego to Orange County to meet with my trainer on a daily basis while ensuring I was eating the adequate amounts and quality of foods. As a result, it served as fuel to the flame and incited me to truly embark on the mission of becoming a pro player.

Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?

I am passionate and a unique character. My story and journey as a JUCO player, one year varsity high school player from a wing T offense, single mother household, and hispanic minority has always fueled me to build a confident persona in all aspects of who I am. I was the type of player who always walked overly confident and paved the way for himself with his own decisions. Most would say I am very hardworking and a critic of silencing the haters through being one of the best athletes on the field. I believe most players and coaches would say I have come an extremely long way from when I first stepped foot at CSP with my approach to building relationships and pursuit of being a great athlete.

Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?

I always look at my first step whether I am attached to the line of scrimmage, flexed out or at the wing. I am ultra critical as are my coaches. I look at my initial pad level/ hand placement when coming off the ball and how well or poorly I maintained leverage at the point of attack in the run as well as passing game. I also look for the speed of my breaks and how much drive I get. I also have instilled looking at myself finishing a play through the whistle or not. It is very critical to keep looking for work until the whistle is blown as I have had some occasions where my hustle has assisted in long touchdown runs. Once I evaluate myself in a specific play, I look at the defensive schemes and where I could have done better or can improve for the next game when presented a similar look.

Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?

I believe I haven’t hit my peak ceiling. I think my versatility, willingness and ability to be coachable will continue to build myself to the player teams are looking to bring into their programs. I have raw talent that will continue to allow myself to separate from the others as I continue to work on my craft and receive the proper coaching. My size and frame alone serves an upright advantage while my tenacity in the run game combined with elusive route running make for a formula of a distinct pro prospect.

Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?

I am currently doing pro combine and skill training with Bill Welle at the Training Haus in Minnesota.

Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?

A professional and relentless approach that is grounded on faith and belief that they made a right decision in picking me. They are not only bringing in a hybrid tight end who has play making ability, but also brings the role of being a locker room guy and team player. I am a person who will hold himself in a professional manner both on and off the field while encouraging others in the pursuit of being a championship level team in all aspects.

Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?

I am extremely grateful and beyond blessed for the opportunity to even be considered as a potential prospect. I am a player and person who has achieved as well as conquered so much adversity to get to where I am today. I have no intention of letting off the gas pedal now and when I get signed. In fact I am overly prepared to continue my pursuit of becoming greater than what I already am and have the ability to make even bigger noise under the right circumstances and guidance. I am a mismatch tool at my position and have the absolute ability to contribute to a team in the pursuit of becoming a champion.