Top NFL Draft prospect channels family military values ahead of glittering career: ‘It shaped me into who I am’
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Ancient utah utes standout Devin Lloyd went from helping lead his team to a Pac-12 title to becoming one of the best linebackers to enter the 2022 NFL Draft. With less than a week to hear his name on the big stage, Lloyd remains confident in his ability to perform at the next level, wherever he finds himself.
Speaking to Fox News Digital ahead of the NFL Draft in Las Vegas next week, Lloyd described the pre-draft process as a “roller coaster,” from training for the combine to Zoom meetings with different teams. just weeks after ending his college career. .
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“There are a lot of things that come into play,” Lloyd said. “I have just had the chance, first of all, to [be in this] kind of situation because not many people do it, but really I take it day by day, honestly.”
Lloyd, 23, is expected to feature in the first round – possibly in the top 15 – and has been described as a physical and versatile player. He earned Associated Press All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in his final season with the Utes and was a key factor in Utah’s 38-10 championship win. against the Oregon ducks.
“Yeah, as far as the atmosphere, playing in an NFL stadium also helped,” Lloyd told Fox News Digital when asked if believing that playing a game on that stage l helped prepare for the NFL.
“Just being in that atmosphere, being in that level of competition, understanding what’s at stake, the competition that you’re going to play against at the highest level – really just understanding all of that and being able to have the opportunity to be in that moment. there definitely sets you up for something like the NFL, which was recently described [to me] like the college All-Star game every week.”
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Lloyd has expressed confidence in his ability to excel in the NFL.
“I’ve spoken to several people, and the consensus that I’m really getting is that it’s basically getting to a point where – just like how I’m in college – it’s going to get to this point where I have this level of comfort,” he said. “Obviously when you first walk in everyone talks about speed and things of that nature, but I understand it really slows down depending on you individually.”
“I know I’m starting to watch a lot of movies, so I feel like there’s going to be a transition,” Lloyd said. “But I don’t think it will be at the level that everyone would necessarily think the transition will take forever. To me, I feel like it’s just football, and from what I I heard, it’s just football.”
Lloyd attributed much of his discipline and focus to growing up with parents who both served in the Marine.
“Growing up in a military home, everything is pretty much routine and scripted. Everything from waking up and getting your bed ready – how you make your bed – just a very strict schedule…learning to work together and to really do things the right way, do things with the right intentions,” Lloyd explained.
“Everything they learn on the job pretty much translates in one way or another in life, so I definitely learned a lot.”
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Lloyd recently teamed up with USAA to talk about how his experiences in a military family helped him become the player and person he is today.
“I was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to [do this] because of everything the military means to me, my family, and pretty much how it shaped me who I am today. It had a significant impact on myself and my success,” he said.
With so much attention on him as he approaches next week’s draft, Lloyd pointed to advice from one of his former coaches when asked how he stays focused.
“Just do what I did, honestly. Just keep looking for ways to improve yourself every day. Our defensive coordinator always said, ‘Find ways to add value,'” Lloyd said. “And while I don’t know where I’m playing yet, I’m still finding ways to add value based on what I’m doing whenever no one is watching. That’s where the military values come in. Really work when no one is watching and continue to never be satisfied with where you are.Always looking for ways to improve.