NFL Draft Series by PFC Blogger Chris Brown (@cbreezy2411)
As part of the NFL Draft Series on ProFootballCentral, we take a look at Boston College Linebacker Nick Clancy. If your not familiar with him yet, it’s about time to do so! Clancy had played multiple linebacker positions at Boston College but solidified his spot as the middle linebacker during his senior year. Clancy was a First Team All ACC Team selection during his season year. Nick more impressively was third overall in the nation with 145 total tackles. He had a season and career high 24 tackles against Northwestern.
CB: Nick, Good Evening, thank you for taking the time to speak with us tonight. Let’s start by telling us a little about yourself and your background throughout the years.
NC: How’s it going Chris? Well where do I start. I’m the youngest of five children. I’ve been playing sports my entire life, and playing football since I was seven. My family had been living in Colorado before making a decision to move to Chicago. During this time there were some family hardships from moving to Chicago. My father had a successful business in Colorado and made the decision with my mother to up and leave it. They knew it wouldn’t be easy; I grew up in struggles but I believe that has helped shaped my character and who I am. Going through tough times and the struggles has showed me that I need to have a great work ethic to persevere. I truly believe that hard work pays off in the long run. I pride myself on my work ethic for that reason and I’m not one who is shaken when adversity stares me in the face. When going through high school I had to choose which college to attend. I had three major criteria that had to be met in order for me to consider the intuition, academics, athletics and location. I wanted to go to a school with a great location because it could lead to further opportunities. During the process I had a list of schools down to BostonCollege, Purdue and Northwestern. When I had gone to visit to BostonCollege, the football team was ranked #2 in the country, so there was a great atmosphere that was attractive. While I was there I remember just looking at my dad and saying this play was pretty special. At this point it was a no brainer for me with all the feelings that I was overcome with. College life was a tough transition for me and created a lot of challenges. Coming out of high school I was used to being the top player and had the spotlight but when I got to BC I was at the bottom of the rung. This showed me that I had to work even harder to achieve my goals as a player and its something that I had faced my entire career. Times were tough but I stuck with it through and that can be credited to the times I had to overcome while growing up. I had redshirted one year and was able to gain an addition year, this past year I told my coach I wanted the starting spot. He just told me that I have to prove to him that I was deserving of the starting spot, and I did just that and haven’t looked back since.
CB: How does its feel to play behind recently named Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Kuechly, did he teach you anything? Also do you feel like you helped teach players this year on the field?
NC: Well, knowing I was going to be playing at different position my last year, I basically picked Luke’s brain. While he was here he was my roommate as well as my lifting partner so we spent a lot of time together. I would pick his brain about anything and everything; we would watch a lot of film together. He would give me different tips and keys that he seen in the film that I might not have picked up on. With me stepping into the starting role I felt like I had to do something and he took the time to come over and talk about everything which shows what kind of guy he is. During my last year at school I was watching the game film from when he played here at BC. I think he played the position the best and who better to learn from then the best. As far as me teaching other guys, it was something I took seriously this year. I was the only senior in this year’s linebacking core; the oldest guy behind me was a junior. I was there the longest and knew the defense the longest so it gave me a leg up on the experience side of things. Since I was playing in the middle of the defense, I had to know what everyone else was doing on the field. So it naturally put me in a position to be a leader. The middle linebacker can be considered the quarterback of the defense, so I had to make sure that guys were comfortable in playing their positions.
CB: How does it feel to be third in the nation in tackles as well as being named a First Team All ACC Selection?
NC: Honestly, it feels good to named in the subject, I didn’t think I would be in that conversation early in my career. Being it was my last year I was just going to give my best and have best chance to win. I then had a few 20+ tackle games and the stats began to pile up. Granted I have to be in the right position at the time to make the tackles but they are also attributed to style of defense that we play. We play a gap style defense so it creates holes and tackling opportunities often. I feel I am good at roaming everywhere on the field, being the middle linebacker you have the advantage to having that ability and opportunity to make plays. I was proud of myself and happy but at the same time I was also confident because I believed in my abilities and knew I could put up great numbers if given the chance.
CB: Where have you been training at recently, what are your training hopes for the future?
NC: On January 2nd I went to Arizona to train at Fisher Sports which is run by Brett Fisher. I believe it is one of the best combine training programs in the nation and they excel in combine workouts. I was out there training hard for three weeks and getting better day by day. After I had completed my work out there I went to Dallas for the Texas Versus Nation game. During the first day of practice leading up to the game I actually broke my arm. After this had happened I immediately had to fly back to Chicago and have surgery. I have been trying to stay as active as I can by doing lower body lifting. I am scheduled to meet with the doctor soon to determine the fate of my broken arm and how fast I can get back out on the field. I do know that I can start running soon which helps to keep me in football shape. I have been in contact with former NFL wideout Don Beebe who is a family friend. We have come up with a speed program that will keep my ultra fast and able to move quickly, hopefully I can be peaking just in time for the pro day.
CB: You had mentioned a pro day, do you have one scheduled and where is it going to take place?
NC: I am planning on having a pro day at Boston College towards the end of March. I believe it will be the 27th; the date isn’t finalized just yet because of the recent storm situation that had hindered the facilities at the college. But that is the tentative date at the present time.
CB: Now some analysts have you ranked as the 11th best linebacker in the draft, as well as being a projected to go in the 7th Round to Undrafted category. How do you feel about that?
NC: I do like taking on the underdog role, everyone wants to get drafted and rightfully so. But I know that what ever is right for me, I’m happy with. The guys that do get drafted by a team are put into a situation where they may not succeed because
of the team’s schemes. If I’m drafted with a team with lots of linebackers then the likelihood of me succeeding may not be as high. On the other hand if I do go undrafted then hopefully teams will be in contact with me and I can choose the situation I’m put into. Honestly it’s not something I’m worried about because it’s not in my control anymore. What is in my control is going and working hard, running a good time at my pro day and leaving it up to god. I’ve gone unnoticed before so being in the underdog role is something I’m very comfortable doing.
CB: Alright, well thank you again Nick for taking the time to speak with ProFootballCentral and we look forward to speaking with you in the next few weeks as you embark on your journey to the NFL.
NC: Thank you very much Chris and I look forward to updating you guys on my status.
For all those interested, be sure to check and follow Nick on twitter, his handle is @nickclancy54. Please be sure to check back for more interviews with Nick as well as more NFL hopefuls on ProFootballCentral.