Meet 2023 NFL Draft prospect Isaiah Stalbird, LB, South Dakota State

South Dakota State University playmaking linebacker Isaiah Stalbird recently spoke with writer Draft Diamonds Justin Berendzen

  • Name: Isaiah Stallbird
  • Position: LB
  • College: South Dakota State University
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 215 pounds
  • Twitter: @stalbird2
  • Instagram: @zay_deuce

What made you decide to become a footballer?

I feel like it’s just something I always cared about when I was younger and as I got older I fell in love with it even more because it was a getaway.

What are your favorite moments in your life as a footballer?

Just the whole process like in high school my senior year and we lost in the championship but it was a learning moment. Being in Nebraska to block a punt against NIU. In South Dakota State, we tried even harder after losing the national championship.

What sets you apart from other linebackers?

I really think I come down from safety knowing that I’m very versatile and can keep the ends tight. And I still feel like I have room for improvement and I think the dream of leveling up is even something that I can eventually achieve. I wasn’t heavily recruited and I ended up walking all the way to Nebraska with a chip on my shoulder and then I ended up here in the state of South Dakota in one of the top divisions in football of the FCS.

What kind of energy do you bring to the football pitch?

I’m going to say like cool, calm energy but ready to bring the juice if I make a game and inspire the players if they need motivation.

If you could date any football player past or present for a day, who and why?

Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins and Sean Taylor. Because they were guys who were passionate about football. I feel like I can get knowledge from these guys and it would help me and be a dream for sure.

How do you prepare for matches?

Just sit back, watch a movie go through the first, second, third and red zone and see if they’re doing any gimmicky games and see what the trends are and go practice what you need to do.

What should we know about Isaiah Stalbird the person?

Just a humble guy trying to chase a dream and make the most of the opportunities that come my way.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

Nickel or dime, because we mix things up so much it’s harder to read for offense, you can play the slot, go out in cover, play in the box. So you can read what the quarterback is doing.

How do you deal with challenges in life and on the football pitch?

I’m just learning to keep going if I didn’t overcome challenges I wouldn’t be where I am in football and even on the football field if you play badly you have to keep going because if you don’t get not through bad things, you will never learn anything and you just need to keep going through adversity.

What would a team get from a player like you?

I think they’re going to have someone with a high ceiling who’s going to be coachable and I’m always going to think I can do better, the coaches think they’re tough on me but I think I’m tougher on myself- same. And I’m not afraid of physical contact even though I’m an undersized linebacker and they would find someone very versatile.

What are you expecting from your next season?

Just proving myself who I say I am and achieving my personal goals and team goals.

Who is the most underrated player you have played with and why?

DyShawn Gales, I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves and I think people think he’s underrated, but I’m excited to see what he can do.


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