An Interview With Former Badgers Football Player Louis Nzegwu

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Louis Nzegwu in the Cleveland Gladiators huddle, 2014 Week 19 against Jacksonville. Photo Credit John Saraya

Nzegwu signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012, which seems to be the future landing spot of many former Badgers looking for a shot in the NFL.

JR: Did the Falcons come to you, or did you have choices on where to play?

LN: Immediately after the draft ended, three teams called back to back and then another four called my agent. The Falcons called my agent and I spoke to them about 20 minutes later. I felt like signing with them would be a good situation.Their front office has pretty good respect for Wisconsin’s program and players, and it looks like that still holds true.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Nzegwu spent 2013-2014 for the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Rattlers, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Cleveland Gladiators and Omaha Mammoths.

JR: In those four unique situations, practice squad, training camp, Arena Football League, Canadian Football League and FXFL, did you see any differences in how you (or the teams your played for) approached your skill set?

The Panthers drill work was all player-specific. Of course we worked on various fundamentals to maximize our skill set, but we worked on things based on what coach saw. It really helped us fulfill our potential and not waste time trying to be something that we were not.

In the AFL I learned a lot about close quarter pass rushing.

Because of rules you’re lined up real tight on the edge, so you really have to be good with your hands and physical.

In the CFL I learned how to get off the ball faster. You line up 1 yard away from the ball so you have to time your takeoff real well. I say I improved the most when I was in the CFL.

They emphasized special teams more than anywhere I have been. The field is bigger, and depending where you it was difficult to reach blocks at times.

When I played in the FXFL I noticed the difference immediately and everything was easier.

I was always good at kickoffs, but I became a complete special teams player after improving on the other three phases. Special teams will allow you to stick around longer anywhere you are.

Next: Going North, Way North. Then Way South