As a freshman,
Victor Adeyanju came into the Indiana Hoosiers’
football program carrying just 215 pounds on his
6-foot-4 frame. As he worked tenaciously in the weight
room, he bulked up over the years to an impressive 275
pounds and became a force to be reckoned with at the
left defensive end position.
In 2005, Adeyanju had his best season with the Hoosiers,
recording 6.5 sacks to finish his collegiate career with
13.5. Using his athleticism and a quick initial burst,
the Hoosier defensive end had to increasingly learn how
to beat double-teams -- a skill that will come in handy
at the pro level.
But something else that is sure to impress pro scouts
is his durability at a very violent position where legs
and arms get tangled and twisted throughout each game.
Adeyanju started 43 consecutive games for Indiana, and
in addition to his 13.5 sacks, he completed his career
at Indiana with 151 tackles (107 solo), 31 stops for
losses, and five forced fumbles. Adeyanju played in the
Senior Bowl and is a certain first-day pick in the NFL
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Victor had a
formal interview with the Cardinals and head coach Denny
Green. And there's a good reason why. We share those
details in the second half of this interview as a
Cardinals Insider exclusive.
Question: Tell us a little bit about your
childhood because I know you have a unique background.
From what I understand you were born in the United
States, but moved to Nigeria.
Victor Adeyanju: I was originally born in Chicago. In
order for our parents to provide us with better living
arrangements, they moved us in with our grandparents in
Nigeria for about for four years. After that, they moved
us back to America on the east side of Chicago.
Q: You didn’t have an easy childhood in terms of
your family’s financial situation, did you?
VA: No sir. When we came back from Nigeria, we were
living pretty much in the slums of Chicago – one
bedroom, two bedroom apartments, really rough
neighborhood. But my dad continued to save money so he
could move us into a little better place, which was a
house. It was very tough, even just being in Nigeria,
being away from your parents. But at the same time, we
knew our father was working, he was going to bring us
back when things were ready.
Q: I would imagine that by going through that
experience you have a very close family.
VA: Definitely, definitely. Our father makes us
realize that even if you have all the money in the world
it doesn’t bring you happiness. Being close to your
family, being a good person, walking the right path,
brings more happiness to his eyes than anything else. He
lets us know how hard life is, how hard he works, how
hard we shall struggle, how hard we should fight to be
Q: How many brothers and sisters do you have, and
where are you in that order?
VA: I have four brothers and one sister -- two older
brothers, two younger brothers and one sister. So I’m
somewhere in the middle.
Q: You seem like truly a nice person. Football is
a very aggressive game. Where do you find that
aggression out on the football field?
VA: (Laughs) We’re all human. Everybody gets mad.
The reason why I’m so nice outside of football is
because I take out my aggression out on the football
field. Some things really tick me off. I usually don’t
talk about them, but when you’re on the football field,
I just bring that energy out, that meanness and just put
it all on the field. That’s pretty much where I channel
all my energy.
Q: I know you had 6.5 sacks last year. To what do
you attribute that success?
VA: Just growing more and more, and learning my
strengths. My last coach taught me some of my strengths.
He really liked my bull rush. He really liked my power
moves. I was able to use that a lot more this year. And
it’s just being a hard worker. In the weight room, when
you think about the previous year, when you couldn’t
push your guy, when you couldn’t run fast enough, you
take that into consideration when you’re lifting weights
Q: What are the strengths you think you would
bring to an NFL team?
VA: Quickness and speed, also the size I have. I’m
able to attack the line, as well as attack the pass
consistently. I also know my arms and just the speed I
have allow me to shed defenders off quickly, getting me
to the quarterback.
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