Bryan Bonilla Interview
Sr. / New Mexico State / LB
Updated - 2-20-14
By: Alex Khvatov
Alex Khvatov: What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?
Bryan Bonilla: I am 6’1, 235 pounds and my forty time is around a 4.6 or a 4.7.
Alex Khvatov: What schools showed interest in you when you were coming out of high school?
Bryan Bonilla: Utah State sent me letters. Nevada showed interest. New Mexico State came around in March. They offered me to walk-on. I earned a scholarship after my freshman season.
Alex Khvatov: Why did you choose New Mexico State?
Bryan Bonilla: It was the only offer. I didn’t want to take the junior college route. I wanted to play D-I football. My high school coach knew DeWayne Walker. I was convinced that he would be able to change the program. I never heard about New Mexico State before. But I jumped right in.
Alex Khvatov: Why wasn’t DeWayne Walker able to change the program?
Bryan Bonilla: It took him a while to get the right pieces together. New Mexico State was a tough task. Coach Martin has a good base to start with.
Alex Khvatov: What are your strengths?
Bryan Bonilla: I think that I take on blockers well and I can get loose. I have the instincts. I am pretty good at that. I really don’t shy away from competition. I am always around the ball.
Alex Khvatov: You had some of your best games against top competition (UCLA, Texas and Boston College in 2013), what do you attribute that to?
Bryan Bonilla: I figured that this was the time to shine. I wanted to show that I could play against these top players. I should have gotten picked by one of these bigger schools. I want to prove it to myself. I never leave a doubt that I can do it. At the end of the day, they are just players. It is football.
Alex Khvatov: What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?
Bryan Bonilla: I want to improve my recognition of plays. We emphasized the run at New Mexico State. We were always looking for the run. I need to recognize the play faster. Hesitation messes me up sometimes.
Alex Khvatov: What is the highlight of your football career up to this point?
Bryan Bonilla: As a team, we beat Minnesota in 2011 in their home. No one expected us to win. I got the first sack of my career during that game. I will always carry that memory with me.
Alex Khvatov: Tell us about your career with the Aggies.
Bryan Bonilla: I enjoyed it. We played against some top competition: Georgia, Kansas, Auburn, UCLA, Boston College and Texas. It wasn’t always fun in terms of winning. But I loved the experience. Not everyone gets to play college football. We have faith that things will change. The senior class set that tone.
Alex Khvatov: Where are you currently training for the NFL Draft?
Bryan Bonilla: I am training at Creating Monsters facility in CA. I am training here with my teammate Darien Johnson.
Alex Khvatov: What do you plan to show scouts during your Pro Day?
Bryan Bonilla: That I can be a very agile person. I will perform better than what they expect at the three cone drill and the shuttle. I will demonstrate that I can be a good addition for their team. I really feel like I can play for an NFL team. I can make the squad. I can play on special teams, as a backup LB and as a starting LB.
Alex Khvatov: What is your favorite NFL team?
Bryan Bonilla: Growing up, I was a 49ers fan. I still cheer for them.
Alex Khvatov: Who is your favorite NFL player?
Bryan Bonilla: My favorite NFL players are Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. They are the best linebackers in the league.
Alex Khvatov: What separates you from all of the other players at your position?
Bryan Bonilla: I faced adversity my whole life. I wasn’t a top recruit. I had to prove myself. I love doing that. I am confident in myself. As long as I have God and self-confidence on my side, I will be able to accomplish my goals.
Alex Khvatov: Who was the toughest player that you have faced during your career?
Bryan Bonilla: The toughest player was Colin Kaepernick. He was a great collegiate player. He was as good as advertised. He had the size, the longest stride and gliding ability. Nevada was a great team that year. They beat Boise State.
Alex Khvatov: Which underclassman on your team should we keep an eye on next season?
Bryan Bonilla: OL Andy Cunningham.
Alex Khvatov: Describe your former teammate WR Austin Franklin.
Bryan Bonilla: I was shocked that he entered the draft. He is extremely talented. He is a humble guy off the field. He doesn’t show off at all. On the field, he talks a lot. But he backs it up with his play. He is a hard worker.
Alex Khvatov: What do you enjoy most about playing football?
Bryan Bonilla: I love making plays. I like camaraderie with my teammates. It is the ultimate team sport. We have the same vision with 10 other guys. There is nothing like it. You feel like you are a general and you are leading your men into war.
Alex Khvatov: What are your hobbies?
Bryan Bonilla: I love watching movies. I love playing video games. I like to play basketball. I love spending time with family and friends. When it gets hectic, I turn to my family. I am a simple guy.
Alex Khvatov: What is the definition of a leader?
Bryan Bonilla: It is someone that you turn to when things aren’t looking up. It is someone that will keep pushing you regardless of the obstacles. A leader will do what he has to do regardless of whether he is being watched or not.
Alex Khvatov: Finish the sentence, Bryan Bonilla is….
Bryan Bonilla: Hard working, humble, brave and confident.
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