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7 players NFL combine prospects watched growing up

INDIANAPOLIS ⁠— Football players are in constant pursuit of becoming better versions of themselves, but the game is not exactly played in a vacuum.

Younger players throughout the youth, high school, and college ranks are looking to the NFL to find players to pattern their game after, or cheer on as fans of the sport.

At the NFL combine, prospects had a chance to meet with the media and go over questions about their college careers, techniques, expectations, and meetings with NFL teams. They also had a chance to talk about players they admired growing up.

Here are seven players mentioned throughout the defensive line and linebacker media availabilities on Wednesday.

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Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore ⁠— “Just cause I feel like he shows his athleticism being an undersized guy but can still be very dominant.”

Clemson DT Bryan Bresee ⁠— “Obviously, some of the things that he’s able to do is is incredible to watch.”

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Iowa DE Luke Van Ness ⁠— “Obviously, he’s retired now. But that’s who I turned on on Sundays and loved to watch.”

Georgia Tech LB Keion White — “J.J. just retired but he’s really good.”

Clemson DT Bryan Bresee did not give any specifics, but mentioned that he enjoyed watching Watt growing up.

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Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell said in high school he enjoyed watching Greenway.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon OLB D.J. Johnson ⁠— “I’ve seen Khalil Mack beat three guys and still get the sack. When you watch guys like that giving that much effort, you have to unload. You have no other option.”

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Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey ⁠— “Showed we could play at the next level. Lots of quickness, speed, technique, block shedding and aggressiveness.”

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Iowa State DE Will McDonald ⁠— “I like that he’s relentless. He is a different type of pass rusher than I am, but I definitely do take some of the tools that he’s got and I just put him with my game, just trying to do what I need to do.”

Clemson DE Myles Murphy — “I like to start off with power. That’s why I model my game after Myles Garrett.

Oregon OLB D.J. Johnson also mentioned that he enjoys watching Garrett.

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson said he didn’t start to own the defensive line until he hit his growth spurt between his freshman and sophomore year of high school. During that time, he watched skill position players such as Bryant.