As a small school prospect entering the 2013 NFL Draft, Coastal Carolina wide receiver Akeem Wesley faces an uphill battle against bigger named prospects at his position. While Wesley possesses ideal size for a prototypical NFL wide receiver, his production lacks immensely compared to the competition within the available wide receivers in this year’s draft. DraftInsider had the opportunity to sit down with Akeem Wesley and interview the Coastal Carolina product about his path to the NFL.
Akeem, as you prepare to take the next step in your football career, what is the one thing you are most focused on about making a name for yourself in the NFL?
To be honest, I just want to prove people wrong that look down on small school guys such as myself.. Coming from a “small school” we already frown upon, but it’s apart of the game. I take it for what it is and play the cards I’m dealt. It makes you work harder and cherish the small things about the grind to the NFL. It helps build something out of you that you may not knew was there. It also builds character, because it makes me better and shows how bad you really want it when you overlooked. So once you get to the NFL it’s more about being that small school guy that helped his team win day in and day out.
Looking back on my career at Coastal Carolina University, the one thing I can take away to be successful in the NFL is overcoming adversity.. From losing my grandmother my freshman year to injuring my wrist my senior season.. After my grandmother (raised me since I was 3months old) passed; it was easy for me to give up. I had to learn to provide for myself and not look for a handout. Although I did have great supporters that pushed me to continue and I hate letting people down that truly care bout my will-being. So I kept fighting to be successful and knowing I was making my grandmother and supporters proud. So any adversity now I feel is cake and I can overcome it, because I really already dealt with the hardest thing for me to adapt to and that was losing my grandmother.. So a bad game and or poor performance I know not to give up but to work harder.
I’m currently training in Atlanta, Georgia with Greg Rhodes. I have a regional combine here March 17th, South Carolina All-Star Game March 23rd, then Coastal Pro-Day March 28th. Greg Rhodes and I are focusing on my speed and agility to make sure I have no regrets on either of those dates.
Due to my size and style, I try to mold my game around players like Anquan Boldin (Strong Hands), Dez Bryant (Physical Play), and Michael Crabtree (Smooth Feel For The Game).
Akeem Wesley is someone that has ambition and passion for the game. Which also leads to a great work ethic and not afraid to go that extra mile to help the team and also get better himself. I know to come in learn the Offense quick and effective as possible and not be a problem to the team. It’s never always about me when it comes to making discussions it’s family (Team) first. I’m also that receiver that’s not afraid to make a play on special teams. I actually look forward to it, because I know special teams count and matter A LOT… Plus, I love that action!!