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. 


Discuss this on our Message Boards