Nnadi: Kids Thought I Got Held Back Because Of My Mustache In 8th Grade

The Florida State defensive tackle prospect was quite imposing as a 13-year-old

The DA Show
November 01, 2018 - 4:00 pm

USA Today Images

Video of Florida State defensive tackle prospect Derrick Nnadi

Florida State defensive tackle prospect Derrick Nnadi figures to be an early round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft – and for good reason. Last year, he had 56 tackles – including 10 for loss – to go with 3.5 sacks in 13 starts.

But something you might not know about him? He had a mustache in eighth grade. Not a few hairs above his lip, but a mustache.

“It was a legit mustache,” Nnadi said with pride on The DA Show. “It just kind of made me stand out that much more because I was a big dude, and knowing how I was, I didn’t really talk much. I was a big dude with a mustache, so they probably thought, ‘Oh, this kid probably got held back a couple years.’”

Indeed, they probably thought Nnadi was 16 when he was actually 13.

"Shoot, they were saying I was 18 years old, man,” Nnadi said, laughing. “It was (crazy).”

While at Florida State, Nnadi excelled at disrupting offensive linemen and making plays in the backfield. He believes those skills will transfer well to the NFL. He’s someone who never gives up on plays and is willing to fight for every inch.

The 2017 season taught him that.

The Seminoles lost quarterback Deondre Francois in their opener against Alabama and stumbled to a 3-6 start, losing three games by six points or fewer. Still, Florida State won its final four four games to finish with a winning record (7-6).

“I was just trying to stay consistent even though things were changing,” Nnadi said. “Despite how the season ended up, I’m actually proud of how my teammates kept pushing forward even though things got really bad."