Our next prospect interview is with Temple DL Michael Dogbe. Dogbe is a 6’3” 286 pound defensive lineman who plays with impressive strength and athleticism inside.
Career Stats: 158 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles in his career.
Dogbe interviewed exclusively with Stampede Blue to talk about “Temple Tuff,” his Shrine Week experience, and where he fits best in the NFL.
Zach Hicks: Starting from the beginning, how did you end up at Temple University?
Michael Dogbe: I considered Temple coming into high school. I wasn’t as highly recruited as some other guys but I was able to put together a real good Junior season and schools like Temple, Rutgers, and Uconn were coming after me. Temple asked me to come up to one of their junior days at Spring Ball and I went up there and met the coaches— met Coach Rhule— and I just loved the atmosphere, the players, and the staff. They were very welcoming and that stuck out to me. They believed in me in every sense coming from high school. I had about three offers come my senior year and I committed to Temple. They believed in me and I wanted to go where I was wanted and thought I could be successful.
ZH: So you picked a school with perhaps the best tradition in sports, the Single-Digit tradition — where the nine toughest players at the school are awarded a single digit. How did it feel come your Senior season to get that coveted number 9 jersey?
MD: It was a tremendous honor just to where number 9. To wear the number that guys like Muhammad Wilkerson, Matt Ioannidis, and even one of my former roommates in college Jacob Martin and continue that legacy and represent everything that it stands for was a tremendous honor. It was one of my goals ever since I was a freshman so just to receive that number was something I was really happy about.
ZH: Yeah man, I bet. What does it exactly mean to be “Temple Tuff” in your own words?
MD: You just gotta be a guy who is willing to do the hard things that others are not willing to do to be successful. You gotta be a smart football player mentally, you gotta be physically tough— like grinding it out in the weight room— and you gotta be a leader who can lead your team.
ZH: Shifting the focus back to you, you were invited to participate in the Shrine Week of practices this year. How was that experience?
MD: First and foremost, just visiting the Shrine hospital was a humbling experience. Just being with those kids and seeing how they go about their days was just truly humbling. As far as the football aspect, the opportunity to receive NFL coaching was tremendous. I took a lot from that week. I went out there with something to prove. Going against a lot of guys from Power 5 schools that have big time names, I was just able to show what I could do and I felt that was important for me. Especially because teams wanted to see how much I weighed and coming in at a solid weight— 286 pounds— I felt that I was able to wow some guys.
ZH: So after a stellar senior season along with a good week at the Shrine Game, you still didn’t receive a Combine invite. How disappointing was that for you?
MD: At first it was a little disappointing but you know I believe that everything happens for a reason. I just have to continue to do all the right things. I did what I could do by having a great senior year and did my best at the Shrine Game to try and impress scouts. Even though I didn’t get a Combine invite, I still believe I have the opportunity to get drafted with a solid Pro Day and solid workouts with teams.
ZH: Going to your film, the first thing that truly pops is your strength. How much work do you put into the weight room to be that strong on the football field?
MD: I mean the weight room for me goes all the way back to my freshman year of high school. I was only 160 pounds as a freshman, I was real skinny, and I really didn’t have the bulk that I have now but I had a big frame. So I dedicated myself to the weight room so I could get bigger and stronger. I would compete with a lot of the seniors on my team and just got that mentality that the weight room is something that I need. Temple was easy to make that transition and just being a weight room guy, my numbers continued to get better, so that really defined me as a player. I’m a weight room guy and I’m going to use it on the field.
ZH: You are a bit of a tweener with your size and athleticism. Where would you say is your best fit in the NFL on the defensive line?
MD: I feel comfortable at DE or DT. During the season I was playing anywhere from a 5-technique all the way down to a 0-tech. At the Shrine Game, I tried to make an effort to show that I could play a 6, a 6i, a 5, I played a little 3-tech, and a little shade. I just tried to show scouts that I could play it all but I think my natural fit is as a 3-tech who can pass rush inside and I can play the run on the outside as a 5-tech or a 6.
ZH: What would you say is your go-to pass rush move?
MD: I like to hit the counter, especially if I know the back is to my side and I have the two way go. I like to be a guy who can can go from B-A in that 3-tech position. I’m a guy who can win on the edge and playing inside as well. On the edge I like to hit the club-rip.
ZH: What do you think you need to improve upon most going to the NFL?
MD: I could always improve upon my leverage playing inside as a DT. Being a tweener guy, I gotta make sure I can play the run and keep my pads down. Just being stout inside and playing with leverage.
ZH: On the flip side, what is your best trait going into the NFL?
MD: My best trait is most likely my pass rush upside. I just like to think that I know how to maneuver around O-lineman to get to the quarterback. I was pretty stout in that area this past season so I think me coming to a team in the NFL, I’m going to be a solid pass rusher inside.
ZH: Who in the NFL do you model your game after most?
MD: (Laughs) I gotta say Aaron Donald. He’s a tremendous player, kind of a similar guy to me as he’s not the biggest guy in the world. He plays with high effort and he’s also a weight room guy. He plays with tremendous effort and he can pass rush too.
ZH: Which NFL QB do you want to sack most?
MD: Tom Brady man (laughs). That guy is the GOAT. To be able to sack Tom Brady man would be awesome (laughs).
ZH: Final question, why should my team draft Michael Dogbe?
MD: Your team should draft me because I’m a guy who plays with tremendous effort and I don’t just rely on talent alone because that is God given. I’m a guy who is gonna play with a high motor, I’m going to continue to learn technique to help improve my game, and I’m going to be a student of the game. Every play I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to do everything I can to help my team ultimately get to a Super Bowl and win that Super Bowl.