Desmond Ridder, 2022 NFL Draft prospect and former Cincinnati quarterback, sat down with Super Bowl champion NFL offensive coach Marty Mornhinweg to discuss preparations for the draft and what makes him such a unique prospect. The 33rd Team captured the conversation to help NFL fans get to know Ridder a little bit better.
Desmond Ridder Interview with The 33rd Team
Former University of Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder has not had the easiest of paths to the draft while becoming one of the projected top 5 quarterbacks to be selected in this year’s class. In a tell-all interview with former Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets OC Marty Mornhinweg, Ridder opens up about what this process has been like and what makes him stand out compared to the rest of the QBs in the upcoming draft.
When asked what his leadership style is, Ridder said, “I think the main, key part of leadership is relationship building and being able to build relationships with not only your teammates, but also the coaches, staff, and the organization as a whole. When we get out on the field, and I’m taking care of my business, they’re going to be able to listen to me more and have more respect for me. Another part is my actions. Being the first one in the building and putting all the work in, and then executing it on the field so that your teammates, coaches, and organization see that not only are you putting in all the work off the field, but also putting all the work in on the field as well.”
These leadership qualities rose, in large part, from the structure that Ridder saw when he attended Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He harps on the fact that his coaches knew what success and good leadership looked like and instilled these values into him.
When Ridder was in the process of committing to Cincinnati, he was going to play there with the U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville at the helm; however, Tuberville ended up resigning and Luke Fickell took over. Ridder was fully ready to play for Eastern Kentucky before Fickell decided to give Ridder a scholarship. “[Coach Fickell] said they liked the way I played and that they saw potential in me. So they took me in, and I never really looked back. I took advantage of it, and I knew that I was going to take advantage of whatever opportunity I got.”
Transitioning to the NFL from college is no simple feat. The players are bigger, faster, stronger, and better than many of the players at the collegiate level. But this doesn’t phase Ridder. He recognizes that every rookie goes through their fair share of growing pains. He also knows his experience as a 48-game starter will take him a long way. Ridder reaffirms this by stating “I’m still going out there to be the best every single day.”
Everybody goes through their ups and downs. Ridder understands that there are going to be many times where things don’t seem to go his way as is the case with every player at the next level. To persevere through these challenges, he tells himself to “keep your head down. Keep pushing. Control what you can control. Some of those events that might’ve happened in your past may have been in your control, and you may have been able to stop. And others you had no control over. Sometimes, the ball just falls where it falls. Just looking forward to the next day and the ability to get better.”
The 33rd Team has Desmond Ridder ranked as a Top 100 prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft and as a Top 5 quarterback prospect.