Q&A With Eli Stove: Auburn Career, Iron Bowl Rivalry, NFL Expectations

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If NFL coaches are looking for a Swiss Army knife in this year’s draft, Eli Stove might just be the right prospect for them.

Stove spent five years with the Auburn Tigers. He first joined the program back in 2016. During his time there, he proved that he can make plays as a receiver, runner and returner.

When his college career was all said and done, Stove had 136 receptions for 1,187 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 55 carries for 554 yards and four scores.

Stove isn’t the fastest or strongest wide receiver in this year’s class, but he did post respectable numbers at his pro day. Combine his athleticism with his versatility and that makes him an intriguing weapon.

With the NFL Draft on the horizon, we sat down with Eli Stove to discuss his Auburn career, overcoming the odds, what he’ll bring to an NFL team and much more.

The Spun: How has this entire process been for you? 

Eli Stove: It’s been crazy. This process has been fun and stressful. Being able to do all of this is amazing, though. 

The Spun: How would you grade your pro day?

ES: I think I did all right, but I could’ve done better. I’m hard on myself – I want to be great. So I think I could’ve done better during certain drills. 

The Spun: Can you explain your Instagram handle for me?

ES: Kitchen appliance. I was trying to change it and find something catchy. Then one of my friends said ‘Your last name is like an appliance.’ Everybody likes it for some reason, so I just ran with it. 

The Spun: What wast your favorite moment at Auburn?

ES: I’d say the 2017 season as a whole. That year was really fun and I’ll never forget it. 

The Spun: How intense is the Iron Bowl rivalry?

ES: It’s real intense. During my freshman year, I was on the sidelines getting water when we were facing Alabama. I caught these two kids flipping me off and I was like ‘Damn, it’s really that intense.’ I just realized from that moment that this rivalry is big time. 

The Spun: What are your thoughts Gus Malzahn going to UCF? 

ES: I think his future is still good. I think it’s going to work out for him at UCF. I went to see him last weekend and it seemed like he was doing well, honestly. It’s great to see him coaching again.  

The Spun: Which wide receivers do you like to watch on film?

ES: I’d say Stefon Diggs and Jarvis Landry are the top guys I like to watch on tape.

The Spun: Who’s the best cornerback you faced in college?

ES: I’ve been saying Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn. But if I’m being honest, Levi Wallace was the toughest guy I faced in my entire career. 

The Spun: What’s your best quality on the field?

ES: That I can do everything on the field. I can play special teams, play in the slot, play outside, run the ball, run strong routes, make tackles and catch punts. I do everything well. I want to be great at everything. 

The Spun: Do you want to be a punt returner in the NFL?

ES: Yea, I think my biggest goal is to start on special teams as a rookie. Then I can start building my way up to making plays on offense. 

The Spun: How do you think Bo Nix will perform this fall? 

ES: I think he should be fine. He still has a few receivers that’ll be big time. I actually think this is one of the best receiving corps they’ve had. 

The Spun: How much do you pride yourself on having sure hands? 

ES: That’s one of the biggest things for me. This past year, I heard a lot of people say I wasn’t good enough or I didn’t have great hands. So during that quarantine period, I ran a lot of routes and had a ball in my hands at all times.

The Spun: What’s been your inspiration?

ES: My family. I want to help them out in every way possible. I’ve been overlooked my entire career, but when I make a 53-man roster, just watch how everyone talks about me. 

The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Eli Stove?

ES: Someone who will go all out for the team. Whatever the coach wants me to do, I’m going to do it. Fans are going to have fun watching me. 

Stove should be a Day 3 option for any team in need of another playmaker on offense or special teams.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.

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