MILWAUKEE — The hit of the Senior Bowl, a showcase for some of the best talent available in the upcoming NFL draft, is none other than Hartford's Quinn Meinerz, an offensive lineman from UW-Whitewater.
"Big believer in, you know, hard work, and effort. Effort is something that you can always control," UW-Whitewater Offensive Lineman and NFL Draft hopeful Quinn Meinerz says.
Meinerz opened eyes by wanting to play with a broken right hand.
"You know, a little conversation with the head coach, and you know, was trying to like say 'please, I can play.' Just club it up. I still got access to my, you know, thumb, finger, and I still got a couple fingers I can use," Meinerz says.
And then social media focused on his, well, gut.
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "Do you just tell people that's hot in Hartford or giving inspiration to big guys, doing what you do?"
"My nickname in high school was 'The Gut.' My nickname at Whitewater was 'The Gut.' That was just something that you know, I always had, you know my belly hanging out during camp and whatever. It gets hot in August. You know, hot and humid in August. And so I was always kind of, you know, let the belly breathe," Meinerz says.
Growing up in Hartford, Meinerz gives a shoutout to those that molded him.
"I wanted to make sure I reached out to my offensive line coach at Hartford," Meinerz says. "Paul Shelsta, you know he's been a huge impact with the Orioles. All of us on our helmets had a little yellow heart that says 'I'm playing for.' And we were able to write whoever. And I called him and I wanted to make sure that you know, I was able to put the name of his daughter on there because she's a huge inspiration to me. You know, she's been through a lot."
Also consider this: Meinerz played center in front of NFL scouts, even though he was an NCAA Division Three All-American as a left guard.