Senior Bowl Review: What are the Boys in the Trenches Grilling?

With this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl in the books you’re probably thinking that you’ve learned everything you need to know about this year’s players and prospects, but I can assure I was out here at the Senior Bowl asking the tough questions that most shy away from, namely: what is your go to grilling meat and side? And what better group to survey than this years the OL and DL players?

The players didn’t disappoint, each came with their own unique answers. I must say, I wouldn’t mind sharing a meal with any of them. I did include one special guest who isn’t a trench player, but their answer definitely didn’t disappoint. With that being said. let’s see what the boys in the trenches from the Senior Bowl are grilling on their weekends

National Team, Cody Mauch OL NDSU:

Mauch was a standout this week and the first player I pitched this question to. His answer inspired me to keep polling the trenches. Cody told me, “You know, anytime we get to throw a steak on the grill is a good time for me. Medium Rare. Medium Rare.” Cody said he didn’t care what the side was, we also both agreed that’s the proper way to cook a steak and will not be hearing any arguments

American Team, Steve Avila OL TCU:

Avila was another player who had a strong week in the trenches for the OL and, while his answer wasn’t the best from the week, it definitely drew the best reaction. I asked Steve at a round table full of other guys in the trenches what his choice would be and almost immediately he said, “I love a good sausage.”

Which, of course, caused the entire table of young potential draftees to erupt with laughter and a few reminded him we were trying to keep this PG. Avila was great sport, and it was cool to see how guys who had just met each other were already showing that sense of brotherhood that many who have played the game talk about.

National Team, Isaiah Foskey DL ND:

The long-arm master kept his answer simple, “It’s chicken, but its jerked chicken. That’s fire, like not gonna lie that made me hungry right now.” He wasn’t concerned with what his side was, which might explain why he’s one of the leaner guys in the trenches. Going with chicken is a bold move in my opinion, but he saves it by going with jerked chicken specifically.

National Team, McClendon Curtis OL UTC:

I didn’t know a ton about Curtis coming into the week, but if there’s one thing I learned for sure, it’s that this man is a certified grill boss. “It’s gotta be between the tomahawk steaks and lamb chops. When we get on the grill it’s between those two. But also for my sides […] twice baked potatoes loaded or parmesan crusted asparagus. Gotta get it right every time. I don’t cook with nothing else but cast irons.” Curtis clearly doesn’t play around when it comes to the grill. His answer made me the hungriest by far.

American Team, Jalen Redmond OU DL:

Redmond attended my college’s rival, Oklahoma, but I can’t deny the impressive speed he showed in the the trenches this week. Seeing as we both attended school in the state of Oklahoma, I was curious to know if we would have similar grill takes and it turns out we did.

“I’m gonna throw some burgers on there, [but I’m] definitely a hot link guy, too. My side, I make some bomb baked beans. You ain’t never had none like mine. You know I put the little meat in there, I can’t tell you the secret… it’s something special, but not too special.” I tried to shake him down for the secret, but it’s a Redmond family recipe and Jalen wasn’t budging. Much respect.

American Team, John Michael Schmitz C UMN:

Most consider Schmitz the best OL player of the Senior Bowl, and I have to agree. The center out of Minnesota dominated the competition for the most part, and competed in every rep. I was eager to get his answer.

“Nothing beats my fiancé’s ribs, she cooks one of the best ribs I’ve ever had. She gets it from her mother. It falls off [the bone], but it also has that bit of tenderness to it.” Ribs is one of the hardest things to pull off on the grill, any BBQ master can attest to this, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear someone bold enough to say it.

Sounds like Schmitz found him a real one, and I wish him and his fiancé the all the best.


Like I said from the beginning, the boys in the trenches know how to eat and it was tough picking a winner, but I definitely had to give the nod to McClendon Curtis. Out of all the guys in the trenches, he had one of the most unique answers. He also gets bonus points for doing all the cooking himself. You can trust a man who knows his way around a cast iron.

Special (Teams) Entry, Adam Korsak P Rutgers:

Y’all know me, I’m a special teams guy, so you know I had to talk to Ray Guy Award winner and Melbourne, Australia native, Adam Korsak. No, Korsak hasn’t made his name in trenches and isn’t one of the biggest guys here, but Aussies are known for their legendary barbecue (spelt using the Queen’s English), so let’s see what Korsak is throwing on the barbie.

“Generally I do pork-chops, sausages, onions, bacon, mushrooms, and eggs all on the grill and just throw it all together like a big breakfast, English style. I like to grill in the morning, the breakfast stuff on the grill is good stuff.”

I mean, c’mon, who can deny that this man knows his way around the grill. Further strengthening my special teams agenda.

Closing Remarks

It was fun to get to talk with players on a more personal level and let them take a small break from the barrage of X’s and O’s being thrown at them all week. You could really see the guys relax and be themselves in these small moments. It’s important to remember that these guys are all human and just entering adulthood along with their professional careers.

They’re at one of the biggest job interviews of their lives’ and the way they all handle the pressure of the week is truly admirable. This was a fantastic Senior Bowl week and hopefully the first of many for me. Can’t wait to see where some of these guys end up and how they progress as players.

Author: Tre'Shon Diaz

Passionate writer covering the Atlanta Falcons and NFL in general. Oklahoma State alumnus and BIG12 enjoyer. Follow me on Twitter @tre3shon and let's talk ball.

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