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Senior Bowl Journal: Oregon State OG/OT Andy Levitre

Andy Levitre, OG/OT, Oregon State

Sun, Jan 25

"Well yesterday was game day and my last chance to play against the best players in college football until the big leagues. The day was long since we had to sit in our hotel for most of the day due to the fact that the it was a night game. We had a quick meeting in the afternoon just to go over a handful of scripted plays for the beginning of the game. It had been pouring during the day so when game time hit the turf was soaked and it was just starting to get cold. The warm up routine we went through was a lot quicker than I am used to. I didnít like it because I like to make sure I am warmed up for the game before I go live.

I didnít get to start the game but I feel I got plenty of playing time for an All-Star game. During the first two offensive series, our offense went three and out so when I went in I felt as though this was my time to shine. My first play was a pass which I felt I was solid on throughout the night. The one problem I had during the game was what some people thought I got laid out by Brian Cushing from USC. On that particular play, which was an outside toss, I was supposed to pull around the crack blocks for the first guy to show. During the week we were taught a different way to pull than what I used at OSU and for some foolish reason decided to give it a try on that particular play. So I pulled around standing straight up which is never a good and at that moment I see Cushing running downhill. Well you guessed it he got under me, putting his helmet into my chest was able to knock me back. It wasnít that he hit me very hard, as it was that I was got caught in an upright position upon contact. I also had a false start penalty even though I know for certain that I was not early on the snap. I must just have a great reaction being the first one off the line every time. Besides that the rest of the game went very well. There were a couple of run plays where I drove my guy right off the ball which isnít much different than what I have done all season. I knocked a couple of guys around on the ground and also cracked a couple of jokes with our o-line coach on the sideline `because it smelled, rather wreaked with the smell of sausages on the sideline.

Overall I thought that this was a great experience to have and I really enjoyed playing with the other guys on the offensive line and feel fortunate to have had to opportunity to get coached up by a professional football staff. Even though I was asked to play two new positions (left guard and right tackle) from what I had done during my senior year, I tried to make the most of it and show everyone my versatility and love for this game. I will never complain if asked to play anywhere along the line. I have total confidence in my abilities both mentally and physically so when I was told where I was going to play this week I took it as a personal challenge.

I met a lot of great people and made many new relationships, especially with NFL scouts and coaches. One of these were also Mike Tice, the offensive line coach from the Jags who wants to come to my pro day or have a private work out later down the road. Well now itís time for me to catch my plane back to Denver to continue what I started. I will be in Denver for the next three weeks preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. I will be in Indianapolis from Wednesday February 18 thru Saturday February 21.

Friday, Jan 23

"Well game day is right around the corner. I finally had a chance to sleep in for a little bit. We had our walk-thru today and it was definitely a step down from the tempo we have had all week. Around the hotel you can tell things are settling down. Itís like a ghost town since there are no scouts or coaches around anymore. Everyoneís families are starting to show up and all my fans have all arrived. My grandparents were the first to arrive (Wednesday), followed by my dad, Gene Jr., his good friend Barry and his family who drove from South Carolina yesterday. My brother Erick and my two cousins drove in from Houston, Texas this morning.

I went out to lunch at a place called Felixís which was quite an experience since I got to try some real southern food. Since I have been here I have tried tons of good food; fried green tomatoes, hush puppies, gumbo, crawfish tails, oysters Rockefeller, crab stuffed jalapenos, etc.

I am getting very excited that the game is finally here. It has been a tough week but also very enjoyable. I am already in the game mode. I will let you know how the game goes tomorrow so stay tuned.

Thurs, Jan 22

"Todayís weather at practice was very pleasant, however practice was not completely to my liking. I am still adjusting to playing guard after an entire season at left tackle and I realize that the two a completely different. So being the perfectionist that I am, lets just say that todayís practice fell short of what I wanted. We practiced in shorts and jerseys, therefore the tempo was a little slower, however not by a whole lot. Donít get me wrong we still got a lot of good work in without wearing shoulder pads. Like usual after practice we watched todayís practice where I saw that I need to keep my feet moving in my pass pro.

For dinner the family and I went to a restaurant called Bob Baumhowers Wings. The food was delicious, however I was not impressed with the hot sauce. I tried the hottest hot sauce they had and my mouth wasnít even close to being on fire although that is probably a good thing for. After dinner we came back to the hotel and had meetings. During our meeting we got to switch coaches and I had a chance to meet and watch film with Mike Tice and Andy Heck. It was a neat experience getting to sit with the former head coach of the Vikings.

Since I have been here I have had the chance to meet many great collegiate football players. I am roommates with Max Unger from Oregon. Who would of thought a Beaver and a Duck sharing the same room together. I guess there is hope for this world after all. Although the two of us went to rival schools I realized over rooming with him that he is a very cool guy to hang out with.

Getting to play with some of these huge human beings like Phil Loadhold from Oklahoma and others has also been pretty neat. I spoke briefly today with USCís LB Rey Maualuga who jokingly told me the he hated me for ruining their perfect season on chances for a National Championship. I also had a chance to meet Michael Oher another huge offensive tackle from the University of Mississippi. Coincidentally I had just completed reading a book about Michaelís life entitled, The Blind Side. I told Michael that I had really enjoyed reading about his younger years and the trials he had to overcome to get where he is today, of which he was very appreciative. I also realized that my agent, Leo Goeas was also mentioned in this same book after having signed a huge contract while playing for with the Los Angeles Rams in 1993.

Later in the day I went to get myself a massage and now I am off to bed.

Wed, Jan 21

"Today was really my final day to impress as many scouts and coaches as possible in person. Although it was a chilly morning I couldnít let that hold back or affect my performance on the field. I tried as hard as I could to bounce around and be active all through practice. As soon as we got out there we started to go through some offensive line drills working on both pass and run. A current player for the Bengals (Andrew Whitworth) came out to help coach up our line. I was able to receive a few pointers about my foot-steps and hand placement throughout the day. Shortly after that period we broke off into a special teams, working on our kickoff return. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the scout kickoff team. This made it possible for me to warm up my legs, break a sweat and get my heart rate up before most of the other players. After this period we broke into some one on one drills. I went against a guy named Raji from Boston College who is a very good player and has a great bull rush. Raji was able get me on the first rep, however like my college coach would always tell us we need to go on to the next play and thatís what my focus was. I came back with a sharp focus against him and stopped him in his tracks. That showed me that on every play I have to ready for anything.

The rest of the day consisted of team periods we were all together which I dominated every opponent. I had a great time getting on my blocks and finishing them not allowing them to come close to making a play. Tomorrow should be a lot easier on our bodies since we will most likely be in jerseys and shorts. Tonight my grandparents arrived and my agent and I had dinner with them at a restaurant in our hotel. More of my family is expected to arrive tomorrow and Friday and I canít wait to see them all. Many of the NFL scouts have left so the once jam packed lobby is empty. The scouts saw what they needed to see so in the three practices and the actual game they will watch on tape. I canít wait for the game.

Tues, Jan 20

"Today was even more intense than Monday. We started practice at 9:30 am today and were in full pads. Everything went smoother than yesterdayís practice. Like yesterday I played at both left guard and right tackle. I hoped they would stick me out at left tackle; however I will do whatever they ask me to do. I felt like I was more solid in my pass blocking and run blocking. Many teams have been coming up to me and commenting on what great balance I play with and that I looked really strong out there.

After practice we all came back to the hotel and had lunch and then we had meetings. I was pretty exhausted that I decided to take a nap. Boy was that nap good and much needed. This afternoon I interviewed with a scout from the Kansas City Chiefs who had similar thoughts like me about the way that I play. At five oíclock I have a interview with the offensive line coach, Mike Solari. I am looking forward to another busy night, interacting with these NFL scouts and coaches.

Tonight I will also be meeting with a Vikings scout and their o-line coach. Tomorrow I intend to turn it up another notch and to make it an even better day than today. I am feeling entirely more comfortable with the line calls and switching from left guard to right tackle in every drill. This will, hopefully show the scouts and coaches that I am versatile and smart. I also want everyone here in Mobile to know that I am very coachable and have a tremendous love for this game.

Monday, Jan 19

"Today was a hectic day. I woke up at 7am, had breakfast, then a team with the North team. After our meetings we had go and weigh in a huge room filled with around 800 scouts, GMs, coaches etc. It was pretty intimidating but things worked out great. I weighed in at 306 and was measured at 6í2Ē 3/8 inches tall. After that we headed out for our first practice. Practice was decent today but there was a lot of learning how practice functioned, figuring how what was going on. We had some one on one pass rush drills as well as some team interaction periods. I felt that they went well. I felt a little rusty since I havenít worn my pads in three weeks, I tripped a couple of plays but as practice went on things got better.

Tonight I also had some meetings with some teams. I first met with the New England Patriots who seem to have a large interest in me and have already done some home work on me. I also met with the Detroit Lions staff as well as with Jim Mora and some of the Seattle Seahawks staff. I had a couple of informal meetings with the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos who all seem very interested. My last meeting for the night was with the Chicago Bearís offensive line coach and one of their scouts. Stay tuned tomorrow for more new and more detail of what is happening for me in Mobile.

Thanks for reading,
Andy Levitre

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