Q&A; with Ohio State lineman Nick Mangold

By Courtney Linehan

Nick Mangold is a senior center with Ohio State. He is one of the top offensive lineman in the country. He was nominated for the Rimington and Outland Awards and was a pre-season All-American.

Q: When did you start playing football?

A: I started playing in third grade. It happened just because a bunch of my friends were starting to get into it, and I thought maybe that’s something I wanted to do. I really would have started by second grade, but my mom wouldn’t let me. By third grade, though, I was like, “Mom, I really want to do this, I think it’d be a lot of fun.” Then my dad kind of pushed her into letting me go.

Q: How did you pick Ohio State?

A: It was pretty easy, being from Ohio. You get an offer from Ohio State, you don’t turn it down. But Coach Tressel had such a great program with such great guys, it made it really easy to choose.

Q: What’s the best thing about playing football at Ohio State?

A: Being able to play in the ‘Shoe. It’s such a great stadium with such great fans. Any opportunity to be out in front of them, it’s so much fun.

Q: Ohio State is known for its great athletic programs. What makes it so great? Do they serve great food, does the locker room have something that you’ve never seen anywhere else?

A: I don’t know if it’s anything material. The people they have running things are just unbelievable people. Coach Drexler is like a father figure, really, and makes it a family atmosphere among the team. I think that’s one of the big reasons that we enjoy it so much, is that it’s your second family.

Q: Is there anything you’ve seen in another school’s visitor’s locker room that stands out as much as the pink walls at Iowa? Something you would bring back?

A: I think it’s at Michigan that they have their toilets a little bit taller. So it makes you feel a little smaller. It’s kind of interesting. I didn’t have a problem with that, being a taller guy, but I could see something like that kind of messing with your head. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Q: Did you have a Starter jacket as a kid, and if so what was on it?

A: Yeah, I had Ohio State. Of course. I had two, actually, had to rotate, keep them fresh.

Q: What do you think is the hardest part about being an athlete?

A: Having to go to school along with it. There’s so much time involved with being in football, going to practice and everything, and having to go to school on top of that makes for a lot of time management.

Q: Do you have any game-day traditions?

A: As a team there’s a whole lot of Ohio State traditions, which I enjoy thoroughly. Personally, I don’t really do anything the same except for the order I get dressed in. There’s a specific order that I do every game, but other than that, I don’t really have anything else that I do every time.

Q: If you could play any sport at any school, other than football at Ohio State, what would it be?

A: That’s a good question. I don’t really have that much love for anywhere else. I guess if I had to do something I’d probably do baseball at a Southern school. I love the game of baseball, and you can play it year-round there. So I’d probably go somewhere South and play baseball.

Q: What’s your major and how did you pick it?

A: My major is business management, and I picked it because I started in architecture, but that was so much of a time commitment that I wasn’t sleeping. So I had to drop that, but I easily transitioned into that.

Q: What do you get on your pizza?

A: It depends where it’s from. Usually I’ll go half cheese, half pepperoni, kind of get a surf-n-turf idea. But there’s a place at home that has unbelievable black olive and onion that I love, it’s delicious. So I’ll get that when I’m home.

Q: What is your breakfast of champions?

A: A 20-ounce Coke. It usually gets it done for me, gets me going in the morning. I’m not much of a coffee guy, I don’t like the hot caffeine, but I do enjoy the cold caffeine. So a Coke and maybe a bagel just to get a little extra food in there, but usually a Coke is a good way to get the day rolling.