CEDAR RAPIDS — He apologizes to his family and all of his friends back home. He hasn’t gotten in contact with them as much as he has wanted.
Andrew Todd just wants you to know that there’s no offense, everyone. He has had a lot going on lately.
Hopefully you understand.
“This is a big game for us, so I’ve been really dialed in on my game prep,” the Cedar Rapids Washington graduate said. “To be honest, my mom and dad are probably not very happy with my communication skills right now.”
Todd is a redshirt freshman center for a Miami (Ohio) football team that comes to Kinnick Stadium for a season opener Saturday night against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Imagine being on the verge of your very first college game and having it be virtually in your backyard.
You want to be ready for it.
“Really excited to come back home and play in front of family and friends,” he said. “Other than that, treat it just like another football game. Prepare the same way as I would for any other opponent. Just focus on the game, really.”
Todd graduated from Wash in 2018. A 3-star recruit according to Rivals, he had interest from a variety of schools, including Iowa and Iowa State.
He ultimately chose Miami and the Mid-American Conference, and he feels it’s the best decision he’s ever made.
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“It has been awesome here,” he said. “Miami is a place where it’s very family oriented. This is an incredibly composed football team, the best football atmosphere I’ve been around, in terms of how the team interacts with each other. So the process hasn’t really been difficult, in terms of being away from home and everything. This is home. I love my teammates, I love the coaching staff here. Everything is here that we need to be successful in our conference and to be able to compete with people outside of our conference.”
The most difficult adjustment for the 6-foot-4, 286-pounder has come on the field. A tackle in high school, Todd was switched to the center position upon entering school last year.
He had zero prior center experience, had never even snapped a football.
“This game is a process,” he said. “It’s something where you don’t just jump into college football. You’ve got to be a very rare athlete to jump into college football and be a guy right away. It’s a humbling process, and it teaches you a lot about yourself and a lot about perseverance and continuing to grow even in the face of adversity. Switching positions, I was faced right away with a lot of difficult things. I’m not snapping right, I’m not moving correctly, and that’s frustrating. For somebody who is recruited at the Division-I level, you think you’re the best athlete on your high school team. To get that wake-up call, to face adversity right away, it showed me that it’s more of a process that I really understood before getting here.”
He said he has gotten tons of advice and lessons from teammate Danny Godlevske, a redshirt junior who is the RedHawks’ starter. Godlevske was a third-team all-MAC selection last season.
Todd is listed as Godlevske’s backup on the Miami depth chart. Former West Des Moines Dowling prep Pete Nank is listed as a starter at guard.
“(Godlevske) is just a great guy that is very good at teaching and helping us, helping the younger guys,” Todd said. “Moving to center, I’ve relied heavily on him to kind of show me the way, and he has done an outstanding job of helping get me ready if my number is called.”
He hopes his number is called at some point Saturday. Todd said he and his teammates are excited for 2019, despite a schedule that includes a game two weeks from Saturday at Ohio State.
Miami finished 6-6 last season but won its final three games.
“We’ve got a great group of guys,” he said. “We all have the right mindset going into Week 1 and going into this season. I’ve never been around a group of guys that works harder outside of the required amount of time. We have guys studying film extra, doing extra reps after practice. So I think, based off of where we were last year, we’ll have a jump. Just because of the guys we have in this program.
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“I’m really excited. Bottom line. Having a breakout year is kind of what we expect.”
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