It’s probably not a risky statement to say that Wisconsin-Whitewater offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz is going to be a fan favorite wherever he is drafted. For one, he might have as much personality as anyone in this year’s draft class. Secondly, his gritty playing style surely will endear himself to fans of the team lucky enough to draft him.
Meinerz was the star of the Senior Bowl in January for a multitude of reasons. For one, he safely outperformed most competitors during Senior Bowl week:
Secondly, even casual NFL Draft fans became acquainted with his moniker, “The Gut,” which is an apt nickname:
Meinerz did not expect the notoriety he received in Mobile, Ala.
“My expectations going into the Senior Bowl was to answer the questions people have had about the level of competition thing,” Meinerz said on Glenn Clark Radio April 14. “I didn’t have a senior season and I’m coming from a small [Division III] school. My main focus was to show that I can play with these guys. Looking back at it, it really did blow up quite a bit.”
Meinerz is a man of many stories. He could comment on his experiences with the pet snake he shares with his girlfriend — and one that he brought on “Good Morning Football.”
He could also talk about why he currently has dreadlocks. Or he could talk about his time in solitude on an island for 10 consecutive days, when he fished and listened to pre-downloaded Joe Rogan podcasts. However, the thing he was most anxious to discuss was how he utilized his increased buzz from the Senior Bowl to shed light on a charitable foundation for a friend of his.
“I wanted to raise money for a girl in my town. Her name is Alaina Shelsta,” Meinerz said. “Her father was my offensive line coach in high school, so I’ve always had this idea in the back of my head that I wanted to raise money for her. She suffers from GLUT1, which is an extremely rare [deficiency]. That’s what I wanted to do. I don’t really like the spotlight, so I wanted to take that and raise money for someone that means a lot to me.”
Meinerz is more than just a dynamic personality — he’s a hell of a football player, too. Because he played at Wisconsin-Whitewater, his play gained little notoriety until now, but he had impressive accolades nonetheless. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound left guard didn’t play much during his freshman season in 2017, but he helped the Warhawks go 13-1 and 13-2 in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2019, he was named a second-team All-American by d3football.com.
The Ravens seem like a compatible fit based on their needs. While the Ravens have some depth at the guard position, they don’t have a definite center. Meinerz, who is expected to go in the second or third round, will transition to center in the NFL despite his experience at left guard in college.
Meinerz has also recently been working out with new Ravens right guard Kevin Zeitler. The two both live in Wisconsin and have been training at the same gym. Meinerz would be ecstatic to join a run-heavy team like the Ravens.
“There’s nothing better than running the ball, man,” Meinerz said. “[Joining the Ravens] sounds right up my alley, and it its right line with what I’m coming from at Whitewater. We’re a big run the ball team, too, so our mantra was always to pound the rock.”
For more from Meinerz, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Athletics