If you didn’t know the name Quinn Meinerz entering Senior Bowl week, you’re more than forgiven. By now, the word is very much out on one of the most surprising performers at the most important pre-NFL draft event.
With the cancellation of FCS football in 2020, the UWW offensive lineman named D-III All-American. His team’s MVP in 2019 is robbe of a senior season. He is force to do whatever he could without a season to earn attention and improve as an NFL prospect. While social distancing, naturally, and, for a while anyway, do so without a gym.
This is a man who is used to taking it to an extreme, spending most past summers working out alone in a remote part of Canada.
It was there the 6-foot-3 1/4, 320-pound Meinerz underwent his annual “Rocky IV”-like regimen of clearing brush, rolling 400-pound fuel tanks and clearing trees.
After that eight-hour daily routine, helping his uncle run a popular fly-fishing spot up there, only then Meinerz got around to his football workout. There were no weights. So he improvised, pushing giant rocks. And some of those trees? If they were small enough, he’d just do it with his bare hands.
This summer, Meinerz is focuse on adding versatility to his game. Given the circumstances, though, how? He taught himself to play center.
Quinn Meinerz started shotgun snapping into garbage cans. He set up a GoPro in the backyard of the house he stayed in and analyzed his technique — despite having only one hour per day of internet access. When it’s a pandemic, you adjust to the surroundings.
All of his years of spartan training have helped prepare Meinerz for this week, his biggest opportunity to date. When Alabama center Landon Dickerson suffered a torn ACL in the Sugar Bowl. It opened a spot on the Senior Bowl roster.
Shortly after, Meinerz got the call from Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, asking him if he want to attend the premier pre-draft evaluation event. Scouts hadn’t seen Meinerz play since the D-III title game on Dec. 20, 2019. And with the NFL scouting combine canceled, along with most of the other pre-draft all-star events, it was a no-brainer.