Ben Knutson: 2021 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Ben Knutson
Q: In your final collegiate season, what goals did you accomplish this fall or set for this upcoming spring?
One of our goals as a team this last fall was to make it to a third straight bowl game, which was never before done at Tulane. For this spring, my biggest goal is to help solidify my skills as a tackle and prove to an NFL franchise that I belong in the league.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
I am 100% a team player; whatever is asked of me, I do it. During the Temple game this year, we needed help filling in at right tackle due to injury. When coach asked if I could do it, even though I had not prepped to play on the right side that week, I did not hesitate to say yes. For me, whatever is best for the team is what I want to do. A win is, by far, the most important statistic.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
One of the best ways that offensive linemen can improve their game is by eliminating any unnecessary movements or hitches they may have when they play. In college football, and even more in the NFL, the margin between winning and losing is so small even the littlest twitch can be fatal. When I watch myself play, I try to find these hitches to be aware of them and make a plan to remove them.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
My biggest asset is my size; you can not coach that. I combine my size with my athletic ability and football IQ. I am a quick learner and am dedicated; this is shown through my ability to obtain three degrees while playing college football. These aspects combined is something that very few players in the draft class have.
Q: What is your plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities, especially with the virus limiting pro days/training facilities/etc?
Coronavirus was one of the most significant factors I considered when selecting an agent and training facility. For starters, coming down with Coronavirus would significantly hinder my preparation. Potential adverse health effects aside, a positive test result would mean a significant halt in my training. Partly through luck and partially through deliberate planning and caution, I was able to complete all 12 games of my final collegiate season without a positive test. I plan to continue being intentional with my actions to keep myself, my family, and those I will be training with safe as I train for the draft. The facility where I train must keep me safe as well. Boost Performance in Nashville, TN has demonstrated that they are taking the virus seriously and doing absolutely everything in their power to keep those training there safe. Additionally, if my pro day were to be canceled, I know that Boost and my agents have a plan in place to showcase my talents to scouts safely and productively.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
On the field, I am incredibly loyal to the team I am on. I am a guy that will be willing to do whatever NFL teams need, and my biggest goal is to win. Off the field, I am a guy that will be an asset to the team, not a liability. Lauren (my fiancée) and I are excited to be involved in the community that we live in and will positively influence those around us.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL/CFL or any other professional leagues?
I encourage teams to look at my film from this year and understand the production I had was with limited preparation and practice. I did not move to tackle until the SMU game, and I found immediate success. I was named captain for my production and hard work in adopting the tackle position. I also have proved I am versatile; not only was I switching from Tackle to Guard, I routinely switched from right to left mid-game, even mid-series, seamlessly. Imagine what I can do with an entire offseason of preparation and training. It is no secret that I have the talents to play the position; I have the height, the size, the smarts, and the ability.