Mauch in Mobile: Bison All-American offensive tackle prepares for biggest job interview
The former North Dakota State left tackle will be in front of all 32 NFL teams this week in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl.
FARGO — It's hard to not overstate how big this coming week is for Hankinson, N.D., native and former North Dakota State All-American left tackle Cody Mauch .
"This moment is not only what the last two or three weeks of training has been about but my whole career. It's been getting ready for this opportunity." Mauch said from Irvine, California, where he's spent the last three weeks training to begin his professional career.
He'll be on the field this week in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl, the most prestigious of the college football all-star games. Mauch's selection makes it three straight years that a Bison has made it to Mobile.
"Looking at the success we've had at the Senior Bowl, I'm not just a small-school guy having to prove myself — we're NDSU, we've had a lot of success. We've had a lot of success in the league, we're proven in the league, now I need to prove that I can do it," Mauch said.
Mauch has some big expectations on his 6-foot-6, 303-pound frame. Each of the last two years at the Senior Bowl, a Bison has been selected the practice player of the week. Tackle Dillon Radunz was honored with that distinction in 2021 and receiver Christian Watson excelled last year. Each were drafted in the second round, where Mauch is currently projected to go according to some draft projections.
"It just shows we've had guys go there and play incredibly well there and improve their draft stock and show it can be done. I'd be lying to say if that's not one of my goals," Mauch said.
Mauch was officially invited to the game by Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy in November. Nagy hand-delivered the invites to Mauch and Bison teammate Hunter Luepke, who is unable to play in the game because of injury.
"I love this guy and the way he plays. Also my son has red hair, just like him." Nagy told the assembled Bison football team when he gave Mauch his invite.
Mauch finished his North Dakota State career playing in 62 games, including 39 straight starts, which concluded with a 45-21 loss to South Dakota State in the FCS Championship Game.
"I still haven't gone back and watched it yet. Hurts too much," Mauch said.
🔊⬆️ Thank you to @Coach_Entz and staff from @NDSUfootball for having us at practice yesterday to hand deliver invites for OL @CodyTud and FB @HunterLuepke. #BestOfTheBEST #GoBison🦬 📹:@NDSUathletics— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) November 8, 2022
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This is just the next step of an improbable journey for Mauch, who emerged from high school in Hankinson as a slender tight end to a walk-on at NDSU to a two-time All-American tackle. Now he'll get the chance to work out in front of all 32 NFL teams.
"It means a lot to me, when I was a young guy to see (Nick) DeLuca get an opportunity," Mauch said. "I never thought I'd be here. Now for the young guys on our roster, they can see that, that can happen to you. When you looked at me as a freshman, I'd be the last guy you think of."