WSU All-American Cody O'Connell: Powered by PB&J

PULLMAN — So just what, and how much, does an All-American guard eat on an average day? That’s not an easy menu plan to uncover, we found out, in talking to Washington State fifth-year senior offensive lineman Cody O’Connell.

As far as how he maintains his weight, the 6-foot-8, 370-pound O'Connell is pretty nonchalant (or evasive, depending on your perspective).

“I actually don’t each a whole bunch,” he said, revealing only that his first meal of the day is generally a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the football complex.

“I’m not a big breakfast guy, but I know I need to eat,” said O'Connell.

O’Connell, a unanimous All-American selection last year, isn’t getting ahead himself when it comes to his future in football. Despite being ranked among the top five offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL draft by most experts, the WSU left guard remains focused on preparing the 2017 regular season.

O’Connell thinks his official weight on the roster also might be a little generous.

“I’ve actually dropped a bit of weight since then. I’m probably around five pounds less,” he said.

That would still make him the heaviest player on Mike Leach’s roster. To put it in context, the heaviest player on an NFL roster last year was San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trenton Brown, at 376 pounds.

Listed at 354 pounds on last year’s final depth chart, O’Connell said he wasn’t actively looking to put on pounds in the offseason.

“I was just working out and just got stronger," he said.

The Wenatchee product  said his bench press went from 175 to 190 kilos (or approximately 385 to 418 pounds) and that he was happy with his increased strength in squat lifts.

A bona fide star at his position, O’Connell had the strange distinction of being named a consensus All-American, but not appearing on either All Pac-12 first or second teams. He’s not bothered by the lack of fanfare.

“No one really watches the O-Line, but I don’t really care, I’m gonna play my sport, I’m gonna have fun doing it,” he said.
“I realize I’m not gonna get any glory or fame (playing on the O-line) . . . as long as we get the win, I’ll be happy. That’s all I really care about.”

As far as his future beyond the 2017 season, O’Connell remains modest.

“I really haven’t even thought about it. I’m just trying to do my job this year,” he said. His plans are to “go to the draft, if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably try to be a counselor somewhere for a high school,” noting that he wants to work with kids when his football days are over.

Noted for his work in both pass protection and run blocking, the senior said pass protection is what he takes the most pride in.
But despite the accolades, O’Connell remains humble about being one important piece in a larger system.

“Leach said it best — we’re all cogs in a machine and if one cog isn’t doing its job, then nothing works . . . so, we all gotta hold our own and do our job ... without one of us, the machine’s not gonna work anymore.”

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