(Michael Hoecht Defensive Lineman #93 at Brown University – Photo: David Silverman Photography)
As we reported earlier this week, Michael Hoecht, a former Bell Warrior, Stittsville local and Brown University defensive lineman, inked a contract as a priority free-agent with the Los Angeles Rams. However, on April 30 at the CFL draft, there was an added twist to his life.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman was picked by the Ottawa Redblacks as a first pick in Round 2 as 10th overall to join the team as a Defensive Lineman (DL). Unusual for the Redblacks to pick a DL – they have a history of picking offensive linemen, with the exception in 2014 when DL Antoine Pruneau was brought on board. Michael had obviously gained a reputation for himself during his years at Brown.
Stittsville Central contacted Michael at his Providence, Rhode Island home to see how he is handling his week of football offers. “It’s been busy with calls and virtual meetings.” Add ours to his list!
(Michael Hoecht #93 – Brown University Bears. Photo: Brown University)
We wanted to congratulate him personally. More importantly, we wanted to know how his parents are taking the news as they have travelled the path with their son. Michael told us, “they are extremely excited with his decision to make the Rams his first choice and my Mom is looking forward to ‘Christmas in LA’. My parents have been so supportive throughout the process.” He added, “they have always been my harshest critics, but continue to support me in all my decisions.”
When Michael attended South Carleton, he played both basketball and football, but soon realized playing as a centre on the basketball team he was undersized, even at six-foot four. He loved football and watching Friday night games at the local stadium when he was a kid growing up — he knew then this could possibly be his future.
Michael’s proudest accomplishment is “being a two-time Captain of the Bears team at Brown — there have only been four in the history of the university team.” He is known for supporting the people around him and ‘getting the little things right’ making him a strong and well-respected team captain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some challenges, but Michael was able to video his March combine workout. “With the world on lock-down, and football being a sport of adversity – injury, team cuts – you learn to persevere through it and respond to difficult situations.”
He knows that he has a lot of hard work ahead to make it to the roster of the L.A. Rams and the opportunity to play in the NFL. From speaking with Michael we are sure that his well-grounded and enthusiastically positive attitude will get him through any challenge. He shared that he had chatted with Brad Cowan, who was picked by the Redblacks and also a former Bell Warrior player — they both agreed that their lives have come ‘full circle’.
(Michael Hoecht #47 from the Bell Warriors 2012 A-Cup semi-final win over the Gloucester South Raiders. Warriors won 56-35. Photo: Bell Warriors)
We wanted a hint of what his life becomes after football. Last summer, Michael worked as an intern at a private equity firm so it seems that finance is high on the list. “But for now, I’m living out the dream,” he said. He also tutors his teammates in calculus — “We help the younger guys to do well in academics so they don’t have to decide between football or school and then have to worry about their future after football.”
He also offered some advice to the young Bell Warriors of today — “Enjoy every moment whether it is the coaches yelling at you, the drills, the advice of team managers and teammates. Football is a serious and dominating sport and remember everyday is an opportunity and you’ll miss it when it is done.”
With his decision made, we wish this impressive young man, Michael Hoecht, the best of luck and can’t wait for him to step on the field for his first game playing for the L.A Rams!
If you can’t wait, HBO is offering the live NFL training sessions at http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-hard-knocks.
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