WWE Tag Team Champion Big E. (Ettore Ewen) of The New Day recently spoke with Brian Fritz of Sporting News about his days as an amateur wrestler for the Iowa Hawkeyes and dealing with a wie variety of injuries prior to coming to WWE. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On his undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes facing Michigan State for the Big 10 championship:
“I don’t think a lot of people really predicted it to be a 12-0-type season but it’s very cool to see. It’s one of the toughest Iowa teams that I can remember seeing. It’s pretty remarkable so I’m quite proud to go out and watch these guys play their best and deal with a lot of difficulties and adversity.”
On his football playing days with the Hawkeyes:
“I have to use the term ‘the best of times, the worst of times. Worst of times mainly because it was very frustrating dealing with all of the injuries. I tore both of my ACLs. I broke my right patella. I tore my left pec, all within about a 2½-year span. That was very frustrating. But it was a dream come true for me. The first thing I wanted, looking back, being a child, was being a football player. That was my very first dream and getting to live that was really cool.”
On finally making it onto the field during the 2006 season as part of the defensive line’s second unit:
“That year, I believe we played Ohio State when they were No. 1 in the nation,” he said. “The week of, I remember the amount of hype. I believe we were No. 12 in the nation at the time. Things didn’t end up going our way the rest of the year; we finished 6-7. But the atmosphere of that game was really cool. We played Michigan at the Big House when they were No. 2 in the nation. We had some pretty big moments.
“Those are things that I’ll take with me to the grave.”
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