In this week’s “Conversations with Clayton,” I had the pleasure of chatting with Ethan Tucky, one of the standouts on Cincinnati’s defensive edge and special teams over the past three seasons. Tucky is being represented by 1st Down Sports as he prepares for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Delaware, Ohio native will be participating in the College Gridiron Showcase next week in Fort Worth, Texas in front of hundreds of NFL scouts and personnel.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Ethan and I talk about his career at Cincinnati, his future as a professional football player, and cheering on the Columbus Blue Jackets from the worst seats in the arena.
Clayton Trutor (CT): What aspect of your career are you the most proud of?
Ethan Tucky (ET): Making the most of my opportunities, I had a bumpy road for a large part of my career but the lessons I learned from the experience truly shaped who I am as a person. Honestly putting football aside, the personal growth I made during my time at UC is what made me love the game. On the field, being moved around on defense I was still able to always have an impact on the game and it made me see the value of special teams play as well.
CT: What made you decide to play your college football at Cincinnati?
ET: After my time at Boston College, I knew change was needed. I knew Freeman and Fickell from the recruiting process, also Al Washington, and when I wanted to play closer to home for my family it was the perfect fit. Of course I wanted to be in Fickell’s first class at UC and the bottom floor of rebuilding the program, and I will never take the opportunity they gave me for granted.
CT: What are you going to miss the most about Cincinnati?
ET: My teammates and coaches. Having spent so much time with them, I took for granted seeing the guys every day and working with the strength staff in particular. The amount of work we put into the program can’t be matched and the bond you create in that environment can’t be faked or easily replicated.
CT: What are your best attributes as a football player?
ET: My work ethic mixed with my skill set. Not only am I fast or strong, I have a great mind. Not only for understanding the game and watching film, but also for how I train and live my life off the field. I work well with others and know the value of being a good teammate and pushing others, even when it might make us both uncomfortable. I want to challenge myself and those around me, it helped get me here so I’ll stay with the same mindset.
CT: What player in the current NFL would you compare your style of play to?
ET: I watch a lot of film on Vic Beasley because we share a similar build and position. He does a mix of LB and DE so he has a great mix of skill sets. I am also a fan of his pass rush style.
CT: Other than Nippert, what is your favorite stadium that you’ve played in?
ET: The Mercedes-Benz Stadium was by far the coolest stadium I have ever played in, also it was the first time I was almost star struck from just walking on the field. I also have to say Aviva Stadium in Ireland was a great experience when I was at BC.
CT: Describe the worst seats you’ve ever had at a sporting event.
ET: It wasn’t even for a football game, I am a Blue Jackets fan and wanted to catch a game for cheap, but I got seats literally in the last row. I could barely see a thing the entire game and was afraid if I tripped down the stairs I might fall to level below so that takes the cake.
CT: Describe your greatest sports video game victory.
ET: I am a big fan of playing NHL and for a while I had a friend who was just way better than me, but he was also helping me learn how to play. After like a year I finally “surpassed” him and started taking my revenge so that was a great feeling.
Follow Ethan Tucky as he prepares for the draft on Twitter: @ethan_tucky and on Instagram: @etucky19
Ethan is represented by 1st Down Sports, Twitter: @1stdownbowers
Contact 1st Down Sports to book Ethan for appearances, signings, and other endorsements in the Cincinnati area.