Sullivan Grosz Interview
Sr. / Cal Poly / DT
Updated - 4-10-14
By: Alex Khvatov
Alex Khvatov: Where are you currently training for the NFL Draft?
Sullivan Grosz: I am still training in San Luis Obispo, CA. I am training with Chris Holder who is our head strength and conditioning coach. He was at San Jose State before. He has trained numerous guys that have made it to the NFL. I couldn’t get away from him. He has helped me so much since he has been here. He has helped me improve my quickness, movement and flexibility. I have stayed here since December. I am happy about it.
Alex Khvatov: What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?
Sullivan Grosz: Height is 6’3 and weight is 295. Usually, I am a little bit heavier, but I wanted to be nice and light for the pro day. I ran a 5.07 at the pro day.
Alex Khvatov: Tell us about your results from the Pro Day. How would you grade your overall performance?
Sullivan Grosz: I did well. I had a 31.5 vertical, 9 inches in the broad jump, and my bench was 24. It was lower than I wanted it. The three-cone was a 4.56 and the L-drill was a 7.28. It is right around where I wanted it.
Alex Khvatov: What schools showed interest in you when you were coming out of high school?
Sullivan Grosz: Cal Poly. Nevada and Coach Ault wanted to be an OG after my first year. I never played that position. I played TE and LB in high school. UCLA preferred me to walk on. Sac State showed some interest. Cal Poly was an up and coming program. Tim Walsh just got in as the head coach. He got me on a visit and it was the end of it.
Alex Khvatov: How did you wind up at Cal Poly?
Sullivan Grosz: It is a great area to live in. It is a great atmosphere and a great school. They have great academics. The year before, they played Wisconsin in the snow and they almost beat them. I saw that the players were great and could compete at a higher level. All of the other schools didn’t fit all of those categories. My sister also went to the school. It is the best place for me, and I am happy about it.
Alex Khvatov: Describe your career with the Mustangs.
Sullivan Grosz: As a redshirt freshman, I started one game. But I played in every game that year. I started every game since then. I never missed a game. I started 34 games. I had 25 sacks and about 40 TFL’s. I was a two-year captain. I led the team in sacks the last three years. I had 8.5 sacks my senior year. I got a lot of accolades. I was a Co-Defensive Player of the Year. I had about eight publications that recognized me as an All-American. I received academic accolades stuff as well. I reached a lot of my goals. I made about three or four first teams. I am excited where I was and where I am going. I can make a difference. I lead by example. I was a team captain two straight years. We won the Big Sky Championship the year before last. We were 6-6 this year. I am excited about moving on to the next thing.
Alex Khvatov: What makes Cal Poly that is located in San Luis Obispo, CA such a unique place?
Sullivan Grosz: It is kind of hard to tell how nice it is here. Someone said that it is the Ivy League of the west coast. Football players that come here have to be well-rounded people. We are on a quarter system, and it is very demanding. They have multiple beaches. We always have a lot of events in downtown. It was about 85 degrees in January, and the trees were blossoming. It is a great place to live. Our football program is on the rise. We made the jump to the Big Sky and hopefully we will dominate. Our baseball team is fifth in the nation, and our basketball team made the NCAA Tournament for the first time this year
Alex Khvatov: How proud were you to be named an All-American and the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Sky Conference during your senior year?
Sullivan Grosz: I remember where I was when the awards were released. My fiancée and I were driving, and Johnny Millard called me. He is one of my best friends. He told me that I was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year. I was shocked. I always felt that if I leave everything out on the field, then good things would happen. It is nice to see that the hard work paid off. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Alex Khvatov: What are your strengths?
Sullivan Grosz: I am a big guy that can move well. I have good quickness and ball awareness. I move sideline-to-sideline. I never stop moving. I am always chasing down guys. I have a very good motor.
Alex Khvatov: What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?
Sullivan Grosz: I need to definitely adjust to the speed. I need to be more physical with my hands, play with a good base and pad level. I need to learn the scheme, and get on the team. I will put in the extra hours and figure out what an NFL team wants me to be.
Alex Khvatov: What is the highlight of your career up to this point?
Sullivan Grosz: I got to play at Fresno State. I played them twice while I was here. I played them as a redshirt freshman and as a senior. I am from Fresno. My family had season tickets to Fresno State’s home games. We didn’t win against them, but it was a highlight. Another one was beating Montana when they were ranked number one. The game was awesome. Our quarterbacks were going down, and our senior DL went down. We wound up winning that game at home. The energy was great. Montana is always the top team in the Big Sky, and a team that you always want to beat.
Alex Khvatov: What is your favorite NFL team?
Sullivan Grosz: The 49ers. We went to a lot of their games.
Alex Khvatov: Who is your favorite NFL player?
Sullivan Grosz: I am a big Justin Smith fan. I have liked him for the last eight or nine years. He is one of those guys that never stops going. He is a fourth quarter guy. He has the extra gear. He dominates. I mimic that player.
Alex Khvatov: Are you a big Jim Harbaugh fan?
Sullivan Grosz: I met him when I went to Stanford. He offered me a walk-on position. He is a high-energy kind of guy. He is always going for the best players that can play. He put Kaepernick in after Alex Smith went down. He was playing better and he decided to keep him in the lineup. I respect that move.
Alex Khvatov: What separates you from all of the other players at your position?
Sullivan Grosz: I have good size, speed and quickness. I am quick of the ball, and my motor never stops. Keith Millard has been coaching me up. He was a legend. He played with the Vikings. He was a coach in the NFL with the Raiders, Bucs and Titans. He has passed on the knowledge to me. I have learned how to pass rush from him. He has been teaching me for years. I talk to him every two weeks. We will watch film. He is awesome for me. I wouldn’t be the player that I am today if it wasn’t for him. He is Johnny Millard’s father.
Alex Khvatov: Tell me about your teammate LB Johnny Millard.
Sullivan Grosz: He was our Sam LB this year. He also got a lot of accolades. John was named second-team All-Big Sky. He rushes off the edge. He has what it takes to play at the next level.
Alex Khvatov: Who was the best player that you played against?
Sullivan Grosz: RG from Montana (William Poehls). He is about 6’8. He is a great player. He is stout, big and can still move for that size. Also the RG from Fresno State (James Le’au). He was from Samoa.
Alex Khvatov: Which underclassmen on your team should we keep an eye on next season?
Sullivan Grosz: A couple of guys. Our Mike LB Nick Dzubnar is a SoCal kid. He grew up playing hockey. He is super physical. He hits guys. He is a beast. He will be a senior next year. LB Cameron Ontko has the fastest 10-yard split. He is a transfer from Wisconsin. He will be a great player. Our punt returner Chris Nicholls has lightning speed. He is a quick kid. He is our slot back.
Alex Khvatov: What do you enjoy most about football?
Sullivan Grosz: I like to hit. I love the physicality and camaraderie. I want to see how it will be in the NFL. I wonder if it will it be similar. I was always having a good time with my buddies. We were working and struggling together.
Alex Khvatov: What are your hobbies?
Sullivan Grosz: I grew up riding motorcycles in the Mojave Desert. But it is a lot harder when you are 295 pounds. I am not doing it as much while I have been in college. I also like beach volleyball. I have to use my 31.5-inch vert off the ground and put it to good use. I also hunt and fish.
Alex Khvatov: What makes you a unique individual?
Sullivan Grosz: I am really optimistic. I keep energy really positive. I don’t like to be negative. I am not super outspoken. I am the guy that is setting the tempo. I am one of the hardest workers out there. I like to be a positive influence. When I speak, people listen. I would like to continue that later on down the road whether it is in the NFL or in business.
Alex Khvatov: What is your definition of a leader?
Sullivan Grosz: There are a lot of types of leaders. First type of leader is super vocal. He is energetic. He still works hard and plays fast. He brings the vocal energy. Then there are quieter types like myself. They lead by example. They speak when they need to and get on guys when they aren’t playing hard.
Alex Khvatov: What do you plan to do with your life after your football career is over?
Sullivan Grosz: After football, I might want to continue my education. I want to do medical or industrial sales.
Alex Khvatov: What does it feel like to be an under the radar type of guy?
Sullivan Grosz: It is okay. Scouts from the NFL know me. 16 or 17 teams have visited our school this year. The media doesn’t know much about me. I am not on the radar. This interview is spreading the word about me. I want to get more media attention. But it doesn’t bother me. I will get a shot. It would be great to be late-round pick. I am willing to work hard every single day.
Alex Khvatov: Finish the sentence, Sullivan Grosz is….
Sullivan Grosz: I am a really hard-working, humble, but quiet type of guy. I am fun to be around. I joke around. I work hard and play hard. That is what life is all about.
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