#71 John Rizzo
Senior - 6,4 300
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Nothing offensive about lineman Rizzio
As a walk-on, John Rizzo earned his way into the starting line-up as a true freshman earning him a non-scholarship MVP award in '05.
Rizzo has taken advantage of his opportunity, becoming an anchor on a line that gives protection for Rusty Smith and opening running lane for the tandem of Dilvory Edgecomb and CharlesPierre.
Heading into the '08 season what were some of your goals?
Repeat in the conference and staying mentally focused.
You have become another success story at FAU, a walk-on earning his way to playing time, what are the biggest influences that has helped you get to the position you are now?
Family has helped me a lot. They gave me the confidence to try and walk onto the team and perform every week. They help me stay confident.
You have become a staple on a line that has been together for three years now, how difficult has it been with some of the recent injuries to keep the stability and continuity going?
It really hasn't been that hard. We are together a lot and we all know each other really well. We hang out all the time. We knew that when Nick went down that it would be tough, but we had Lavoris (Williams) step up and we knew he would be ready to play. He has been here for at least three years, just like everyone else.
The line has become a solid group that has provided great protection for Rusty Smith. It must be something you and your linemen take great pride in?
Of course, when you don't give up a sack in three games, you have to hold your head up for something. That is pretty much the only thing we get, showing how we protect Rusty (Smith) and how Charles (Pierre), Willie (William Rose) and (DiIvory) Edgecomb run the ball.
The play of the offensive line is the driving force of any offense, what has been the determining factor for the stability, the line seems to have?
We all have a real bond with each other.
What is it like playing for the team leader, Rusty Smith?
It's fun. We all feel like we are good friends and Rusty (Smith) is in there with us. We don't look at it like Rusty is the leader. We look at it like he is a really good friend.
With the tough conditions last Saturday against Michigan State, what can the line take away from that experience to help them battle through the rest of the season?
We played very well. It was just bad conditions. We are confident. We have been working a little bit harder this week.
Having beaten Minnesota at home last year, for the Owls first win over a BCS team, how does that help you and the team prepare for the upcoming re-match on Saturday?
We aren't thinking about last year. Last year was last year. This week we have to come in and play our game whatever happens...happens.
What are your plans after playing football at FAU?
Not really sure.
What are some of your hobbies outside of FAU?
Cards, poker, hanging out, video games and all that good stuff.