In a 2015 HBO interview, former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said, “I love football. Love it. Love it. Love it.”
All players play the game, but not all players can say they love it. Rio Americano-Sacramento offensive tackle Eric Bristow is undoubtedly a young man who not only excels at the game, but possesses a deep love for it as well.
“I love this game,” Bristow said when asked what motivates him. “It’s really as simple as that. I practice and push to keep growing, and it’s all from the heart because I just love it.”
Bristow brought his love and passion into the National Preps Collegiate Showcase at Vacaville Christian High on November 21, earning himself a well deserved co-OL MVP award.
“It was a huge honor,” said Bristow. “There were so many great players there, the competition was just crazy. I really don’t even have the words to describe how much I appreciate the recognition and opportunity.”
Though Bristow may have been in awe by this recognition, scouts and those in the camp circuits certainly saw this coming. Bristow’s size and frame, at 6-7, 305-pounds with an 80-inch wingspan, naturally leads to success at his position, but by putting in work during this quarantine, Bristow has only gotten that much better.
“I’ve been doing a lot of conditioning,” said Bristow. “I worked with Linemen Win Games as often as possible and they have a really great program. I’ve been doing all the camps I can and really anything football related I can.”
National Preps Western Region Scout Paul Gregorian assessed Bristow: “For his size, he has good bend and mobility. He possesses a strong initial punch with consistent inside hand placement and lateral movement in pass (protection).
"He has really progressed and made huge strides regarding his technique, flexibility, and movement.”
In his own assessment of his game, Bristow acknowledged the hard work he has been putting in this offseason and lights up when asked what he loves the most about his position.
“I love the contact and the intensity of playing the line,” Bristow explained. “It takes a lot of mental toughness to play the line - you hit and get hit every single play. You have to keep your head in it, play smart, and be tough.”
With minimal offers and only some interest from top tier colleges, Bristow knows making it to the next level will be contingent on his junior and senior seasons. Though he has improved strides and many feel he will be seeing more offers soon, Bristow isn’t going to stop putting in the work.
“Well it would be great if there was actually a season,” Bristow jokingly said. “But honestly, I am working hard in the classroom and camps have been great for practice, but I really can’t wait to get back on the field and show how much progress I’ve made.”