Patriots G – Sidy Sow – 2023 Draft, Pick 117
April 29, 2023
Q: Let me just ask you your general reaction when you got the call from the Patriots. What was it like?
SS: My brain went into scrambles, and I had a hard time understanding what was happening. But I came back quick to reality and understood that one of my biggest dreams was about to be a realized.
Q: I want to ask you about the position switch at the beginning of your career at Eastern Michigan. What led you transferring over from the defensive line to the offensive line? And how did you develop such stability and a long track record?
SS: Honestly, my dream was always to play in the NCAA and followed by the NFL. So once I got one opportunity to play in the NCAA, it was all about playing football. When they told me, 'We want you to play offensive lineman,' I said, 'okay.' I dedicated all the ounces of energy that I had and everything I could to be the best I can at my position and fortunately it led me to have a very long career at Eastern, which I'm really happy about. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I got to keep this mindset because it is the reason I am here at this point.
Q: We just got a chance to speak with your friend Chad [Ryland]. What should we know about him?
SS: Chad is a stud. He's the best kicker in the nation, and he's going to be one of the best kickers in the NFL. So I'm 100% excited. As a person, I love him. He's a great dude. We've known each other for a while. I still talk to him to this day. We're big Call of Duty partners and it's crazy that once again, teammates.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your contact with the Patriots during the draft process, who you spoke with, what they wanted to know about you?
SS: It was like any other team. So I came in at the end of the season. Not a lot of people knew about me and all that since I came from the MAC. But fortunately, I got a chance to go to the All-Star game and the Combine. The conversations that followed that, were great. I had a great feeling with the Patriots. I really, really enjoyed talking to all the staff members that I had a chance to talk to. I had a 30 visit with them not too long ago. Honestly, it's such an amazing program and I can't wait to be part of it. Also, Boston which is about eight hours away from home is one of the best landing spots I could have asked for.
Q: Can you take us through that top 30 visit that you had here?
SS: I just came in and had a chance to talk to a lot of people. The mentality that's in the building is the one that I associate the most with myself. Put your head down and go to work every single day. You have a job to do. So, when I came in there, I realized that would be a program that I would be dedicated to. I would love to go in every single day and give it my all. Fortunately, now I get to be a part of it. I'm excited for it.
Q: That top 30 Visit, was that was that the only one for you or were you quite busy before the draft on those visits?
SS: I had five top 30 visits. First, I went to Washington, then I had one kind of with the Lions, that was followed with Carolina, Buffalo and the last one was the Patriots which was the best one and my last one, too.
Q: You mentioned home is eight hours away, to be coming from I guess we'll say north of the border. What does that mean to you to your roots?
SS: I mean, it's amazing, right? The Patriots have such amazing fan base and in Quebec they are one of the biggest teams in terms of fan support. I watched the team their whole tenure. They have had amazing Super Bowl runs through this century, so to finally be part of it and contribute as much as I can in the success of the team. It means so much as a little kid watching Tom Brady play football and just been amazed by the love of football. So, to get them to call me on draft day and tell me they want me is the most amazing feeling.
Q: What is like the fan base up there? Is it more NFL? Is it more CFL? What is it like for you?
SS: The fan base is mixed, so everybody's a big Montreal Alouettes fan of course because it is the best home team but in terms of NFL, all I can remember is about Patriots, Patriots and Patriots. And for me, you know, as a young kid, my eyes were always on the NFL since that was the highest level of football that can be played. And I fell in love with the ball and wanted to play as much as I can. Now to do that for the team that I have watched for the longest time is just the most amazing feeling.
Q: Want to ask about another question about Chad Ryland. Shortly after you got drafted, you guys had a FaceTime call. Can you just talk about the moment of realizing you're going to the Patriots and you're going with former teammate and talk about the call you guys had.
SS: Yeah, I mean, in that moment, it was like realizing that, you know, I was about to realize my dream but right after that the first person that I called was Chad because I knew that he had just gotten drafted by the Patriots. I just thought that was the craziest thing in the world, so I needed to talk to him. To be honest, having a really close friend and like us getting to go through this whole process especially this summer and heading into next season, having someone like him who is going through the same thing every single day will be amazing. On the call, we just talked about how crazy this is and it is just awesome.
Q: You mentioned earlier, one of your dreams was to play in the NCAA. What I understand having read a little bit, is it took quite an effort to get the notice or get an opportunity to play FBS football. Can you tell us about how you landed on the radar in Eastern Michigan? What was involved in that process coming into the United States and trying to get to the eyes of recruiters?
SS: My whole journey in high school, middle school and before going to college, was being a defensive lineman. The thing is that there's basically no college coaches coming into Quebec to recruit, especially during my time. I could have gone to a Canadian College, that was never an issue, but I had my eyes on the NFL and knew that was the path for me. So, in the summers when I was 16, I hopped on the bus and did camp every single day for two weeks straight. We went all the way down the coast to Virginia and tried to get as many opportunities as we could. The biggest camp of the tour was Ohio State and I went to that camp and I knew there was going to be a lot of eyes from coaches on us, so I came in during the one-on-one period and I was like, you know what, I want to try to do something.
So fortunately, the o-line coach at Eastern at the time was over there. He liked me enough that he was like okay, we want to offer you a scholarship but can you come to one of our camps in a couple of weeks? So I did that and did some work on the offensive line. And you know, that day I got an offer on the spot and the only offer or interest I had and now I am here.
Q: *Your first love in hockey was the Canadians? *
SS: Of course, till the day I die. The Montreal Canadians are my favorite sport team growing up and they may be second now because the Patriots are my favorite now.
Q: How special is it to you, not only to be drafted by the Patriots but from being drafted from Canada?
SS: Honestly, I am really excited. I just want to show that it's possible and that football in Canada is serious. People have to take a good look at it because I'm not the only one. There are a lot of hidden gems that gone by and were missed over the past year. I'm just one lucky dude that the spotlight was put on. But overall, I'm just excited, especially when it comes to the Patriots and being able to contribute as much as I can.