The coronavirus pandemic is forcing everyone indoors, and that includes West Monroe native, Andrew Whitworth.
On the field, he’s mentoring young athletes. Now, at home, he’s a school teacher to his four children.
“Just the opportunity to be at home with the kids and see all of the work they have put in at school, ” says Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman, Andrew Whitworth. “Then as a parent to see where you are to understand second and third grade math and English, and everything else. I feel like I’m on a game show sometimes.”
Just because the veteran offensive lineman is at home, it’s doesn’t mean he’s not in tune with that the NFL is doing.
“Making the draft virtual, you practice what you preach, ” Whitworth continues. “You look at free agency, and no visits, no physicals and those things. So, you continue to have a little bit of the excitement, get people to listen and hearing about free agency and hearing about the [NFL] draft that’ll be coming up.”
Andrew has never lost his sense of giving back. During the crisis, he along with several L.A. Ram teammates donated a million meals to the city’s food bank. They also raised $2 million to assist Southern California response efforts.
“Our field of work wouldn’t exist without fans, ” says Whitworth. “Wouldn’t exist without communities that support us. If you’re not the first one standing up to help, and make sure you’re part of the solution, you’re really not taking advantage of the opportunity to show your gratefulness to people and a community that supports you to really give you the opportunity to have the job you have.”
Despite now calling Los Angeles home, his roots are in West Monroe. He was part of a group that won two state championships, including a national title.
“You think of the people that helped you get there, ” says Whitworth. “And, you think of the people you get to do things with. That’s what you remember the most, more than you remember the actual games, the actual championships. You remember the moments you spent with those guys.”
Of course, he’s never forgotten Don Shows.
“Mostly just constantly hanging from my face mask, ” Whitworth recalls. “Or, you know making me get down to yell at me in my face. You know, he only came up to my belly button.”
After high school, he suited up for LSU. Whitworth was part of the Tigers’ 2003 National Championship squad, in the Mercedes Benz-Superdome. It’s also a place where he previously won a high school state title, and the 2019 NFC Championship.
“It was really cool to have the opportunity to hit the trifecta, as I call it, in the Superdome, ” remembers Whitworth. “[It] makes it a place I’ll never forget. That’s for sure.”
While in the other L.A., Big Whit’s mind is always on the place he’ll forever call home.
“Constant prayers for everyone involved, ” Whitworth says. “They’re constantly on our minds. Just hope people are making the right steps, making good decisions, keeping themselves safe. And, the people that are able and can at this time, you know, are making a difference.”