Some team is going to get more than another offensive linemen when it chooses Sean Welsh during the NFL Draft.
A first-team All-Big Ten season at Iowa last fall assured he is a pro prospect, but that only came after he went public with his battle with depression late last summer.
“On Saturdays in the fall I live life in the trenches at Kinnick Stadium and other venues across the Big Ten,” he wrote in an op-ed for the team’s website in July. “Each week, in front of 70,000 or more cheering football fans, I have the privilege of wearing the black and gold and going toe-to-toe with some of the best defensive linemen in the United States.
“Each snap, each series and each quarter are physically and emotionally demanding. But no game or season has ever tested my endurance or attacked my resolve like the challenge that I now face each day of my life.
The ensuing months were a cathartic experience for the Springboro native as he excelled on the field and embraced opportunities to talk about depression with anyone who wanted to listen.
As he transitions into the next phase of his life, from college student to professional football player, he hopes to continue helping others deal with issues of their own.
Photo: HANDOUT/Photo by Max Surikov
“I’ve always wanted to do something more than football,” he said at the NFL Scouting Combine in March. “This has kind of been something that has become a purpose for me, shedding light on the issue and sharing my story.
“Whatever I can do to kind of move the ball forward in the discussion.”