Houston Texans center Justin Britt may be solid at the point of attack on the offensive line, but the former 2014 second-round pick from Missouri credits wrestling to his excellence on the offensive line.
Britt was a three-sport letterman at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri, as he competed in football, wrestling, and track.
On a Zoom call with Houston reporters on May 20, Britt was asked about his time as a high school wrestler.
“I love letting the youth in middle school and high school hear it,” Britt said. “If you play o-line, go wrestle and if you don’t want to put on the tights, then go play basketball.”
Britt says that wrestling enabled him to see how competition is about mentally competing with oneself at times, and not necessarily against another opponent.
“I think for me, wrestling not only obviously physically competing, but you’re mentally competing with not them, but yourself,” said Britt. “Like it’s not a team sport, and so all eyes are on you. Are you going to get pinned or are you going to pin them? Are you going to win or lose? There’s no draw. At least not in my eyes. If you take that approach to football and you’ve got a whole team of people that are competitive within themselves, but they can bring it to a team atmosphere, that’s dangerous.”
One area where wrestling helped Britt is in the area of focus. The 6-6, 315-pound center says that the solo sport allowed him to keep his mind engaged on the task at hand.
Said Britt: “I think wrestling, I’m very grateful for it. I miss it all the time because I think it trained my mind to be competitive and to block out the outside noise and just focus on the task at hand. You can sit here and say wrestling helps with leverage and hand placement and all this grappling stuff, which it does, but the biggest takeaway for me was mentally what it did to me.”
Britt tore his ACL on Oct. 27, 2019, eight games into what would be his final season with the Seattle Seahawks. After sitting out football for a year, Britt will have to block out the outside noise as he seeks to replace Nick Martin as the Texans’ starting center.
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