Many Louisianans watched Super Bowl LVI rooting for Joe Burrow, former LSU Quarterback who is now the Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback, but the South still can celebrate Louisiana native Andrew Whitworth who finished his 16th season with a win over a team he spent his first 11 seasons with.
The LA Rams’ Offensive Tackle is a native of Monroe. He was part of three Louisiana Class 5A State Championship teams in 1997, 1998, and 2000. His high school, West Monroe High School, was listed by the National High School Football Tony Poll as national champions. Whitworth then attended LSU when he redshirted his Freshman year. His explosive college career started his Sophomore year in 2003 when he started in all fourteen season games. The team went 13–1 en route to a BCS national title with a Sugar Bowl defeat of Oklahoma.
In 2004, Whitworth led the Tigers with 799 snaps as the Tigers went 9–3 with a Citrus Bowl clinch against Iowa. He was credited with 96 key blocks, including 66 knockdowns, and played every offensive snap during a four-game stretch against Georgia, Florida, Troy, and Vanderbilt. He assisted LSU as Left Tackle to an 11–2 record in 2005. The 2005 season ended with a 40-3 Peach Bowl win over Miami. His 52 career starts from 2002–2005 ranks second in NCAA Division I history behind Derrick Strait of Oklahoma (53 starts, 2000–2003). He also earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors his last two seasons.
Whitworth was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second-round (55th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft where he played most of his professional career. After 11 seasons with the Bengals, he signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. A year later, he helped the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII after they defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round and New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game. The Rams lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl that year.
On April 1, 2020, Whitworth signed another three-year contract with the Rams, but on November 16, he was placed on injured reserve after he was carted off the field after suffering a torn MCL and damaged PCL in a 23–16 home win over the Seattle Seahawks. He was activated on January 7, 2021, just in time for the team’s playoff game. He was recently named the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year at the 11th Annual NFL Honors. Last night’s Super Bowl brawl ended with a final score of 23-20, Rams being on top.
“Big Whit” was featured on CBS Mornings and said the win was “awfully special.” He was able to experience the win with his children which he shared a moment with his middle son back in 2018 when they lost the Super Bowl against the NE Patriots. He said his son was crying about the loss in which he reacted with flex and told him “We don’t cry, we just handle situations, and move on.” When he won last night’s game, he looked up at his son and flexed as he did four years ago, and told him, “Now you can have tears of joy.”
There are rumors that “Big Whit” is retiring, but he said he doesn’t know yet. “It’s one of those things that we’ll sit back after this season ends now, and those next couple of weeks those decisions will be made. I’ll reflect on what’s important for me and the family, and obviously sit with Sean McVay and talk about what we think the next chapter is,” he said.