|Ouellet finishing strong for Falcons (12-19-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:34|
It's one position change that didn't work out, and Bowling Green is a better football team because it didn't.
During his redshirt freshman season, the Falcon coaches decided to try Ted Ouellet on the offensive line because of some injuries there.
''I was about 255 (pounds) at the time, coming off knee surgery, and I was not very good at it,'' said Ouellet, who is now a fifth-year senior.
The move to offense lasted about a month. Then Ouellet went back to the defensive line, and that has paid off in a big way.
Despite battling injuries for his college career, Ouellet was a third-team All-Mid-American Conference pick last season, and a second-team all-conference selection this season.
''If there was a representative of what BG toughness is, it's Ted Ouellet,'' said Adam Scheier, BG's interim head coach. ''He's a brawler; he's a fighter, with a great work ethic, and a great motor.
''Now that he's playing healthy we're seeing the best from Ted Ouellet,'' Scheier continued. ''He has a tenacious work ethic, and a never-quit mentality. Whether he is double-teamed or single-teamed, he's going to find a way to get off the block and get involved.''
Ouellet has had knee and shoulder problems both in high school and with the Falcons, resulting in three surgeries.
''The first one (surgery) is the aggravating one, '' Ouellet said. ''After that you kind of learn to deal with it. You learn what it takes to come back fully from it.''
This season Ouellet has played in 11 games. He is second on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss, and he leads the team with 5.5 sacks. He has 9.5 career sacks, the most of any current Falcon.
''He was really unsure about his future at BG ... He was really frustrated,'' said BG's Paul Swan, a fifth-year senior linebacker and a team captain, about Ouellet in his early years at Bowling Green. ''It worked out that he got to go back to defense, and he really started finding his niche.
''Teddy is a workhorse ... he's an animal out on the field,'' Swan added. ''He's really a great guy to be around on and off the field. He's someone that I really love to play with, and to have as a friend, a brother.''
Ouellet admits he's not the most athletic person, but he can find his way around on the field.
''For me, and pretty much our whole (defensive) line where we make our money and why we are actually successful is we are just very disciplined,'' said Ouellet, 6-foot-3, 284 pounds. ''You watch some films and teams are getting gashed for runs and stuff like that, because people are getting out of their gaps and doing their own thing - We are just a very disciplined front.
''People think we're a lot smaller than we are, because we don't have anyone overly big or sloppy looking in particular,'' he added.
Ouellet was not heavily recruited out of Dover-Sherborn High School in Massachusetts, but he did find his way to Bowling Green for a camp. Both sides liked what they saw, and he was offered a scholarship.
''The old quarterback coach, coach (Jim) Hofher, he knew somebody back home. That was the connection that I had,'' Ouellet said. ''I came out for camp. I drove 12 hours with my dad, went to camp, drove back. I was pretty much offered a scholarship the day I came out.''
After going through the tough times in 2010 (2-10) and 2011 (5-7), Ouellet and the Falcons are 18-8 the last two seasons, including a win earlier this month over previously undefeated and nationally ranked Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game.
Ouellet will close out his career playing in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl next Thursday at Ford Field against Pittsburgh. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
''It's very satisfying that the program is better off than when we came in'' Ouellet said. ''I hope it can continue to thrive like that. You can watch them on ESPN the next couple of years, and see that success continue.''
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