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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jack Batho IV, OT, South Dakota School of Mines

Jack Batho was a pillar on the offensive line for South Dakota School of Mines running game. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Jack Batho IV
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 308 lbs
  • Position: OT
  • College: South Dakota School of Mines
  • Twitter: @jackbatho
  • Instagram: jacko_4

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
When I came into college, my major was Mechanical Engineering. I did that for three years. I wanted to transition into biology because I’m passionate about prosthetics and want to get into design and bracing. I then had a major in Pre-Health Sciences with a focus in Biology. At the rate that I am going, I will likely graduate with three degrees also including Biomedical Engineering.

I’ve had two internships. I spent time with the Kiewit Corporation as a Field Operations Engineer down in Houston, TX. It was a Liquified Natural Gas Plant that ships overseas. I was working on pre-construction ordering parts. My other internship was locally for a natural gas company called Montana Dakota Utilities. I was a Corrosion Protection Engineer.

Most of my time has been taken up with academics and sports. So, I haven’t participated in much else. I am a dual-sport athlete participating on both the football team and with track & field.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My best quality is my football IQ. I’m able to understand different schemes, recognize multiple defensive fronts and use several techniques depending on the situation.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I was one of the recognized leaders on our football team being a 2-time team captain. I like being able to help the young guys shape into who they need to be as football players and help them understand different schemes. We had a young center this past season, so some of the older guys like myself helped read the defense and made calls on the line. I’ve been LT during my time here. I played all along the offensive line in high school. While practicing at the Hula Bowl, they also tried me out at RT.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
The first guy that I played against in college was Blake Nelson of Colorado Mesa. He was one of the players that gained my respect. At CSU-Pueblo, there were two players that stuck out for me. They had a LB in Brandon Payer that was really good against the run. He was a big strong player that read offenses very well and filled in the gaps. Pueblo also had a stout DL in Deyon Sizer who was good with his hands and able to get off double teams. Payer spent some time on NFL practice squads and in the XFL, and last time I checked Sizer was still with the Denver Broncos.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
We have a big Texas kid in Grant Smith that has a lot of potential. He’s about 6’6” 340 lbs. He’s got good feet and hands. He’s played both guard and tackle. I feel like he has the tools to play guard at the professional level.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
2019 was a rough year because that’s when I had my foot injury. I was starting to gain interest from professional scouts. At the end of the 4th game of the season, there was a last second Hail Mary play and I was blocking the DE on my side. Our guard had come over to help out and stepped on my foot. I crossed over to pull my foot out and had the Lisfranc injury.

It was a rough 6-month rehab. They had put screws in my foot, and I had that hardware removed in January of 2020. I was looking forward to getting back on the field for that season when the pandemic started. There was a lot of uncertainty going into the season as to whether we were going to play. We were one of 9 D2 schools to play this past season. We scheduled 6 games, but ultimately only played 4. Despite only playing 4 games, I had done enough to get an invite out to the Hula Bowl. That gave me the opportunity to play another game and put more film together for scouts. Yet, it also proved that I was able to hang with players from all over, including guys from the highest level of competition in the FBS.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Track & field as a thrower. I participated in a little basketball and wrestling back during my freshman year of high school. Yet, track and football were the two sports that stuck. I was fortunate enough to play both of those sports in college. I rank 2nd all-time at our school in the shot put at 56 ft 3 inches, and was able to win the indoor conference title. I also hold the school record in the weight throw at 61 ft and 6 ¾ inches.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
During the 2017/2018 term, I was named The South Dakota Mines Athlete of the Year for both football and track. I was also named 1st Team All-Regional 4 times in track & field.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
Back in 2016, we were playing against Fort Lewis who was known as a good defensive team at the time. That was my first year as the starter. That game was a grueling matchup which ended up being a loss in overtime. Yet, what made that game special is that the coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me. I remember a couple plays where we went back-to-back doing a power run on my side and our RB getting good yardage.

The other game that sticks out is back in 2018 against Adams State, when our RB, Conner Silveria, broke the D2 all-time single rushing record with 425 yards on 46 carries. That was a snow game at home with high winds and cold rain. We barely passed the ball in that game. There were so many elements of that game that made it memorable.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My all-time favorite athlete is Peyton Manning. He just had such control of the game and understanding of defenses in order to change things around as needed. Joe Thomas is my favorite lineman that I like to model my game after. He modeled toughness as a good run blocker and pass blocker. His technique was second to none.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Kevin Gates is my favorite music artist. He’s just in your face and physical with his music. His song “Tiger” definitely gets me going before games.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My Mom and fiancée make really good biscuits and sausage gravy which is one of my favorite meals. A local spot that has some good food is the Colonial House in Rapid City, SD. They have great breakfast food.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite TV show right now is the Prodigal Son. One of my favorite movies is “Defiance” with Daniel Craig. My favorite actor would have to be Denzel Washington.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
You have to like the outdoors out in South Dakota. I like to fish, hunt and go hiking. I also enjoy spending time with my beautiful fiancée and our little golden doodle puppy.

Who or what motivates you the most?
Family. I want to be able to give our future family the life we dream about. I want to be able to take care of my family and help my parents retire early.


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