The News Observer recently sat down with Brian Folkerts, C, Panthers, to learn a little bit more about his history and the path he’s taken to reach the NFL.
Q. Did you grow up as a Rams fan?
A. I definitely did. For the better part of 15 years, I was a Rams fan. Then they hit their slump and I moved out to Kansas and I was like, ahh, it’s time to give up on the Rams.
Q. Were you there for the Greatest Show on Turf or when they lost to the Panthers in the playoffs?
A. I remember that. The 1999 (Super Bowl) season I was in fourth grade and had just got my first Rams jersey. I was watching Ricky Proehl, our coach now, and watching all those guys.
Q. You went to college in Kansas. Washburn, right?
A. Yeah. We’re out in the middle of the nowhere. We’re the Ichabods.
Q. What does that mean?
A. Most people when they hear Ichabod, they think the headless horseman. But our founder’s name was actually Ichabod Washburn. So our school is Washburn, and our mascot is the Ichabods.
Q. What’s the actual mascot?
A. It’s like a scholar. It’s got a top hat, some glasses and books. It’s real nerdy, but …
Q. What did you think when the Panthers signed your old high school teammate?
A. (Wideout) Marvin McNutt. He just completely surprised me one day in the locker room. I was getting dressed for a workout. He just comes up behind me and says, ‘Hey, what’s up, man?’ I turn around and it’s him. Like a complete shock. We just caught up for a little while and we’ve been catching up all week and reminiscing.
Q. Where’s the best place in St. Louis for toasted ravioli?
A. You’ve gotta go to Pasta House. It’s not a national chain. It’s kind of like a St. Louis chain. They’ve got the best toasted ravioli there.
Q. Who has better hair, you or DeAngelo Williams?
A. I’m going to have to go with DeAngelo. He puts a little more effort into his hair. He spends money to get his done.
Q. When’s the last time you cut yours?
A. Going into my junior year. I used to have a shaved, zero (clippers setting) buzzcut. Then for the start of my junior year of college, I was starting to talk to some scouts. And I was like, All right, I’m going to grow it out until I make (the NFL). Then my first year I was with New Orleans. I was kind of thinking about cutting it, but then I got cut in the preseason. And I was like, Well, that doesn’t really count. Now that I’m here, me and (Brenton) Bersin are talking about cutting our hair at the end of the season.
Q. What’s the deal with your nickname, Caveman Center?
A. That started here with (Jordan) Gross and a couple of the older guys like Steve Smith. The long hair, the beard, kind of caveman-ish features. Everyone was still kind of learning my name, so it was just easy to say, “That’s that guy that kind of looks like a caveman.”
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