• Sebastian Gutierrez has been making pies for Uncle Maddio’s Pizza in Minot, North Dakota, but he’s finally moving up to the big league: the NFL.
  • Gutierrez, who played offensive lineman for Minot State University, has been signed to the New England Patriots.

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Sebastian Gutierrez is 6’6 and built like an offensive lineman. And that’s exactly what he wants to be. But, instead, he’s been slinging pies at Uncle Maddio’s Pizza in Minot, North Dakota.

Until now. Gutierrez has been called up to the big league—specifically, the New England Patriots.

Gutierrez is so powerfully built—he weighs in at 295 pounds—that Losson Leonard, who owns the Uncle Maddio’s store, assumed the 24-year-old had been hired for that reason alone. “I saw him behind the line, making pizzas, and I just thought my manager, Denise, must have hired someone to head [up] security,” Leonard told KFYR-TV.

It turned out that Gutierrez, who played offensive lineman for Minot State University, was training for the NFL and took the pizza job to fill his free time. “A lot of guys put all their energy into their training, but I found myself having to sit around in the afternoon,” Gutierrez said in a recent interview with CNN. “I don’t really like to just sit around and do nothing.”

Why take a job at Uncle Maddio’s? They needed help in the afternoons and evenings, and, after all, it’s his favorite pizzeria in town.

At Minot State, Gutierrez started in 35 games and played in a total of 42. In May, he was signed by the Denver Broncos but released in late August. He kept training and landed a spot as a rookie free agent with the Patriots earlier this month.

“I think he’s a great young man, and I wish him the best,” Leonard told KFYR. “I think he’ll do well. I think once they let him in the door, he’ll never come out. I think he’ll have a great career in the NFL.”

That’s Gutierrez’s goal for sure. “Obviously, you work to get an opportunity to get signed by a team and then go and show them what you can do,” Gutierrez told CNN. “I was just excited and eager to tell my parents that the hard work’s paying off.”

The only problem? Leonard is a Carolina Panthers fan. But now he’ll be rooting for Gutierrez as well.

“It’s kind of odd that someone quit working for me and went to work for [Patriots head coach] Bill Belichick,” Leonard said in the CNN interview. “I don’t think a lot of people can say that.”

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