Tom Brady a Fan of Popular Bucs Draft Pick

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady is a fan of the Bucs' second-round pick.

Even former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady likes this one.

Brady, who retired on February 1, reacted to the Bucs’ selection of North Dakota State offensive lineman Cody Mauch. Bucs center Ryan Jensen, posted a picture of himself with two missing teeth to show off his resemblance to Mauch, which Brady found hilarious.

The seven-team Super Bowl champion expressed his elation with two laughing emojis. Brady won’t get to have Mauch blocking for him, but “the GOAT is already a @CodyTud fan” as NDSU football social media put it.

The Bucs selected Mauch, a 6-foot-6, 302-pound lineman, in the second round of the NFL Draft on April 29. Mauch walked on at NDSU in 2017 after playing tight end in high school, and he moved over to the offensive line in 2018 and started six games. He became a regular starter from there as he blocked for future NFL quarterbacks Easton Stick of the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018 and Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers in 2019 — both unbeaten seasons.

Mauch became a fan-favorite in Fargo, North Dakota, for his long red hair and two missing front teeth. The Hankinson, North Dakota, native lost the teeth in middle school when he played basketball for a school district that fittingly has Pirates as the mascot.

“It was the junior high conference championship,” Kendrick Lenzen, Mauch’s friend, told the Fargo Forum’s Sam Goetzinger. “Tight game, we both go after a loose ball and somehow we knocked heads and hit the wrong spot, Cody gets his teeth all messed up. At the time I didn’t know, we had to finish the game but I think it was a day or two later at school Cody comes up and smiles and I’m like oh no, there is no teeth there.”

Mauch and Lenzen both told the Forum that “there is no bad blood and have stayed in touch” since school. Mauch’s toothless look became more popular than imagined.

“It was weird enough as it was at the time and I didn’t know it would grow into my whole personality being me missing my two front teeth I guess,” Mauch told the Forum. “It’s funny every single interview with teams or media Kendrick’s [Lenzen] name gets brought up.”

Mauch later grew out the red hair at the suggestion of NDSU director of football operations Hank Jacobs according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.

Tom Brady Would Like Cody Mauch’s Nickname, Too

Brady and former Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski once celebrated “two tuddies” for a pair of touchdowns in the Bucs’ 31-9 Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021.

Now, the Bucs have a new personality as unique as Gronk nicknamed “Tud” in Mauch. The All-American’s nickname came about in childhood as “Tuddles” from a uncle, but everyone “just shortened it” to “Tud” according to The Athletic’s Andy Staples.

“His nickname is ‘Tud,'”NDSU defensive lineman Jake Kava, Mauch’s friend and housemate, told Rittenberg. “When you think of a guy with the nickname Tud, that’s Cody. No front teeth, big smile, long, flowing red hair.”

Ryan Jensen and Cody Mauch Have Much in Common

While Jensen and Mauch have a similar look off the field, they look all the more similar in their play on the field as the Forum’s Jeff Kolpack pointed out.

“The 6-foot-4, 319-pound Jensen is not Power Five-bred either, playing his college ball at Division II Colorado State-Pueblo,” Kolpack wrote.

Jensen emerged as a Pro Bowl center in his nine-year career with the Bucs and Baltimore Ravens before that. Mauch could emerge as a key starter for the Bucs’ offensive line this fall as he brings a similar tenacity to the field as Jensen does, and it has Jensen excited.

“Jensen’s been texting ever since we took him,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said about Jensen and Mauch on April 29. “[Mauch] and I are going to mess some things up.”

As Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud put it, Mauch “fits the mold of a Bucs offensive lineman“.