Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Declan Forde, Loyola football
Declan Forde was a senior wide receiver for the state champion Ramblers. He finished his season with 43 catches, 876 yards (20 yards/catch) and 15 touchdowns.
1. Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Every time on game day, I have a Hudl shirt that I got from my coach and I time on game day I have a Hudl shirt I got from my coach, I’ll wear that every game with a white tank top. People started to notice, so they made sure I did it before every game.
2. What do you hope to do next year?
I’m really hoping to play football next year in college — and also study engineering. It’s going pretty well. I have an offer from Denison and I’m talking to a few Ivy schools and a Patriot school.
3. What is it you want college football recruiters and coaches to know?
I just want them to know about my work ethic and determination. Freshman year I was put on the B team and I just never lost my passion for the game. I never stopped working hard and it paid off in the end. That just shows my determination and resilience.
4. Why do you want to study engineering?
Science is a huge interest of mine. I really like physics. I am taking an intro to engineering class and AP physics. I’ve just been loving it. It’s something I’d love to do when I get older.
5. If you played another sport, what would it be?
It would be probably be golf. I love golf. It’s just a fun sport to play. I wish I had more time to play it and get better.
6. What is your favorite thing to do off the field?
I love to lift. It’s always been a big interest of mine. I got into it with football but then it became more than just that. It’s something that clears my mind, so something more than just a physical activity. There’s more benefit than that. It keeps me going.
7. Who is your favorite athlete?
Jordy Nelson (NFL—Retired). I loved watching him growing up. I am a huge Packers fan. He inspired me to be a wide receiver. He was so fun to watch. I named my dog after him.
8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
I’m probably buying Cherry Coke. It’s so good. Whenever I’m out with friends or at a fast food place, I always get Cherry Coke.
9. What is something people don’t know about you?
A lot of people don’t know that I actually am left-leg dominant. Everything else I do righty. Just growing up, played soccer when I was younger, I started kicking with my left leg. I find it interesting that something like that can happen.
10. How would you describe your senior season?
This year has been amazing. It has definitely been the best year of a my life. I grew up watching Loyola football. I know plenty of alum who came before me, and to come out and even make it to a state championship is huge. Winning it is unbelievable. It’s still sinking in.
Coming off a back injury (2021) and having the year I had is incredible. I was grateful to get the opportunity to play this year, especially with my quarterback, who I’ve been playing with since grade school. I am so grateful to make these memories and do it with all my friends. … I am so glad every minute we put in was worth it. That was our goal and we completed it.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319