Attack everything.

It's McCauley Todd's reminder of how he wants to live his life. Don't be afraid. Be bold in setting goals. Never stop working.

The mantra is at the heart of the former Montana Grizzlies' latest venture. Todd, a 2017 UM graduate, has this summer started the McCauley Todd Offensive Line Academy in his native Iowa with the aim of soon working his way into the college coaching ranks.

Todd, 23, ran his first week-long academy camp for local high school O-line prospects in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in June. There he began passing on the lifestyle and lessons ingrained in him during his upbringing and from Griz coaches the past five years.

"At the O-line position, if you're just trying to survive, that means you're coming from a place of fear," Todd explained. "We try to switch our mindset to attacking everything. Attack this weight session, attack this practice."

Todd signed with the Grizzlies in 2012 from far-flung Iowa, coming to Montana for the program's winning tradition and the fly fisherman's haven that surrounds Missoula. He already had a plan in place for when his eligibility ran out five years down the road, too.

Chad Germer heard about it not long after joining UM's coaching staff just before New Year's Day 2015.

"First time I met him, I knew (coaching) was part of the plan," said Germer, Montana's offensive line coach and an All-American lineman during his Griz playing days. "He's always been interested in picking my brain a little bit."

There are a few things that every coach has to be able to do well, Germer said. Communication is key and should come with a hint of inspiration. Turning players into believers in what they're being told goes a long way toward helping it stick. On the line, attention to detail can turn a walk-on freshman into a skilled technician by his senior year.

And Todd is all about the details.

"He was really into the scientific part of the game in terms of the angles and the technique," Germer said. "He always had a knack for that kind of stuff."

***

Ever studious, Todd went right to work this past spring on finding his career path in football. After graduating with a double major in history and African-American studies, Todd attended a coaching camp at Boise State to pick up some details on where to start.

He launched a social media presence for his academy and headed home to Iowa to organize his first camp. With his younger brother a highly recruited high schooler – "Andrew was as good as I was as a senior as probably a sophomore or younger," he joked — Todd had an in with the city's prep population. Camp spots closed quickly through word of mouth.

The players, including the junior Todd, a rising senior who has committed to play at Miami (Ohio), got three days of on-field drills and activities along with another two of classroom instruction that covered nutrition, training and tips on boosting recruitment.

Todd is finalizing three more similar camps this summer with the possibility of working a team camp as well.

"(Football) is something that's given me so much. I want to help other young people learn what I did through the game, to get an education paid for through the game if they can," Todd added.

He's adding to his own knowledge base with every encounter from the other side of the coaching spectrum, too. Playing and coaching on the offensive line is less glamorous than other facets of the game, but the strategy side of things is thrilling.

"You have to be smart. It's a really technical position and it's obviously very crucial for football," Todd offered. "Anybody who knows the ins and outs of football knows that's where it all starts. ...

"But you've got to be patient, because a lot of the skills aren't natural to kids and you're doing a lot of teaching."

With his brother closing in on the end of his own high school career, Todd said he plans to volunteer at Cedar Rapids' Washington High. He'll pursue a coaching license in the state of Iowa while helping out at his alma mater, and then kick the job hunt into high gear come spring.

That means applying for graduate assistant positions and other jobs at the college level while continuing to build the resume.

The goal is to one day ascend to a place like that of his most recent mentor, Coach Germer, who is entering his 20th year coaching at the college level. Oh, yeah, and to earn a little hardware somewhere along the way.

"I never won a championship in high school, never won one at Montana," said Todd, a statement untrue of any other Griz recruiting class's 5-year-stay since the 1980s. "That's something that's still on my list of things to do."

It's all part of Todd's plan of attack.

AJ Mazzolini can be reached by email at ajmazzolini@missoulian.com or on Twitter @ajmazzolini.

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