Minkah Fitzpatrick

Thanks to his relentless work ethic, Minkah Fitzpatrick inspired the creation of a verb.

Allow his high school coach Rich Hansen to explain:

"We started something last year in our program," Hansen says. "We have a great bunch of kids that really work hard but when somebody starts to get in the right lane a little bit during the season, I started this thing, walk up to a kid and say, 'Listen, you need to Fitzpatrickize yourself.' You need to understand, you better get Fitzpatrickized.

"And everybody knows what that means. And that's probably the biggest form of respect you can afford somebody. All you have to do is say his name, and everybody gets it."

Minkah Fitzpatrick

That word, as much as the state championship and other honors, is Fitzpatrick's legacy at St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City.

"I like it," says Fitzpatrick, who is expected to be among the top picks in the NFL draft next week. "I like being known for a person that gets things done, handles himself the right way on and off the field. I think it's pretty cool to have that tag."

Even on a team that produced other Division I college football players, Fitzpatrick stood out because of his approach to the game.

"I've said to every NFL team that I've spoken to, he will be the hardest working person in the organization and that's just who he is," Hansen says. "People ask me all the time, 'He works so hard, he trains 12 months a year, all he does is work at it. What does he do for fun?' And what they don't understand is that is his fun. That's fun for him. That's part of who he is. Football isn't a job to him. Football is a passion and it's been a passion. And that's so unique today with all the distractions that kids have."

Fitzpatrick, who capped his college career at Alabama with a national championship, calls it the "business mindset."

"Go in, get stuff done," he says. "Do what you gotta do. Don't worry about the nonsense. Don't worry about the distractions, just business. Right before I went to Alabama, I said I'm on a 36-month plan. Get three years in there, then get up out of there. Just handle your business. Stay focused on what you gotta do. That's it."

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