Football's Etling Speaks to Local Boy Scouts
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – Danny Etling is the starting quarterback for the 25th-ranked LSU football team. He’s also an Eagle Scout. It’s quite possible that he’s the first person in school history to do both.
On Tuesday, Etling addressed the Business and Industry Leaders Luncheon presented by the Istrouma Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and told the audience how becoming an Eagle Scout helped make him the person he is today.
Only four percent of all Boy Scouts reach Eagle Scout status, which is the highest attainable mark for the organization. To reach Eagle Scout status, Etling had to earn at least 21 merit badges and in doing so, he joined the likes of Gerald Ford, Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, and Sam Walton as some of the most famous Eagle Scouts.
Etling will make his fourth LSU start on Saturday when the Tigers host Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. Etling, a junior from Terre Haute, Ind., said his experience as a Boy Scout helped him grow as a person and taught him skills that have made him become a better football player.
“I played sports growing up and joined the Boys Scouts as an after-school activity with some of my friends,” Etling told the group, which included Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who served as the Keynote Speaker on Tuesday. “As I grew up, it was my mom that kept pushing me to (remain a Boy Scout). I never understood why. But the more I went camping and earning badges, the more I grew as a person.
“I still remember camping with my mom and her leading my Boy Scout Troop. It was a little weird that it was my mom who was doing it, but I think those are the moments you remember most. You don’t necessarily remember that moment you learned how to tie a knot, but you remember all of the relationships you build and the life skills such as leadership, loyalty - things that actually matter in life -= that you learn.”
Etling said that he attributes where he is today – the starting quarterback at LSU - because of his mom and his experiences as a Boy Scout.
“I think that’s what the goal of Boys Scouts is to do,” Etling said. “Teach life skills and lessons and I think those are the things that helped me get to where I am today. It’s something that I’m very thankful that my mom pushed me to do.”
As the quarterback of the Tigers, Etling said he still uses some of the skills that he acquired on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout on the football field.
“It (Boy Scouts) keeps you humble, keeps you working hard and going towards a goal,” Etling said. “I still use the majority of the skills that I learned as a Boy Scout as far as being able to get guys organized, working towards a common goal based on leadership.”
As for those Boy Scouts who were in attendance at the luncheon on Tuesday, Etling had the following message, “don’t give up on it. This is a tremendous opportunity. Keep pushing towards your goal and when you reach the goal of being an Eagle Scout, there’s nothing better.
“It’s something that can never be taken away. You are part of a special group that means so much. I take great pride in what I accomplished as a Boy Scout and there’s no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”