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Everything Owen Schmitt

Unfortunately, I can’t find any quality video on Owen Schmitt. So for now, this is what I can do.

The Man

"My dog bit my hand when I went to feed it and I went into the house crying. My grandpa was like, ‘Quit crying you baby. Suck it up, you’ll live.’ That’s like the dumbest thing ever. He poured rubbing alcohol on it and it burned even more. He wrapped some gauze on it and sent me off to school. It hurt.

"I can remember being in class and wincing because my hand was just pulsating. But he was right. I sucked it up and lived," Schmitt said.

Owen Schmitt was born in Virginia but grew up in Wisconsin. In high school, both Paul VI Catholic and later Faifax, Schmitt, like most special talents, played all over the field. Schmitt didn’t receive much attention upon graduating. It’s pretty clear why, he’s bad stout, thick in the wrong places, and in the aesthetics driven world of scouting and recruiting, Schmitt’s body, grades and play screamed Division 3 A. So that’s where he went.

Schmitt signed with Wisconsin River-Falls, a program as prestigious as its name implies. You may be familiar with the Falcons’ surrounds from the HBO documentary Hard Knocks. There he played fullback in the programs wishbone offense. After dominating, amassing 1,063 yards his freshman season in only nine starts, Schmitt had little left to prove, much less accomplish.

"You've got bigger places to be. Go find them." Wisconsin Coach John O’Grady

The Myth

"I got a tape together and my mom and I drove up over Christmas break. They didn't even know I was coming," Schmitt said. "I walked in and asked for Donnie Young, handed him the tape, left and just visited the campus by myself with my mom."

Unlike most future pros, Schmitt didn’t possess an unflappable belief in his abilities.

"Just look at these guys," Owen told his mother, Serena Drangle. "They're all ungodly giants. This is a waste of time. There's no way I could ever play here."

Former walk-on, Mountaineers Coach Rich Rodriguez disagreed.

"They wrote me an e-mail saying they were very excited for me to come. It's been fun ever since I got here."

Schmitt sat for a season, per NCAA rules, but his play on West Virginia’s scout team ruled out him staying there. The next season, coach Bill Stewart found a place to play him.

"We had to change the board," …"When Rich first came here, we called it the T position. Like the old car, the T-bird. The T-back."

Stewart’s big play ability, old school attitude, weight lifting prowess and legendary toughness made him a college football cult icon.

"Whatever legend you've heard about Owen Schmitt, double it and you're getting close to the truth," Stewart

Schmitt’s legend included Volkswagen lifting, coaster eating, playing baseball with a broken hip and the destruction of 10 facemasks. West Virginia fans gushed, writing poems in his honor, naming their dogs "Owen Schmitt", and even crying alongside him when he played his final game with the Mountaineers. Every Day Should Be Saturday’s Orson Swindle opined:

Owen Schmitt is bringing manly back in the Gator Bowl, a massive, facemask-destroying fullback forced into a primary role with the injury to Steve Slaton. Between him and the Mountaineer whooping and hoisting his musket while wearing a still-dripping-blood deerskin outfit, West Virginia’s testosterone quotient is unmeasurable with our metrics right now.

And after this particularly touching display:






Eulogized Schmitt’s college career thusly:

Owen Schmitt, we love you and the double-steel reinforced skullhammer known as your head. We watch college football through a miasma of cynicism and snark, but some things burn those clouds off and expose college football for what it can be: mute, teary glory. Thank you for the sunshine and bent face-masks, Owen. We hope you get all the red meat, boobs, and cash you can handle out of this life.

The Seahawk

"You've got to prove yourself every day in the NFL." -Schmitt

Schmitt introduced himself to the NFL at the 2008 Senior Bowl. His ruthless play and body sacrificing style provoked current Carolina Panther and 2007 Bednarik winner Dan Connor to quip:

"He's got a hard head and won't quit coming at you. I like his style. He's old-school. He's tough and rugged. Going against him … it's like 1972 football.You don't have to look around when he hits somebody. You know who it is by the way it sounds."

And Pro Football Weekly Reported:

West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt drove fellow RB Chauncey Washington all the way into the OL drills nearby in a pass-blocking, one-on-one drill.

Schmitt was one of three fullbacks invited to the annual NFL Scouting Combine. There he posted impressive numbers, especially for a fullback.
40: 4.73
Bench: 26
20: 4.18
3-Cone: 6.98

Schmitt’s bench might have been most surprising for how low it was. The power-lifting megaman is known to have cleaned 425 pounds an astounding 8 times. His max clean is over 5 bills and his squat 625. In a league where the phrase "built like a shit brick house" is thrown around, Schmitt is built like a brownstone, made of muscles, forged by Hephaestus's hammer. It’s hard to know if his game will translate, but legendary Niners lead blocker Tom Ratham believes he has everything you can want in a fullback.

What I want in a fullback is a man who will wake up the day after, sore as hell and suddenly rich, forget it all and get back to work. A fullback who savors the block. A man who plays like he's fighting for survival, because somewhere in the dark recesses of his psyche, he is. Schmitt is something special. Real-tough, fiercely loyal and true-humble. No matter how his career plays out, I'm proud he's a Seahawk.

"I don't understand why I get that attention. I mean, we have actual stars on this team." -Schmitt


MSN Sports Net

Pro Football Weekly

Ever Day Should Be Saturday

Washington Post