Unfortunately, I can’t find any quality video on Owen Schmitt. So for now, this is what I can do.
"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.
Unlike most future pros, Schmitt didn’t possess an unflappable belief in his abilities.
Former walk-on, Mountaineers Coach Rich Rodriguez disagreed.
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.
Stewart’s big play ability, old school attitude, weight lifting prowess and legendary toughness made him a college football cult icon.
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:
And after this particularly touching display:
Eulogized Schmitt’s college career thusly:
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:
And Pro Football Weekly Reported:
Schmitt was one of three fullbacks invited to the annual NFL Scouting Combine. There he posted impressive numbers, especially for a fullback.
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.