Football and Wrestling: Two Peas in a Pod “I would have all of my Offensive Lineman wrestle if I could.” - John Madden, Hall of Fame Football Coach What others say about Wrestling • “I love wrestlers, they are tough and they make great football players.” Mike Stoops, National Championship Football Coach - University of Oklahoma. • “Wrestlers make coaching football easy, they have balance, coordination, and as a coaching staff we know they’re tough.” - Tom Osborne - College Hall of Fame Football Coach - University of Nebraska • “"You take any athlete at the peak of his conditioning and put him on the wrestling mat with a wrestler and in two minutes he'll be gassed. It’s…. great preparation both mentally and physically." • Coach Barry Switzer (3 NCAA National Championships with Okahoma, Super Bowl Championship with Dallas, & NCAA Hall of Fame Inductee) • The best athlete at both sports while in • college may have been Bob Golic from • Notre Dame he was a Stud football player • being 1st Team All American twice and leading ND to a National Title. He also place 4th and 3rd in NCAA wrestling. The fact that he was involved with the football team until January 1st every year because of Bowl Games makes his wrestling accomplishments that much more impressive. Ray Lewis – Pro Bowl Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens 2x Florida 4A State Wrestling Champion at 189 lbs Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Roddy’s status as a physical and competitive receiver is indicated by the two state wrestling titles he won while in high school. 2x South Carolina State Wrestling Champ About Roddy White • "Well-respected by coaches and teammates for his tough, aggressive nature (comes from his prep wrestling background)" - NFL Draft Scout Stephen Neal – New England Patriots Offensive Lineman; 3x Super Bowl Champion • Was a 4x NCAA All-American and 2x National Champion for Cal State – Bakersfield • 1999 World Champion About Stephen Neal "In wrestling, you've got to have self-discipline and self- motivation. As a lineman, it's the same thing ... me vs. you. He brought that mentality to the football field.“ – High School Football Coach David Pollack – UGA All-American Defensive End/Cincinnati Bengals Georgia Wrestling State Runner-up • Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle Warren Sapp was a Florida State Champion wrestler in High School. Lorenzo Neal – 4x Pro Bowl Fullback for Baltimore Raven California State Wrestling NCAA Champion Division 1 Wrestling All- American • Wrestling is his indoor sport of choice. An All-America wrestler in college, Neal returns to Fresno State during the offseason and stays in shape by working out with some of the nation’s top collegiate wrestlers. • Steve Wisniewski • California State Champion Davin Joseph– Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman *2x Florida State Wrestling Champion •Tampa Bay Bucs • Hall of Fame Running Back from the Miami Dolphins, Larry Czonka, pounded opponents on the wrestling mat as well as the gridiron. • Carelton Haselrig won SIX national titles in college (3 in Div II, which back then qualified the Div II champs to the Div I tournament and he won the Div I title all 3 years as well). He then went on to be an all-pro lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now at age of 43 is in the UFC. Other Notable NFL players that Wrestled… • Ronnie Brown - Dolphins • Tiki Barber -New York Giants • Ronnie Lott - 49ers • Bo Jackson – Raiders • Bruce Smith - Redskins • Archie Griffin - Bengals • Ricky Williams - Dolphins • Eric Rhett - Browns • Tony Siragusa - Ravens • Bruce Smith - Bills • Adam Vinatieri (yes, a kicker) - Indi The link cannot be ignored… • Football never made a wrestler a better wrestler, BUT Wrestling made every football player a better football player!!! • Influence of Wrestling in the NFL • • 10 Hall of Fame Football Players • 43 Multiple Pro-Bowlers • 60 Individual State Championships • 13 NCAA Wrestling Championships • 3 Heisman Trophy Winners Wrestled • 14 1st Round Draft Picks Wrestled • 23 RB’s / 20 LB’s / 2 QB’s / 66 Lineman / 6 DB’s /1K Make your mark… • You have four years of high school to participate in sports. Once its over, its over…no do over’s. Make your mark in high school by being the best you can be whether that’s in one, two or three sports!
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