by Daniel Olsen |
That’s what Bobby Wagner was rated coming out of Colony High School in Ontario, California.
He was overlooked most of his career but used it as motivation to succeed at college and especially the professional level.
He was First-Team All-WAC for the last three years of his collegiate career with the Utah State Aggies and helped lead his team to their first bowl berth in 14 years. His leadership helped mentor younger guys on the team and rebuild a team that had struggled to have a winning season for over a decade.
He was drafted 47th overall in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He immediately became a part of one of the greatest defenses in NFL History. He became the starting middle linebacker for the 2014 Champions of Super Bowl XLVIII. He helped Seattle annihilate a Denver offense led by Peyton Manning. The Seahawks won 43-8 in that historic game which was their first and only Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Wagner has slowly put together a Hall of Fame worthy career and will only add to his illustrious image if he keeps this up. He has already become a 6-time Pro Bowler, 5-Time first team All-Pro and was recently nominated to the 2010s All-Decade team.
While Russell Wilson is a star quarterback in his own right, it is Wagner who leads an elite NFL defense to make game winning adjustments on the other underrated side of the ball. In a way, Wilson was a very underrated player as well as he had to earn respect as a quarterback under 6 feet. Wilson used his dual threat run and passing attack while Wagner used his toughness and football IQ to become an All-Star.
While many players from the original Legion of Boom have since moved on, Wagner is the one that remains constant. He currently has 1090 tackles, 19.5 sacks and 10 interceptions in his career. He already has the most assisted tackles in Seahawks history at 435 and third all time in solo tackles with 647.
While Richard Sherman was the heart (and the mouth) of the championship Seahawks in 2014, Wagner was the mind. By being in the middle of the backfield, he can read what the offense is doing and yell audibles to his team. If you watch closely you can see him read the defense and go after the ball in the backfield.
From a two star prospect out of California to leading the Seahawks to a game winning stop on Sunday Night Football over the Patriots last night, Wagner is the quarterback on the Seahawks that nobody is talking about.
Featured image via Seattle Times.