The National Football League draft this past weekend yielded its usual array of players unknown to all but the growing legions of college-football-talent specialists. The rest of us may not know a long snapper from a red snapper, but we certainly know a YouTube star when we see one. And we see one. His name is Owen Schmitt, a West Virginia fullback the Seattle Seahawks claimed in the fifth round Sunday (April 27). The order of selection indicates that Schmitt, the mohawk-coiffed blocking specialist, is merely the 163rd-best player to be taken in the draft. The YouTube broadcast shows he's already the star of his draft class, at least where off-field antics are concerned.
Granted, Schmitt will have to go some to eclipse the legendary away-from-the-field effort of Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds, who earned — really earned — his nickname. Reynolds' take on anger management: After losing a college game 38-0, he sawed in half a 1953 Chevy (my brother owned one; they were big, fat cars). Schmitt? As the video shows, his coaches wanted him to perform a "pooch" kick: sort of a quick, deliberately shortened punt. He shanked the ball instead, then hustled grumbling over to the sideline, doffing his helmet (the bushy mohawk practically spilling onto the field) and proceeding to use the headwear in an extended head-butting contest from which no winner would emerge. Little wonder, then, that this is the same Owen Schmitt already legendary for a head-first style of play resulting in 11 broken face-masks, 10 of them his own.