Ohio State middle linebacker Anthony Schlegel has NFL size already at 6-foot-1, 251 pounds, and the Vikings were spotted taking an interest in him at the East-West Shrine game practices this week.
Schlegel will be 25 years old before the draft, setting him up to be one of the oldest rookies in the NFL. The Dallas native got a slow start in the Big Ten after having to sit out a year in 2003 because of the NCAA transfer rules (he played at Air Force previously), but in 2004 he had 84 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 12 games with the Buckeyes.
In 2005, he was a big part of the Buckeyes' No. 1-ranked rushing defense, finishing second on the team with 82 tackles, seven TFLs and two sacks. He likely would be only a run-down linebacker at the NFL level, but few people question his love for contact.
"I'm pretty sure he has killed off enough brain cells it doesn't matter to him anymore, but when he comes in there he will just rock you with his skull," OSU center Nick Mangold told Bucknuts Magazine. "It's horrible. Every day as soon as you hear, ‘We are going to do this,' and I have Schlegel I know here it comes. Here is the headache for the rest of the day. He really comes in and hits it."
With Air Force, Schlegel was a team captain and racked up 118 tackles in 2002 and gained all-conference honors. He is also extremely strong. He was a record-breaking weight lifter in high school, setting the dead lift record for the 19-and-under 220- and 240-pound weight division with lifts of 662 and 672 pounds.
Schlegel got married on Valentine's Day 2004, showing a soft side, but he is also considered a free spirit who has gone on wild boar hunting trips with dogs and a knife in his native Texas. He also earned recognition for being tough by playing through a partially torn medial collateral ligament without missing a start.
WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEWS FROM 2005
Scouting Video 1
Scouting Video 2
Vikings Talk with Linebacker
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