“The 2009 version of the University of Akron football has been mired with inconsistencies, but there has been one surprising constant – freshman linebacker Brian Wagner. Just a year ago, Wagner found himself in an unfamiliar place. He was red shirted and didn’t see any significant playing time.””
The 2009 version of the University of Akron football has been mired with inconsistencies, but there has been one surprising constant – freshman linebacker Brian Wagner.
Just a year ago, Wagner found himself in an unfamiliar place.
He was red shirted and didn’t see any significant playing time.
Last year, I was pretty much scout team, so I just tried to bust my butt out there, Wagner said. I really tried to work hard and I really wanted it because it was hard to be on scout team after a really good senior season.
You’re the best and then you come in on scout team.
Wagner had stellar senior season helping Springfield Catholic Central go 13-1.
We got to the final four and had a tough loss to Newark Catholic, Wagner said. It was a really special season and we had 13 wins, which I think is the most in our school’s history.
Wagner’s senior season and solid high school career helped draw many schools to recruit him.
Among the list of recruits were Central Michigan, Purdue and Indiana.
The Ohio State University even courted Wagner as a preferred walk on, but one university made the first move.
Akron recruited me my junior year, Wagner said. They believed in me and gave me a scholarship. I liked the coaching staff and I thought I could contribute.
I felt like I could be here for the five years, which is probably the most important thing.
During his first year as a red shirt freshman, Wagner said he learned the difference between the high school and college levels.
You can’t do it all like you do in high school, Wagner said. People are bigger, stronger and faster. The game gets a lot more complex and you definitely have to love it.
After a year of learning the ropes, Wagner made his impact felt in game two of the 2009 season with an interception that he returned for a touchdown in the Zips only win against Morgan State University.
It was a good call defensively, Wagner said. I just dropped back in my zone. He seemed like he didn’t see me and threw it right at me.
I was able to make a few guys miss, get a couple of key blocks from my teammates and go into the end zone.
I think you see why Brian Wagner was nominated for All-League without having ever played a game of football, he’s a good football player, Brookhart said.
Wagner’s interception for a touchdown has been the highlight of a very impressive season that has him competing for the MAC Freshman Player of the Year award, but he said he is focused on the team.
It would be really special, but I would like to go to a bowl game, Wagner said. That would be a great individual goal, but I would rather have a team goal.