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Wagner making a name for himself in the NFL



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SEATTLE — Bobby Wagner was a force at linebacker at Utah State. Now that success has carried over into the NFL.

Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks he has earned a starting position on the Seahawk defense and is starting to turn heads around the league with his play on the field.

"It's been crazy," Bobby says about his transition to the NFL. "Since my last snap at Utah State I've been busy trying to get there and I got there."

He is the starting middle linebacker for one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL. His 4.68 speed, ability to shed blocks and physical play has made Wagner an important part of that success.

Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner, right, celebrates with Seahawks' Richard Sherman (25) after Sherman intercepted a pass intended for New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch (84) (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner, right, celebrates with Seahawks' Richard Sherman (25) after Sherman intercepted a pass intended for New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch (84) (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

"From the d-linemen to the corners we've got talent," he says. "It's a young team. It makes the feel, the atmosphere much better. Everybody is playful and trying to have fun. It makes it good to go out there and play on a defense like that."

Seattle has been the perfect fit for Bobby. He has enjoyed playing for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

"It's dope," he says. "He's a true players' coach. I love playing for him. I wake up trying to figure out what surprises he's going to do today."

Wagner currently leads all NFL rookies with 50 tackles. He is a leading candidate for defensive rookie of the year.

"It would mean a lot," he says. "Just to show that all my hard work from Utah State, from being a child, just everything paid off. It would mean a lot for this school too."

The demands of being a starting linebacker in the NFL haven't kept Bobby from following the Aggies. He's proud of the success the team has enjoyed this season.

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (54) (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (54) (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

I've watched every game that's been on TV," he says. "I'm keeping up with them. I'm just glad I got to watch a game in person."

Bobby had a chance to return to Logan on October 20th to watch the Aggies defeat New Mexico State 41-7. He had a chance to spend time with the team the night before the game, something that meant a lot to the players and coaches.

"Bobby is a great person," says former teammate Will Davis. "For all the things he's done for us and to come back and support us that's something that definitely excited everybody."

"There's no big-timer in Bobby Wagner," Utah State head coach Gary Andersen says. "He's still one of them. He will never forget where he came from."

The fact that Bobby still wears his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack in the Seattle locker room is proof that he's still the same guy he was at Utah State.

"It's funny, I walk in with my Ninja Turtles backpack every single day and all the older guys told me to throw it away," he says. "As soon as I started making plays on the field they said, alright, as long as you keep making plays you can keep the backpack. As soon as you stop playing good we're throwing it away."

At this rate Bobby won't have to worry about throwing away his backpack. He's making plays every Sunday and loving every minute of his NFL experience.

"Just because I got here doesn't mean that's it," he says. "I want to stay here for a very long time."

Jeremiah Jensen

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