Written by Kory Kozak – Originally published April 17 2009 on ESPN.COM
How could he not be great in the NFL? How could Tony Mandarich possibly be a bust?
I saw what might have been in 1988. I was an 18-year-old freshman defensive end at Rutgers. At that point, the Rutgers football slogan was “On the Rise” because we were always mediocre in those days. Our first game that season was against Michigan State, the 15th-ranked team in the country and defending Rose Bowl champ. They had an All-America tackle — Tony Mandarich — who was humiliating players every week.
He was 6-foot-6, 320 pounds. He was huge. He was a mutant. He was all-natural? Impossible.
I was all-natural, tipping the scales at about 230 and having already lost about 10 precious pounds in training camp.
Not a great matchup. You can imagine how that would have turned out. But it never happened. I was red shirted and wasn’t going to see the field unless the seven or eight players in front of me were maimed.
When researching a potential SEO related domain purchase recently I found the owner of the domain to be Tony Mandarich. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that yes it was the former top NFL lineman prospect, and #2 overall draft pick in the 1989 NFL draft. After more research I found that Tony is now running an internet marketing company in Scottsdale, Arizona. How many SEO’s played in the NFL or were on the front cover of Sports Illustrated not once but twice? Tony recently released a book discussing his life story which is one of steroids, drug and alcohol addiction which caused a shortened NFL career, and ultimately recovery (he is now 15 years sober) and running a successful internet marketing business. Here is my interview with Tony: [read more.....]