more on Daniel HOltzclaw, inside linebacker

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Holtzclaw, Lang hope to impress NFL scouts during EMU's Pro Day
    by Kevin Ryan | The Ann Arbor News
    Tuesday March 03, 2009, 11:47 PM

    File: Lon Horwedel | The Ann Arbor News
    Daniel Holtzclaw started 47 games at inside linebacker during his four-year career for Eastern Michigan. He ranks second in school history with 437 tacklesDaniel Holtzclaw abruptly logged off his computer, too disgusted to watch more video of a football player from Southern California at the NFL Scouting Combine.

    Holtzclaw, one of the most decorated linebackers in Eastern Michigan University history, didn't receive an invitation from the tryout, where players try to improve their draft stock through physical evaluations and interviews conducted by NFL officials.

    But the Trojans linebacker, a backup for most of his college career, got to attend the Feb. 18-24 event in Indianapolis.

    Holtzclaw felt he deserved to be there, too.

    "You see a second-string linebacker who only started 10 of his last (13) games, and he got an invite," Holtzclaw said. "Just because they come from a big program, (people) think this guy is this and that. (Watching his video) really just made me mad. It kind (of) fueled the fire."

    At least the 6-foot-1-inch, 240-pound inside linebacker didn't have EMU teammate T.J. Lang's experience. Lang, a 6-4, 312-pound offensive tackle for the Eagles, said he fell one vote short of being invited to the combine.

    "Which is even more disappointing," Lang said. "I was bummed out. But when I look back at it, I realized it just gives me a couple extra weeks to train for pro day."

    Both players intend to use the snub as motivation during Eastern Michigan's Pro Day on March 16. They, along with other ex-Eagles, will try to prove their value as a draft prospects.

    "I think I'm going to do a lot better at my pro day than some of those linebackers I saw," Holtzclaw said. "These guys, they're great football players and all. I just feel like I should've been out there."

    Holtzclaw, an Enid, Okla. native, started all 47 games in his career and finished second in EMU history with 437 tackles. He thought he was going to play for nearby University of Oklahoma until its coaches stopped recruiting him his senior year in high school, he said. Eastern Michigan and Illinois State were the only Division I schools to offer a scholarship.

    He returned last week from a Test Sports Club in New Jersey, where he trained with owners Brian Martin and Kevin Dunn in preparation for Pro Day. His agent told him at least six NFL teams asked about him during the combine. He's generally considered a top-15 inside linebacker on Web sites that rank NFL Draft prospects.

    Lang, of Ferndale, is ranked the 10th-best tackle prospect and projects as a fourth-round draft pick, according to He started for three years at tackle for the Eagles after switching from defensive tackle his freshman season.

    He jumped on to the recruiting radar, he said, by performing well at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game on Jan. 31. He played center, guard and tackle in the game, and scouts there told him they liked his versatility.

    The game was the first time he ever played guard. During practice, he went up against former Michigan defensive tackle Will Johnson, who also made The Nation roster, and said he held his own against him. Johnson, at 6-5, 285 pounds, was widely considered one of the strongest players in the nation.

    "He was really strong, really quick," Lang said. "The thing that helps me at guard, I think, is I'm pretty strong, too. I think guard is probably going to be my best spot. I'm a little undersized for tackle."

    Lang, who starred at Birmingham Brother Rice High School, trained at a DI Sports Training facility in Nashville, Tenn., and he has visits scheduled with the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens after Pro Day.

    He doesn't care who he plays for in the NFL, though.

    "I never really had a favorite NFL team," Lang said. "I'd just love to go anywhere and get my foot in the door and show teams what I can do."

    Kevin Ryan can be reached at or 734-994-6812.

    See more in Football
  2. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    He's from Enid, OK? I like him already.

    Here's another article.

    Daniel Holtzclaw Interview
    Inside Linebacker - Eastern Michigan

    By: Chris Horwedel


    Chris Horwedel: What was it that took you to Eastern Michigan?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: After my senior year I sent out film to all the big 12 teams. Soon to find out later in the recruiting process, University of Oklahoma called me (coach Wilson and coach Vinnables) and said they liked my film and wished they would of saw me earlier. They offered me to come on as a recruited walk on. Soon to find out Eastern Michigan called me the next day because the staff from University of Oklahoma and Eastern's knew one another and put my name out to Eastern. I was offered on the phone and I accepted because it was my only Division 1 offer and that was my dream to play division 1 ball.

    Chris Horwedel: Is there a player you pattern the way you play after?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I would have to say Ray Lewis. He plays with a intense motor, great passion, and is a great leader.

    Chris Horwedel: Do you think that it's necessary for players to have a certain amount of an ego in order to truly excel in the game of football?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: You always have to be confident in yourself. If your confidence level is low psychologically you will doubt yourself which will make you execute at a poor level compared to a player that believes he is the greatest whether its true and executes at a high level.

    Chris Horwedel: What's something that would surprise people about Daniel Holtzclaw?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I was better in basketball than football growing up.

    Chris Horwedel: If you had to single out one guy on your team for having stepped this year, who would it be and why?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I would have to say the whole team. Unfortunately we didn't finish this year how we wanted but as a captain and leader of the team all I asked was guys to play hard and give 100% every play and that is what they did every week.

    Chris Horwedel: If you were a GM of an expansion team which held the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, who would you select?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: A kicker just joking, I would select myself. I would guarantee to out work any player, be productive and give it my all every snap unlike some players that are just out there for the money instead for the love of the game.

    Chris Horwedel: All you've done since stepping onto the field as a freshman, is make plays. Does it ever bother you that you don't get more hype nationally?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: It is what it is. I can ramble on about excuses and justifications but that would be a waste of time. Life is about facing adversity your going to get knocked down but its how fast you get back up.

    Chris Horwedel: How do you feel you stack up against the middle linebackers in the country?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I feel good about it, I know I can play for any other team in the country. I think my advantage is that I always play with a "chip" on my shoulder. Guys out of high school/college might have been "given" everything to succeed. I've taken the long route which developed a great work ethic and will continue to make my game better than other players.

    Chris Horwedel: If you could pick a pro team to play for, who would it be?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I would love to play for any team. To play in the NFL would be a dream come true.

    Chris Horwedel: What's more important to you in the beginning of your NFL career: Being on a great team or being able to play early on?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I would like to play early. I'm a guy that likes to compete and contribute to the team as much as possible. I want to be able to make a name for myself as soon as possible.

    Chris Horwedel: Let's say you're named the college football commissioner tomorrow, what's the first rule you would change?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: Helmet to Helmet contact. I understand that its to protect players but some calls are really questionable.

    Chris Horwedel: What's your current height/weight/40?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I'm 6'1 / 245 / 4.6

    Chris Horwedel: What's been your single greatest football moment so far?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I would have to say my first game as a true freshman playing against Cincinnati. It was 4th and inches and they handed the ball to there 270lb fullback and I stopped him. Being able to hear the crowd go dead silent after the stop was a special feeling.

    Chris Horwedel: On the flip side, what's the one thing you wish you could do over?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: I always take the mentality to "leave everything on the field" and have no regrets. When I look back I enjoyed my experience playing at Eastern Michigan and have no regrets.

    Chris Horwedel: Lets talk get to the important stuff. What's the last movie you saw, cd you bought and video game that you played?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: Twilight - I like vampire movies, I usually download music, Madden.

    Chris Horwedel: What's the best advice you've been given?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: "You paint your own picture" & "First day you set on the campus you start your own resume"
  3. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    Seems like a really good kid. I used to have him in some of my mocks but it seemed like he would go undrafted I wouldn't mind adding him to the roster.
  4. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    While I'm googling, here are a few more. Somehow I doubt the 245 and 4.6 are accurate, but you have to love his attitude.

    Following the NFL Draft Prospects: Daniel Holtzclaw, MLB, Eastern Michigan
    by joshsanchez more posts by author
    I am continuing to showcase some talent for the upcoming NFL Draft. We all know the big names: James Laurinaitis and Rey Maualuga, but one guy is flying under the radar and that is Eastern Michigan’s, Daniel Holtzclaw. At 6’1, 246, Holtzclaw has the size you look for in a linebacker. He also brings the experience being a starter from day one in 2005. A true leader and determined individual, Daniel Holtzclaw looks poised for success. Daniel took some time to answer a few questions for me.

    Josh Sanchez: What scheme did you play in during your time at Eastern Michigan? Is that what you'd prefer in the NFL? Where do you see yourself in a 4-3 and where in a 3-4?

    Daniel Holtzclaw: Under Coach Peterson, we used 4-3. I've been asked that question before and I know I can play either 3-4 inside or possibly outside linebacker, and the same goes with the 4-3. I believe I have great hips as a linebacker and great size as well as good speed.

    Sanchez: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

    Holtzclaw: My strengths would be that I’m a very strong physical linebacker, with a great instincts and a nose for the ball. Very coachable and able to handle adversity. Great work ethic on and off the field. Good size allowing me to play in either 3-4, or 4-3. Can handle big guards coming around and stoning them in the hole. Very durable. Great team player. Good hips can back into coverage and great explosion out of turns/cuts and great lateral movement

    My negatives, I would have to say everything. I am never settling for good when I can become great. I always am trying to have continuous improvement.

    Sanchez: You're a 2nd Team All-American from a smaller school That's a great accomplishment. How do you think you stack up against Maualuga and Laurinaitis?

    Holtzclaw: To start off I think those guys are good football players. They accomplished a lot with there team/program. I believe that if I had the opportunity to play at a power house program I would have accomplished more. Coming from a smaller school made me more on the grind, hungrier to succeed, win, to achieve excellence. I just want the opportunity to show the coaches and GM's in the NFL that a small college MAC player can play just as good if not better than those bigger programs.

    Sanchez: What are your goals for your rookie season? Do you think you'll be able to learn the playbook quickly?

    Holtzclaw: My goals are to contribute to the team as much as possible. I know that my chances of going first day are slim, but possible. Playing linebacker is also a special teams position. I plan on playing on every special teams unit and hopefully become a captain for one of them. I definitely will pick up the playbook fast, when it comes to football I live, breath, eat it. Coaches hopefully will soon find out how great of a work ethic I have, like I said I'm always trying to have continuous improvement.

    Sanchez: What are you like off of the football field? Any hobbies no one would expect from a fierce linebacker?

    Holtzclaw: Off the football field, friends or coaches can tell you that I stay out of trouble. I usually like to workout. If not hang out with friends and have a good time. Maybe throw in some madden.

    Sanchez: What team do you bring and madden and what are your stick skills like?

    Holtzclaw: I'll play with any team. It doesn't matter. My stick skills are amazing, especially when it comes on defense with the hit stick.

    Sanchez: Do you have any player you modeled your game after? What about a personal motto you live or play by?

    Holtzclaw: I like Ray Lewis and his leadership ability to take respect. "You don’t earn respect you take it". Great motor, everybody loves to play with him because he gives it his all. People just fuel off him. The first thing I can remember a coach telling me in college was my linebacker coach, and what he said will always stick with me because it goes with everything in football and life in general. "You paint your own picture."

    Sanchez: Make your case to the NFL GM's. Why should they draft Daniel Holtzclaw?

    Holtzclaw: I should be drafted because I have all the tools you need in a linebacker. There is no off-field situation that you will ever come across. I'm a gym rat, I love the game. I will give 110% every snap, every play. I'm a guy that is very coachable and can lead on and off the field. I refuse to be a bust, because my work ethic is too good and I refuse to quit or settle for mediocrity.

    Sanchez: Thank you for your time, and good luck!


    Published: December 28, 2008 12:14 am print this story email this story

    Holtzclaw sets sights on pros

    By Dave Ruthenberg

    Staff writer

    With single-minded determination and a chip on his shoulder, former Enid standout Daniel Holtzclaw became one of the most feared linebackers in the Mid-American Conference, etched his name in the record books at Eastern Michigan and finished his collegiate career as the nation’s career active leader in tackles.

    Now, Holtzclaw hopes to use that same determination and attitude to parlay his collegiate success into a career in the NFL. While the odds may seem stacked against him, it only fuels Holtzclaw’s desire to prove the experts wrong.

    Holtzclaw was a four-year starter at Eastern Michigan, starting 47 games at linebacker. In his freshman season he earned first-team recognition on the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American team after recording 91 tackles, including a season-high 15 tackles in his very first start for the Eagles against Cincinnati.

    “One of the games that I remember best was that first game at Cincinnati,” said Holtzclaw. “We came so close to upsetting them (EMU lost 28-26) and my first big tackle came against this big fullback who weighed like 280 pounds. It was on a fourth down play and I stuck him for the tackle and I remember that whole stadium going silent. That was a great feeling.”

    Holtzclaw would have many more big plays over his career, finishing as Eastern Michigan’s second all-time leader in tackles with 437 stops in his career, just 13 tackles short of the record of 450 held by Reese McCaskill. His 437 career tackles also were the most of any active player in the NCAA.

    During each of his last three seasons Holtzclaw had been named to the preseason watch lists of the Bronko Nagurski Award (best defensive player in the nation); the Rotary Lombardi Award (the nation’s top down lineman) and the Dick Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker).

    Holtzclaw’s work ethic is what stands out when others discuss his ability.

    “Nobody works harder than that kid,” noted former Eastern Michigan head coach Jeff Genyk. “Whatever comes his way, he has earned it. He eats, lives and breathes football.”

    “I have no regrets about going to Eastern Michigan, other than I wish we could have won a few games or gotten to a bowl game,” said Holtzclaw.

    The next level

    The Eagles struggled to win games (EMU compiled a 12-35 mark in his four years) and went through head coaches regularly — Genyk was fired at the end of this season — but that has not kept EMU players off of NFL rosters, most notably one of Holtzclaw’s teammates, defensive end Jason Jones.

    Jones was selected in the second round of last season’s NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. Holtzclaw tapped into Jones for some advice about selecting an agent.

    That decision, made with the input of his family, including dad Eric, an 11-year veteran of the Enid Police Department, led him to Goal Line Football Management, which has been representing pro athletes since 1996.

    Holtzclaw’s agent, Cary Fabrikant, believes Holtzclaw has the makeup to be an NFL player but knows coming from a low-profile school like Eastern Michigan means Holtzclaw will have to demonstrate some of that single-minded determination to get noticed.

    “He is going to have to fight and claw his way, but from what we have seen, he can do it,” said Fabrikant. “He is an outstanding individual from a great family but it will be a roller coaster ride to get there. He has all the qualities it takes.’’

    Holtzclaw is hoping to be invited to some of the postseason college all-star games, notably the East-West Shrine Game or the Texas vs. The Nation contest. The East-West game indicated an interest in Holtzclaw.

    Another invitation he hopes for is to the NFL Scouting Combine, which is a six-day job fair for prospective players.

    “During the season we had scouts from the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, but I didn’t have any conversations with them,” said Holtzclaw.

    How he ranks

    Most draft monitoring services have Holtzclaw on their board and rate him as a mid- to late-round draft choice. NFL Draft, one of the top monitoring sites on the Internet, ranks Holtzclaw 19th out of 147 prospective players at inside linebacker. He is ranked as high as 10th at linebacker by College Football

    “He is seen right now as a 7th round to priority free agent,” notes NFL Draft senior draft analyst Chad Reuter.

    “He is a very instinctual player. He has good size (6-foot-1, 245 pounds) but lacks explosiveness. When you watch him on films you see that he is very smart and rarely out of position.”

    Reuter goes on to note being drafted in the sixth or seventh round is far from a guarantee of landing on an NFL roster.

    “There is only a 50-50 chance to make it as a late-round draft pick,” Reuter added.

    “Right now there are 40-60 players in the NFL who are on rosters that were not drafted, so you have just as good of a chance to make it going undrafted as you would if you were drafted in the late rounds.

    “With the right team, he could definitely earn some playing time at linebacker or on special teams.

    “But an impressive performance at one of the college all-star games or at the NFL Scouting Combine could significantly impact his draft status.’’

    However, even without an appearance in one of the all-star games or a combine invitation, players still can make an impression at various independent training camps or when their school holds “pro day.”

    Holtzclaw will be heading to New Jersey to participate in a training facility and will have a chance to go through the same paces and tests as he would be subjected to at the combine.

    No matter the route required to get to the NFL, Holtzclaw is willing to take it.

    “Football is what I want to do and playing in the NFL is my dream, so I am going to do whatever it takes to get there,” said Holtzclaw.

    Holtzclaw said he would play in the Canadian Football League if it would lead him to getting a shot in the NFL.

    Holtzclaw is only a handful of credits shy of obtaining a degree in criminal justice from Eastern Michigan.
  5. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    some good stuff guys,
  6. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    Interesting player. I wouldn't mind seeing him and doing his best job to be a big time contributor here.
  7. SLATEmosphere

    SLATEmosphere Benched

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    Get him in the 7th round...probably one of the biggest steals in the draft. I will be shocked if he's still there. The kid really does remind me of Ray Lewis.
  8. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    I am surprised his game reminds you of Ray Lewis. He has 4 consecutive double digit tackle numbers but what concerns me is that he does not get a lot of solo stops or TFL. In fact, less than half his tackles are solo tackles (2007 125 TT only 50 Solo Tackles).

    I love his consistency, smarts and passion though. Certainly talks like he has a chip on his shoulder, thats a good thing. Has anyone watched a lot of both Holtzclaw and Franz Joseph? I am curious as to how they compare.
  9. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    i like him, but he isnt real fast like 4.72 in 40, so i would rather take him with a 6th or 7th pick.

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