Thursday, July 10, 2008
Finally, a regular feature for this site. While certainly not an original idea, the occasional "Where Are They Now"-type post can be entertaining for long-time fans of any sports team. I'm not sure yet how often I'll be posting these features, but I plan on it being at least a weekly thing. Between the Michigan football and basketball teams alone, there's enough Where You At?'s to become its own blog. So without further ado, here's the first Where You At?: Former Michigan DE Glen Steele.
Pretty much any Michigan fan, young and old alike, remembers the 1997 National Championship team. But, especially for the younger fans like me (I had just turned 10 when we won the Rose Bowl), as time passes some of the less-heralded contributors are forgotten, and the once-lasting images of the season morph into a fuzzy set of vague memories.
Everybody remembers Charles Woodson, the leader of Michigan's dominant defense and the first primarily defensive player to take home the Heisman. His punt return against Ohio State gets replayed every year leading up the the UM-OSU game, and his gravity-defying interception against Michigan State is YouTube legend.
However, Michigan also had two other All-Americans that season. Jerame Tuman caught a touchdown pass in the Rose Bowl, and is still the gold standard that today's Michigan tight ends are held up against. Glen Steele, on the other hand, has seemingly slipped through the cracks of time. Fellow defensive ends LaMarr Woodley and James Hall have usurped Steele in the minds of most fans, most likely because Steele did not become a standout in the NFL.
Steele had a monster 1997 season, recording 48 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries. He was named a first-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media, first-team All-American, and was awarded the Dick Katcher Award as the Wolverines' top defensive lineman. To this day, he remains second on Michigan's career sacks list with 24, and third in tackles for loss, with 45. If you still don't remember how tenacious of a defender he was, check out the :52 mark of this video from the 1997 Penn State game (video courtesy of WolverineHistorian, who has some amazing footage of old Michigan games).
Unfortunately, Steele's collegiate success did not translate to the NFL. He was drafted in the 4th round, 105th overall, by the Cincinnati Bengals. He played six seasons for the Bengals, recording only 3.5 sacks, before being released in 2003. After being released, he tried out with the Giants, 49ers, and again with the Bengals, but could not stick with any of the teams.
Steele resurfaced in 2006, working for the Michigan football team in the weight room. The next season he was hired as a graduate assistant under Lloyd Carr, and from the looks of his picture he could probably still push around Big 10 linemen with ease.
MGoBlue, Michigan's official athletics website, doesn't list the graduate assistants for next season, so I'm not sure what Steele is up to these days. However, it certainly appears he's headed for a career coaching football at some level. Steele was one of my favorite Michigan players growing up, and it is great to see that, at least through last year, he remained connected with the team.
Glen Steele (Wikipedia Page)
MGoBlue: 2007 Coach Bio
MGoBlue Statistics Archive