Monday, July 23, 2012

Counting down the top Pitt football players of the last 40 years- No.24 Marc Spindler

I will be counting down my own list of the top 50 Pitt football players since 1972.  I have spent time doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people when formulating this list, but ultimately it is MY opinion.  The great thing about lists like this is that people will disagree, and feel free to, but just remember that there is no right answer so there's no need to go crazy if you do disagree.  I will post this same intro with all 50 bios because I know the one time I don't, people will complain about not knowing what criteria I used.  I will add at least one a day, maybe two.  

My criteria for selecting the order is as follows:

1.  Productivity.
2.  Talent.
3.  Place in program history.
4.  Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers. 
5.  No current players.

24.  Marc Spindler (1987-89)-  The giant defensive tackle from Scranton was generally considered one of the top five or six high school prospects in the country when he signed with Pitt.  He showed why immediately by entering the season as a true freshman starter, and ending with 106 tackles, an incredible number for any interior linemen let alone a true freshman.  He was rewarded by being named a Freshman All-American.

As a sophomore, a knee injury in the fifth game cost Spindler the rest of the season but he returned to top form as a junior with 78 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two blocked kicks.  That season ended with Spindler being named a second team All-American.

After that junior season, head coach Mike Gottfried and defensive line coach/ace recruiter Frank D'Alonzo were fired, and Spindler was so upset that he decided to leave for the NFL a year early.  He ended his career with 202 tackles despite only playing for just two and a half seasons.

Spindler was expected to be a first round draft pick but due to knee problems and steroid rumors he fell to the Detroit Lions in the 3rd round.  He played nine mostly average years, seven with Detroit.

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