Schlegel guides the defense before the play
Anthony Schlegel, who once set two world dead-lift records in the 19 and under 220-240 pound weight division with lifts of 662 pounds and 672 pounds, says his infant son Hunter is well on his way to becoming a heavyweight.
"He is awesome. He is seven and a half months, and he already wears clothing for an 18-month-old," said Schlegel in an exclusive interview with newyorkjets.com. "He is huge; he is like 25 pounds. He is not fat – just long and big. He is so cool man. We have such a great time. He just smiles all the time. It's so awesome."
After Schlegel completed his first season in the National Football League, the linebacker returned to Texas and is enjoying his time with his wife, Stephanie, and Hunter.
"We are gone so much during the season, so I am just milking it up being with them. I wake up and play with my child. I go to the gym and then we play. He'll take a nap and I'll sleep. We just have a good time. I am so lucky."
An avid outdoorsman, Schlegel remains on the hunt. Over the past couple of months, he has pursued hogs, pheasants, ducks and deer.
"I went out and found a place where they have pheasants. It's basically a big, couple hundred acre field, and they put the birds out there for you," he said. "I take my dog, Butkus, and my friend Brian Dobson – he is the guy I train with down there. We got a bunch of pheasants."
Schlegel also traveled to Louisiana and went out to the fields with former teammate Patrick Ramsey.
"I went duck hunting with Patrick and we put out decoys," Schlegel said. "Patrick's dog, Gus, did really well and I brought Butkus for the first time. The birds just come in and you shoot them. You use geese calls in duck hunting, which I have never done before so that was a blessing."
A spiritual man, Schlegel and Stephanie visited Newport Beach, California for a memorable seminar with fellow athletes.
"We just went to PAO – Pro Athletes Outreach - which is awesome," he said. "I came home and had two speaking engagements, talking about my faith and sharing my faith with people. I spoke to about 200 college kids and then I spoke to about 450 pastors up in Ohio, so that was pretty cool."
Schlegel, a 6'1", 251-pound Ohio State product, is hoping to make a lasting impact on others. The PAO message is straightforward.
"The main message is a multi-generational legacy, passing down the word of God and Christ to our children and our children's children," he said. "And the platform we have as professional athletes to be able to impact people is so powerful. Some guys couldn't go because of their schedules, but we were lucky to go down there and do it."
The ever-busy Schlegels also recently purchased a home in Mansfield, Texas. Their new dwelling won't have endless miles of acreage for Anthony's pastimes.
"It wouldn't be feasible for me to buy a place that had a lot of land because I would have to pay somebody to take care of it," he said. "When you have lots of land, it requires lots of work. I got a place that I can take care of and her parents are here, so if something happens to the house or needs to be done, they can just go do it."
Last April, Schlegel was the 76th overall selection in the NFL Draft. He played in four games his rookie season and enjoyed the camaraderie he shared with the '06 class.
"We were blessed in New York to have the rookies we had because they are all outstanding people," he said. "New York Jets fans should be happy with the type of guys Coach Mangini brought in here because all of them are outstanding men."
As he gets ready for his second professional season, Schlegel is sticking to a familiar physical routine.
"I have been working out at this gym since I was in seventh grade," he said. "Big-time bodybuilders like Ron Coleman, Mr. Olympia, and a bunch of other pros like Branch Warren all work out there at different times. I always work out in the morning."
Needless to say, Schlegel doesn't rest too often. But when he does, big Hunter is by his side.